NSF EPSCoR to Hold Tribal College Conference on Climate Change Research

The first annual Oklahoma NSF EPSCoR Tribal College Conference Series on Climate Change will be held Friday, April 8. The conference, “Native American Water and Food Security Research,” will focus on climate variability research in Oklahoma and the potential implications for indigenous and tribal communities. Tribal college students, as well as tribal scientists, faculty and staff interested in these topics, are invited to participate. The conference will be held at the College of the Muscogee Nation in Okmulgee.

“We welcome the opportunity to host Oklahoma’s tribal college students, faculty and administration on our campus to share scientific knowledge and explore the important topics of water and food security in Native American communities,” said College of the Muscogee Nation President Robert Bible.

Dr. Dan Wildcat, author of the widely published book, “Red Alert! Saving the Planet with Indigenous Knowledge,” will serve as the keynote speaker. Presenters include Dr. Liz Holata, director of the Mvskoke Food Sovereignty Initiative, and other notable professionals in tribal climate research. Breakout sessions will address targeted topics including climate adaptation, water management and cultural resources. 

Native American students’ research projects will be highlighted during a poster session and competition. Students’ individual and group posters are eligible for presentation and judging in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), as well as indigenous sciences. Awards, sponsored by the Oklahoma Tribal Conservation Advisory Council, will be given to the top poster presenters.  

The event will conclude with attendees sharing final thoughts and next steps via a traditional Native American talking circle. 

The conference is provided free of charge to attendees, but all participants must register online at http://www.okepscor.org/calendar/tribal-college-conference-series-climate-change-research. Registration closes Thursday, March 24, at noon.  

The 2016 Tribal College Conference Series on Climate Change is a collaboration effort of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, the College of the Muscogee Nation, Comanche Nation College, the Oklahoma National Science Foundation (NSF) Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), Oklahoma State University, the Oklahoma Tribal Conservation Advisory Council, Pawnee Nation College, the South Central Climate Science Center and the University of Oklahoma. 

The lead sponsor of the event is Oklahoma NSF EPSCoR, a program designed to increase the state’s research competitiveness through strategic support of research instruments and facilities, research collaborations, and integrated outreach and research programs. Oklahoma NSF EPSCoR is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

For more information about the Tribal Conference Series, contact Grant Samms, conference facilitator, at grant.samms@okstate.edu. For information about the Oklahoma NSF EPSCoR program, contact Gina Miller, outreach coordinator, at gmiller@okepscor.org.