skip to main content

Title: Emerging Voices of Tribal Perspectives in Water Resources
Tribal perspectives in water resources and education are often overlooked. Only recently, the field of hydrologic sciences began to include people in conducting science (Sivapalan et al. 2012) and to value indigenous perspectives with western science (Huntington 2002; Redsteer et al. 2012). The April 2018 issue of Journal of Contemporary Water Research & Education (JCWRE) explores emerging voices in tribal communities related to water resources quality and quantity and impacts to tribal water resources such as climate change and water use. This special issue begins with three foundational papers, providing a baseline understanding on water quality regulation, water quality disparities, and tribal economies as they relate to water settlements. The special issue features articles focusing on various water challenges facing tribes and the role of tribal colleges in addressing these challenges. There are less than 0.3% of Native American graduate students and post-doctorates in Science and Engineering and only a handful in hydrologic sciences and related sciences (NCSES 2016). While tribal lands are rich in natural resources and have significant water challenges (Cozetto et al. 2007; Smith and Frehner 2010), it is very unique that 67% of the lead authors are Native American including three Native American faculty, three Native more » American graduate students, and one Tribal College and University (TCU) Faculty. A deep discussion on water challenges facing tribes and Native American scientists working on these challenges are emerging voices of tribal perspectives in water resources. « less
Authors:
Award ID(s):
1747709
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10073921
Journal Name:
Journal of contemporary water research & education
Issue:
163
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
1-5
ISSN:
1936-7031
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Freshwater systems worldwide are increasingly facing complex environmental issues. In the Laurentian Great Lakes region, harmful algal blooms are one example spanning agriculture, municipal drinking water, science and monitoring, water quality, and human health. Addressing these challenges and working across stakeholder interests requires sound science and additional skills that are not necessarily taught to graduate students in the apprentice research model. Effective stakeholder engagement and science communication are two areas consistent with emphases on broader impacts from the National Science Foundation, information and dissemination of the National Institutes of Health, and community engagement of the National Institutes of Health’s Institutemore »of Environmental Health Sciences. The lack of training in these areas creates a gap for outreach, engagement, and science communication training to help enable researchers to translate important science to influential stakeholders, policy makers, and members of the public. To address this gap, we held a Community-Engaged Scholarship Workshop for graduate students and early career faculty. The workshop used an established community-engagement framework and was tailored to address the complex environmental issue of harmful algal blooms. It addressed four community-engagement competencies, including community-engaged partnerships, community-engaged teaching and learning, community-engaged research, and science communications. Here, we report evaluation results on changes in these four competencies and participant satisfaction. We conclude with a discussion of potential improvements and next steps for those seeking to host similar community-engaged trainings.« less
  2. Since 2002, the National Center for Earth-Surface dynamics has collaborated with the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, the University of Minnesota, and other partner institutions to develop programs aimed at supporting Native American participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, and especially in the Earth and Environmental Sciences. These include the gidakiimanaaniwigamig math and science camps for students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Research Experience for Undergraduates on Sustainable Land and Water Resources, which takes place on two native reservations, and support for new majors atmore »tribal colleges. All of these programs have a common focus on collaboration with communities, place-based education, community-inspired research projects, a focus on traditional culture and language, and resource management on reservations. Strong partnerships between university, tribal college, and Native American reservation were a foundation for success, but took time and effort to develop. This paper explores steps towards effective partnerships that support student success in STEM via environmental education.« less
