By Rachel Bryan
Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) have begun developing STEM programs, empowering students to utilize their knowledge in their own communities and around the world. According to the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), “federal funds and tribal initiatives have contributed to an 87% increase in enrollment in tribal college science programs and a 31% jump in overall graduation rates over the past decade.” Here are nine TCUs that offer degree programs in Environmental Science, ranging from A.S. degrees to M.S. degrees:
1. Fort Peck Community College
Fort Peck Community College offers an A.S. degree in Environmental Science, and for those interested in pursuing additional education, the degree is transferable to universities in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. This program requires students to understand biology, chemistry, and physics, and apply these sciences to the environment and evolution.
2. Haskell Indian Nations University
Haskell Indian Nations University offers a B.S. in Environmental Science, which incorporates current trends in environmental research and evaluates how ecosystems sustain their communities. Course topics range from air quality to multicultural perspectives on sustainable agriculture.
3. Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College
Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College offers an A.S. in Environmental Science that focuses on the intersection between environmental, economic, and tribal issues. The program offers classroom, lab, and field experience with the goal of protecting the environment so it can continue to serve its surrounding communities.
4. Navajo Technical University
Navajo Technical University offers an A.A.S. and a B.S. in Environmental Science & Natural Resources, both of which focus on environmental management and restoration. Students that have pursued these programs have gone on to pursue environmental protection, mineral extraction, energy production, and more.
5. Northwest Indian College
Northwest Indian College offers one of the only B.S.’s in Native Environmental Science in the world, which focuses on “marine sciences, plants and ethnobotany, environmental health and wellness, and tribal environmental governance and policy.” Additionally, they offer community service, research, and internship opportunities in which students can apply theory to practice.
6. Sitting Bull College
Sitting Bull College offers an A.S., B.S., and M.S. in Environmental Science. Students that have attended these programs have acquired both local and national positions, from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Environmental Protection Agency to the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) through the National Science Foundation.
7. Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute
Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute offers an A.A.S. in Environmental Science. It seeks to prepare students for tribal, public, federal, private, and non-profit work in the field, and the credits are easily transferable if students wish to pursue additional education after enjoying their internship, professional development seminars, and community engagement.
8. United Tribes Technical College
United Tribes Technical College offers an A.A.S. and a B.S. in Environmental Science & Research, emphasizing an interdisciplinary approach. In addition to the A.A.S. credits being easily transferable, these programs help to foster connections between students and scientists via research projects.
9. White Earth Tribal and Community College
White Earth Tribal and Community College offers an A.A. degree with an Environmental Science Emphasis, which focuses on teaching students about the history of White Earth Reservation, relaying information about “traditional plant knowledge and wildlife tracking” and its connection to Western science.