EN 217 - Place-Based Ecological Knowledge

The complex challenges of the 21st century require transdisciplinary collaborations that integrate different ways of knowing our environment. This course explores the diverse knowledge systems of Indigenous peoples and others who live in close relation to land, such as smallholder farmers, herders, hunters, fishers, and gatherers.  We begin by examining theories of ecological knowledge developed by anthropologists, human ecologists, and ethnobiologists, including the work of Indigenous scholars. Next, we explore ways to engage place-based ecological knowledge in research and development efforts, focusing on participatory methodologies in which knowledge holders contribute to project design, data collection, interpretation and validation. In the last part of the course, we consider how place-based and scientific ecological knowledges can work together to address environmental challenges, including biodiversity loss, climate change, food insecurity, and health inequity. Students will conduct team projects to enhance our own place-based ecological knowledge and explore how to convey that knowledge to others.

Prerequisites: Juniors & Seniors Only

Anticipated Terms Offered: Annually- Spring

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