  3. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education initiatives in higher education increasingly call for career mentorship opportunities for underrepresented minorities (URM). Researchers (Johnson & Sheppard, 2004; Nelson & Brammer, 2010) note the importance of having faculty to mentor and act as role models for students, often assuming that mentors play a stronger role if they are also from the same cultural background. Native American (NA) faculty members are underrepresented in most fields in colleges and universities, and exceedingly so in engineering. Only 0.2% (N=68) of engineering faculty nationwide identify as Native American (Yoder, 2014). Likewise, NA students are underrepresented inmore »undergraduate (0.6%; N=1853) and graduate (0.1%; N=173) engineering programs. The low percentage in graduate school is of even greater concern as they represent the primary potential pool of new faculty members. Advising and mentorship from those who identify as NA are often considered important components recruiting and retention in STEM fields. For example, Smith and colleagues (2014) found that factors such as communal goal orientation influenced NA engineering students’ motivation and academic performance. However, very few studies account for differences in NA identity or provide a nuanced account of successful NA STEM professional experiences (Page-Reeves et al., 2018). This research paper presents findings from an exploratory study aimed at pinpointing the factors that influence NA entry and persistence in engineering faculty positions.« less
  4. Recent reports indicate that there are less than 1900 (0.6%) Native American undergraduate and graduate engineering students nationwide (Yoder, 2016). Although Native Americans are underrepresented in the field of engineering, there is very little research that explores the contributing factors. The purpose of our exploratory research is to identify the barriers, supports, and personal strengths that Native American engineering students identify as being influential in developing their career interests and aspirations in engineering. Informed by research in Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT; Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994, 2000), we conducted an online survey to assess the motivational variables that guidemore »the career thinking and advancement of students preparing to enter the field of engineering. Instrumentation included Mapping Vocational Challenges (Lapan & Turner, 2000, 2009, 2014), Perceptions of Barriers (McWhirter, 1997), the Structured Career Development Inventory (Lapan & Turner, 2006; Turner et al., 2006), the Career-Related Parent Support Scale (Turner, Alliman-Brissett, Lapan, Udipi, & Ergun, 2003), and the Assessment of Campus Climate for Underrepresented Groups (Rankin, 2001), which were used to measure interests, goals, personal strengths and internal and external barriers and supports. Participants (N=23) consisted of graduate (≈25%) and undergraduate (≈75%) Native American engineering students. Their survey responses indicated that students were highly interested in, and had strong self-efficacy for, outcome expectations for, and persistence for pursuing their engineering careers. Their most challenging barriers were financial (e.g., having expenses that are greater than income, and having to work while going to school just to make ends meet) and academic barriers (e.g., not sufficiently prepared academically to study engineering). Perceptions of not fitting in and a lack of career information were also identified as moderately challenging barriers. Students endorsed a number of personal strengths, with the strongest being confidence in their own communication and collaboration skills, as well as commitment to their academic and career preparation. The most notable external support to their engineering career development was their parents’ encouragement to make good grades and to go to a school where they could prepare for a STEM career. Students overall found that their engineering program climates (i.e., interactions with students, faculty, staff, and program expectations of how individuals treat each other) were cooperative, friendly, equitable, and respectful. Study results are interpreted in light of SCCT and recommendations for future research and practice in engineering education are provided.« less
  5. For Native American young people, paradoxical cultural pressure (i.e., pressure to do well academically while maintaining tribal identity; Komives et al., 2011), and a lack of academic preparation have been cited as barriers to their academic and career success (Jackson, Smith, & Hill, 2003); however, there is little research regarding the supports that these young people receive. This type of research is especially critical for careers where Native American students are underrepresented, such as in engineering (with Native Americans who comprise almost 2% of the U.S. population comprise only 0.4% of engineers and 0.2% of engineering faculty; NACME, 2014). Tomore »tease out differences in how Native American students are supported in their engineering career development compared to students from the dominant cultural group in engineering, we conducted a study with 50 Native American and 50 Caucasian American undergraduate and graduate engineering students. ANOVA’s showed that Caucasian American and Native American students had the same level of interest in pursuing an engineering career; however, Caucasian American students reported greater emotional and instrumental support from parents, school personnel, and peers for studying engineering. Results will be interpreted in light of how educational equity in areas of supporting Native American engineering students can be accomplished. This research was conducted by Emily Koithan, Morgan Schmitt-Morris, Yuqing Wang (Undergraduate Research Scholars [URS]), and Dr. Sherri Turner (Educational Psychology), and colleagues.« less