Haskell NASA Experiential Learning Opportunity (TCU-ELO) program
Indian Country is unprepared for the impacts associated with a changing climate. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the Third National Climate Assessment, populations that lack critical infrastructure and resources are most vulnerable to impacts brought on by a changing climate. The focus of this project is to address this disparity and assist the Tribes in preparing for climate change impacts. To accomplish this, Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), in partnership with NASA and Kiksapa, Consulting, LLC, will focus NASA resources toward building TCU infrastructure, preparing undergraduate students for careers in STEM fields, engage TCU faculty and students in scientific research, engage K-12 science teachers in geospatial applications in the classroom, strengthen the TCU network of partners in the scientific community, and provide critical service to their respective Tribes. Specifically, this partnership will focus on climate change education and training in geospatial technology through NASA’s Experiential Learning Opportunities (ELO) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU’s), which serve as both a summer intern and externship. These REU’s will train TCU faculty and students in climate change and how to utilize NASA resources and geospatial technologies to address climate impacts to resources on tribal lands. Furthermore, K-12 teachers will gain skills and resources for applying geospatial technologies in their classrooms. Successful completion of this project not only meets NASA’s Education Strategic Framework Outcome 1 but marks a significant contribution by NASA in assisting the Tribal Nations to prepare for climate change impacts while enhancing a skilled and knowledgeable workforce.
The NASA Experiential Learning Opportunity (TCU-ELO) program is led by Haskell Indian Nations University along with their partner colleges; White Earth Tribal Community College and Tohono O’odham Community College as well as Kiksapa Consulting and the Montana Space Grant Consortium (MTSGC). They, along with NASA, have partnered for the 2015-2017 NASA ELO Summer REU. The summer REU consists of three weeks of instruction and mentoring at Haskell Indian Nations University. During this time, students, faculty, and teachers receive training in GIS, remote sensing, climate change as well as the social dimensions of climate impacts. We also work with them to create and complete research projects with a climate change theme using the tools gained through the training at Haskell. We work with K-12 teacher participants to assist them in gaining a broad understanding of the toolsets and explore ways to assist them in engaging their science classrooms. At the conclusion of the workshop, student and faculty participants head home to their own institutions for the remainder of the experience (four weeks). While at home, they are expected to finish their research and complete projects with the help of mentors and the instruction staff.
The Haskell Indian Nation NASA Experiential Learning Opportunity (TCU-ELO) program is funded through NASA cooperative grant number NNX14AK04A
The final products of the summer experience are a completed Plan of Work and a PowerPoint presentation of your work. Examples of these can be seen below.
- Bridget Valenzuela: Baboquivari Middle School, Tohono O’odham Nation – Integrating Geospatial Technology into 7thGrade Science (2015)
- Sheila M. Northbird: Leech Lake Tribal College – An Assessment of Disturbance on Hydrophytes Adjacent to Seasonal Ponds (2015)
- Cesalea N. Osborne: Haskell Indian Nations University – Impacts of Land Use Changes Over Time on the Arbuckle – Simpson Aquifer in South–Central Oklahoma (2015)
- Toni Umana: White Earth Tribal and Community College – The Impact of Climate Change on Wild Rice within the White Earth Nation (2016)
- Mervin Cash: Kapiolani Community College – Coastal Inundation on Oahu (2016)
For a full listing of projects and participants please go to nasareu.com
If you are interested in the 2017 Haskell Nasa ELO Program, you can find the application here.
For more information on our partner colleges please go to:
White Earth Tribal College
The Nibi Manoomin Preservation Project: Anishinaabe elders of the White Earth Nation recognize that the health and well-being of Nibi (water) and Manoomin (wild rice) must be managed in ways that blend western science and traditional knowledge
Tohono O’odham Community College (TOCC)
Tohono O’odham Community College (TOCC) is a two-year college for individuals from all walks of life who want to further their education. TOCC primarily serves the residents of the Tohono O’odham Nation, but anyone pursuing a higher education is welcome to attend
To learn more about opportunities with NASA and NASA education programs, please go to:
NASA’s Education Programs
NASA’s Higher Education Opportunities
NASA’s Minority University Research & Education Project (MUREP)
For more information on Kiksapa Consulting please go to www.kiksapa.com