Feasibility Assessment for an Accredited Online Soil and Rangeland Ecology Course for Tribal Colleges

The Native American Rangeland Training Initiative provides funding for an assessment of an online accredited soil and rangeland ecology course that would help tribal students become more marketable for natural resource related employment opportunities. Soil ecology is one of the course requirements for many federal natural resource positions. While there are several models that could be adapted, this assessment will need to take place through the input of key Tribal College organizations and leaders who can best decide upon the best approach. Currently, we are developing a working group to implement this objective. Once this assessment has been completed, and if it is something desired by Tribal Colleges, then we will proceed to develop a strategy to implement the courses.

We are inviting Tribal College staff and faculty to  explore the best ways to serve your own academic needs in the area of range and soil ecology, and in a way that suits your own colleges and communities best. The objectives of this invitation are to:

  1. Initiate a working group to develop the best model for this effort;
  2. Discuss whether a centralized course is feasible, and if so, how it can be tailored to individual tribal college needs;
  3. Discuss ways we can help to train tribal college faculty in the areas of range and soil ecology so that they can strengthen their own programs or launch their own rangeland and soil ecology courses; and
  4. Discuss accreditation requirements.

A slide presentation of this project can be viewed here: AIHEC Webinar_February 5 2020

If you are interested in being a part of this working group, please contact Diana Doan-Crider.

Tribal College Discovery Camp

In an agreement between the Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute, the USDA Forest Service, and the Society for Range Management, we have been hosting a “Natural Resources Discovery Camp” for college students. The goal of this project is to familiarize them with career requirements in natural resources, and introduce them to these career paths through experiential activities with agency and tribal staff members.  Part of those activities include the review of employment requirements for jobs in natural resources at both the federal and tribal levels, to connect science and the study of natural resources, and apply problem-solving with that knowledge in addressing some of their own community needs. For more information about this program, please contact Valerie Montoya or Berlinda Baca.