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Tribal Environmental Science - 'New Kid' on the block
19 August 2005
By Jen Janecek-Hartman, Pathways to Student Success Project Director

      United Tribes Technical College has a new vocation: Tribal Environmental Science (TES). It's the result of a National Science Foundation Tribal College and Universities Program grant. The five year grant is to assist the college in creating and implementing an innovative program for students interested in Environmental Science. Seven students are enrolled for Fall Semester.

      The program is named United Tribes Pathways to SucceSS (UTPASS). It will support 20 students each year with subsistence, computers and internships in the field. UT-PASS will create a STEM student support system starting with a Summer Pathways Institute (SPI), a three week long intensive STEM student skill-building program at the beginning of a students' first semester on campus, a Tribal Environmental Science AAS, Action Research throughout the STEM courses, and improvement in UTTC's STEM faculty's content knowledge and teaching practices.

      The UTPASS staff consists of Mike Collins, Environmental Science Instructor; Andrew Reed, Student Facilitator; Derek Schulte, Math Instructor; and Jen Janecek-Hartman, Project Director. Mike comes to UTTC with 7 years of Tribal College Science instruction behind him. He has interests in geology, water quality and tribal sovereignty issues. Andrew Reed is a Hidats/Arikara from the Fort Berthold Reservation. Andrew brings a rich background in student support and data management skills to the department. He is also passionate about increasing the numbers of American Indians in STEM related fields. Derek is a native North Dakotan who enjoys running as a hobby. I came to UTTC as a member of the United Tribes Rural Systemic Initiative (UTRSI) team. My duties include directing a summer math/science/technology and culture camp for elementary students in collaboration with the Nokota Conservancy, and coordinating STEM grants for the college.

      Students involved in TES sponsor two student groups on campus: American Indian Society for Engineering and Science, and SEEDS, an ecological student action group. Stay tuned for more highlights regarding this new vocation.


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