Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Unique Marketing Internship

Many internships the Sustainable Development Institute supports involve research, field work, education, and climate change related studies. This summer, a unique internship bridged a gap between the College of Menominee Nation Sustainable Development Institute and Menominee Tribal Enterprises through a marketing internship.

Tashina Williams, recent Marquette University graduate, spent the summer of 2013 not only learning about Menominee Forestry, but also how to implement Menominee values and business ethics into marketing recommendations for Menominee Tribal Enterprises' millwork division.

Take a look at some of Tashina William's work below:

Brochure by Williams

This is a segment of a flyer created by Tashina Williams.

This brochure about MTE cabinetry and molding was created by SDI Intern Tashina Williams.

You can see the entire documents on the SDI Website Marketing Internship page.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Elder and Community Input Day at Mawawceseniyah

On July 31st, the High School Sustainability Cohort (SLC) hosted an Elder and Community input day at Mawawceseniyah.  About thirty-five people attended to hear what the SLC has been working on and give the students feedback and input.  Each of the three groups presented their projects—speaking to the action-research project process they had been implemented over the past several weeks.Ron Corn Jr., Menominee language and culture student and teacher, led the high school student and community members in constructing the frame of a wigwam on the shore of LaMotte Lake. Ben Grignon, CMN and Menominee Indian High School art instructor, shared techniques he learned in New Mexico to add decorations a wood fire clay oven.  For the entire story, see the Sustainable Development Institute website. 

Many thanks to our generous hosts at Mawawceseniyah and the people who contributed their perspectives and feedback.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"I will be listing different species of ferns....." An internship experience post by Keith Ladwig

Keith Ladwig, Ecological Data Collection intern with the College of Menominee Nation, shares his internship duties and experience in the blog post below:
Keith Ladwig, Sustainable Development Intern, works to identify ferns and forest plants.

Starting June 10th, 2013 through the 13th of June I attended the ITC symposium. One thing I thought was important was traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), and scientific ecological knowledge (SEK)-- the different type of knowledge like being passed down from family or experiences. Then, the scientific things we might learn and then us being able to compare the two. There were other things that we did as well like listening to presentations, workshops, and tours.
                After the summer institute we began work on ecological data collection. We set up a one-hector plot behind the culture building on the CMN campus. We collect data on trees that are in our plots. Some of the data we collected includes diameter at breast height, the species identity, and any notes about the tree. Sosaeh, Brennan, and I worked together measuring and collecting data while working in each individual quad; which is a twenty by twenty meter area.
                Now we are making a virtual herbarium. In the herbarium we will include pictures of plants and tree species and identify them. We will use taxon code meaning using the scientific name. For white pine it would be Pinus Strobis which, would then be PINSTR. For the pictures we will rename and put them in photo files. They will be named in taxon, photographer, date, and the photo number. The herbarium will include trees that are in our plot and plants that we have not collected data on. We are going to set up an online list of species that we have in this area.

In the botany aspect I will be focusing on ferns and allies. I will be listing different species of ferns and other types of allies that are in this area. Earlier this summer each intern chose a tree species to do a bio about. Some of us had the same tree, but I chose the Red Pine. I wrote up basic information about it and how a person can tell it apart from other trees like the white pine.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Ecological Data Collecting: "There is valuable information..."

Three interns with the College of Menominee Nation Sustainable Development Institute are working on a project called "Measuring the Pulse (MTP)." In this post, Brennan Waupoose, MTP Ecological Data Collector, describes his experience and work below.

"Following the Summer Institute, the Ecological Data Collectors went to the Wabikon Lake plot located within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest near Laona, WI. We spent two days learning Condit’s protocol used by the Smithsonian Institute to create an inventory of tree species and size. This protocol is very advanced compared to the “fixed-radius” method sometimes used by Menominee Tribal Enterprises. Every 20-meter subplot has PVC pipes at every 5 meters (25 total) for a “roping” method to create a layout for mapping the trees.
After learning Condit’s protocol, we then returned to our site at College of Menominee Nation where we installed a one-hectare plot, which measures 100 meters by 100 meters, nearly 2.5 acres. This site will be used as a Training plot in the near future for CMN’s Natural Resource program and also serve as a control for scientific research of the Menominee forest. The plot has been divided into 25-20 meter square subplots known as quadrants or “quads”. The quads are used to map and create a census of the forest plot documenting all living trees greater than 2.5 cm. The process includes mapping, sequentially tagging, measuring diameter at breast height (DBH), identifying tree species, and recording each tree on data sheets in a consistent manner to ensure data integrity. Without consistency a re-census of the plot will have flaws between the original data and the re-census.
This has been a great learning experience so far.  Considering the amount of detail used in the protocol, there is valuable information that can be produced within this site and I see myself using this site to continue my tree-ring research."

