Native Science Field Centers

August 1st, 2006 - October 31st, 2012 | PROJECT

Hopa Mountain, in collaboration with Blackfeet Community College, One Step Further, and Ogala Lakota College, will develop "Native Science Field Centers (NSFC)" to provide year-round informal science education for youth ages 8-18 and adults. Informal science education professionals are also served through the publications and materials designed to support programs targeting Native communities. The "NSFCs" will be located on the Blackfeet, Fort Belknap, and Pine Ridge reservations. The centers will develop "TribalWatch" environmental science programs that will be disseminated to six other tribes in the Missouri River Watershed. The "Tribalwatch" programs create a STEM career ladder for youth and adults to develop scientific expertise, knowledge of monitoring and an understanding of management of local lands. New technologies will be created for the evaluation of Native science programs that incorporate indigenous evaluation methodologies. Key partners include the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), the Field Museum of Natural History and the Science Museum of Minnesota. Deliverables include "Native Science Field Centers, ""TribalWatch" programs and a "TribalWatch" toolkit and training plan. Strategic impact will be realized through capacity building within Native communities, research and documentation of programming practices and dissemination of the toolkit and publications to informal science education professionals, 32 tribal colleges and other educational organizations that serve Native communities. It is anticipated that this project will reach 100,000 Native and non-Native youth, adults and informal science education practitioners in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products
Effective practices for creating transformative informal science education programs grounded in Native ways of knowing

Team Members

Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer, Principal Investigator, Hopa Mountain, Inc.
Helen Augare, Co-Principal Investigator, Blackfleet Community College
Michael Fredenberg, Former Co-Principal Investigator, Ogala Lakota College


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 0610270
Funding Amount: 2077723


Audience: Adults | Elementary School Children (6-10) | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Ecology | forestry | agriculture | Geoscience and geography | Nature of science
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Community Outreach Programs | Public Programs