Tribal - NASA Project To Teach About Climate Change

Jul 23, 2014

The Salish Kootenai College is one of four tribal colleges or universities, nationwide, to receive a grant from NASA to develop climate change curriculum. The grants come from NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project, and range from $413,000 to $1,009,000.

“We are so excited about the Tribes, our Division, the Division of Fish, Wildlife, Recreation and Conservation to work with Dr. Adrian Leighton at Salish Kootenai College in the Natural Resources Department, and also, NASA scientists, so, it’s going to be an amazing collaboration,” said Information and Education Specialist for the CSKT Tribes Division of Fish, Wildlife, Recreation and Conservation Germaine White.

White said they’ll be developing climate change curriculum with a tribal, local, twist for colleges and high schools. She said the Tribes bring an important perspective into the study of climate change.

“Tribal people are affected disproportionately by climate change. This is a very place-based education project. It will be framed by the culture and tradition, the history and language of our tribes, and other tribes that we connect with and collaborate with,” White said.

She said the project offers the opportunity to send up to two interns to NASA’s jet propulsion lab in Pasadena to work with climate scientists, and bring NASA climate data into the classroom.

“This is really an elegant project where we’re bringing those two elements together, and crossing a cultural divide, and looking at the very best science available for climate change.” White said.

Other winners include the College of Menominee Nations in Keshena, Wisconsin, Turtle Mountain Communitiy College in Belcourt, North Dakota, and Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, in Cloquet, Minnesota.