Post written by Brennan Waupoose

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Reciprocal Learning and Forest and Climate Leaders Retreat at Kemp Research Center

By Cherie Thunder
Wisconsin Fast Plants/ POSOH Intern

Sustainability Leadership Cohort 2013

Forest and Climate Leaders Retreat at Kemp Research Center

June 21-June 24

Woodruff, WI

With Memories of capture the flag, jumping from the high dive, and midnight Sun Drop raids, how can we forget the time spent at UW-Madison’s Kemp Research Center? High school students, community members, scientists, undergraduate and graduate students all gathered for the Forest and Climate Leaders Research Retreat in Woodruff, WI from June 21st to June 24th. The four day event was a great way to explore different careers in the STEM fields and to mutually learn from each other. Students and scientist alike were given the chance to exchange ideas and explore other cultures.  

Kemp Natural Resources Station is a research and teaching facility operated by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Located in the heart of Wisconsin's Northwoods, Kemp Station's 235 acres support some of the last remnants of old-growth forest in the Lake States as well as research by many of the university’s scientists and students. 

Dr. Ankur Desai with the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department at UW-Madison brought several of his graduate and undergraduate students to teach students about climate change topics related to the forest. SDI Education Coordinator Kate Flick collaboratively designed the retreat with Ankur Desai. “Ankur and I had been talking about how to spark students’ interests in science and decided to try exposing high school students to what scientists really do and the career pathways of how they got to where they are…shift their perspective that scientists just wear lab coats to something like they are actually real people and fun to boot. What better way than to hang out and do real science in the woods?” Kate said. In fact, the retreat was the first ever of its kind to involve high school students at UW-Madison’s Kemp Research station.

The retreat gave students the opportunity to begin understanding some of the impacts of climate change locally and globally and to acquire new science skills such as, performing real scientific research and carrying out experiments in the field.  One of the experiments included setting off smoke bombs to understand how air flows (or fluxes) through a forest and eventually ends up at a flux tower. These giant towers continuously take measurements on important green house gases. Two days were spent learning from the scientists and the of team graduate students in both the classroom and in the field at research sites in the area.  The students were able to do some soil and water testing, tree coring, and learning about meteorology and lakes. 

During the evening the students participated in nightly fires, talking circles, medicine wheel teachings, and a climate change decision making activity. The fire provided informal times to understand the stories of how students and scientists found and followed their career pathways.  By doing the decision making activity students gained an understanding of why important climate change issues need to be discussed and voted upon in order to find community consensus. We held a mock community meeting where participants took on different roles of community stakeholder interests in whether to build a wind farm near the College or not.  Stakeholders included College of Menominee nation students and staff, Menominee Tribal Enterprise employees, near-by homeowners, coal workers at a power plant, community interest groups, and scientists. The medicine wheel teachings provided a great way to share the Menominee culture and remind everyone involved why we were participating in the retreat in the first place. SDI food sovereignty intern Lloyd Frieson said, “The medicine wheel is something that brings all our nations together."  Dr. Ankur Desai also emphasized that science had its own strong traditions rooted in curiosity. 

Throughout the retreat everyone had responsibilities like cooking meals, washing dishes and cleaning the kitchen. Being a community leader is one of prominent goals of this cohort and was represented through doing chores daily and giving back to your place or community. These duties helped bring the group together and teach the students to be in charge of and responsible for their own actions. 

Everyone was surprised at how well they were able to relate to one another. The scientists, students, and interns all seemed to express and appreciate that their knowledge of science and culture was expanded by the end of the weekend. Overall the trip was a great success and we have high hopes for the future forest and climate leaders of the Wisconsin area.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sustainability Leadership Cohort Action-Research Project and Film Production

Sustainability Leadership Cohort Action-Research Project and Film Production
By: SDI Education Intern, Ella Keenan
Students learn about film production
After much anticipation, the Sustainability Leadership Cohort’s action-research projects are finally underway. The Action-Research Project will give students the opportunity to research a topic that interests them and help them get more involved in their community. The action-research project is designed to teach students valuable researching skills with the end goal of their project being implemented and communicated in the community. Through the process they become the directors of their own learning as they are in charge of choosing what they learn.

The action component involves engaging the community in some form—whether implementing a project, interviewing community members, or addressing an important community need.  Students must then translate these research and implementation experiences into a communication form of their choosing.  As we enter the information age, communication skills will be crucial for students’ success.  A potential medium for communication could be, though is not limited to, film--using documentary, news, or fiction formats to tell a story about a topic. Students who elect to put together a film will have a great foundation after attending a film workshop run by filmmaker Reynaldo Morales from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the workshop, Reynaldo introduced the basic techniques of filming and the many parts of a film production.
Sustainability Leadership Cohort students learn film software
Cohort students will be working collaboratively in groups of three or four depending on the amount of people interested in a topic. Group members not only have to agree on a research topic, but they also have to come to a consensus on the type of project they want to implement. In this way, cohort students will learn valuable group dynamic skills that will benefit them later in life.

So far, the students have determined their groups and have narrowed down their research topic. They are now working on their Project Proposals which will clearly outline and define the parameters of their project. The proposals will have to be approved by the Cohort Mentor Team before the group is able to proceed with their project.

After about a week of planning, the groups have only three weeks remaining to research and implement their project. So far, the research topics include the importance of oral traditional through the eyes of a sturgeon, planning and planting a traditional garden with medicines and foods, and researching what is preventing natives from reaching their full potential in areas like sports.

Reynaldo Morales, Filmmaker
Throughout the process, the groups will be required to check in with the Cohort Mentor Team at various stages. Since the goal of the Action-Research Project is for the students to define their own projects based on their own interests, the Cohort Mentor Team’s role is merely to guide the group into a project with a scope can be completed within the time limit.

By completing this process, the students will realize that through film and action they can create awareness in their communities and make a difference. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"I couldn't think of a better day at work," an Internship Experience

Sheldon Waupochick, SDI Intern

My internship experience started with meeting new people, which so far is the best part.  A group of new people going through the same new experience as me; it was a very comfortable feeling.  The first thing we learned about was SEK (scientific ecological knowledge) and TEK (traditional ecological knowledge).   Looking at a forest and applying both of these methods to understand the true components, both traditionally and scientifically.  It was very interesting to learn more in-depth about the same forest I lived in a majority of my life.  With the presence of Dr. Kimmerer, instructor from SUNY ESF, I had much help in understanding factors that affect the rate of tree growth, species, soil depth, and temperature.  I found out that there is an answer to all these factors, and it is “It depends.” I now have a better knowledge of tree identification, which is kind of annoying now that I am always trying to identify trees outside of work. 

With the other interns from SUNY ESF, we took several trips to various vantage points throughout the Menominee reservation.   I thought it was “cool” to be able to help show these people from New York the “Dells” and other places where I have been enjoying recreational activities my whole life.  Places like the “Dells” probably don't exist many other places on earth and we had the opportunity to explore the area and learn in depth of the tree species with Dr. Kimmerer.  At that moment, I couldn't think of a better day at work than that.

On the 6th of June, the other interns and I were given the opportunity to attend the 37th Annual National Indian Timber Symposium.  Located in the conference center of my hometown I learned from many interesting people.  During the symposium I learned about climate-change, forest ecology, invasive species, and species range shifts.  These instructors came from all over the country, and I was most pleased to spend time with instructor Tony Waupochick, who is my father.  During a tour of the Menominee reservation and Stockbridge reservation I met another Native American from California.  We had several conversations, and in one of them, he said he met the president and had dinner with him. I thought that was very interesting. 

As an LFTL intern, we were given a task to team with SUNY ESF interns and repair an Oak Wilt Gap.  This Oak Wilt Gap was an area on the Menominee reservation that has been exposed to the Oak Wilt Disease.  Mentored by Jeff Grignon (Menominee Forester), we as a group, got to decide the future of this piece of land by how we would repair it.  First we had to think about how the forest sustains us, and how we sustain the forest.  After learning a variety of aspects of forest management we applied these methods to our Oak Wilt Gap prescription.  Menominee Tribal Enterprises has the capability to prescribe burn or manipulate land mechanically with machines or men with chainsaws.   In a group presentation we described how we recorded the tree species, temperature, and other data of the area.  In two weeks we completed our prescription and possibly made our mark on the future of the Menominee forest. 

After completing only half the internship I feel I've learned a lot.  I can’t wait to get the opportunity to travel to the Huntington Wildlife Forest, New York and live vise versa of SUNY ESF interns.  I believe that the Sustainable Development Institute is making great strides in innovating learning experiences to us interns.  The second best factor of this internship is that I get to keep my knowledge forever and apply it throughout the rest of my educational journey. 

Blog post written by Sheldon Waupochick, Summer 2013 CMN SDI Intern for the Learning From the Land Experience