Mission Statement

Geoscience Alliance

The Geoscience Alliance is a national alliance of individuals committed to broadening participation of Native Americans in the geosciences. Its members are faculty from tribal colleges, universities, and research centers; native elders and community members; industry and corporate representatives, students (K12, undergraduate, and graduate); formal and informal educators; and other interested individuals. The goals of the Geoscience Alliance are to:

1) create new collaborations in support of geoscience education for Native American students,

2) establish a new research agenda aimed at closing gaps in our knowledge on barriers and best practices related to Native American participation in the geosciences,

3) increase participation by Native Am

ericans in setting the national research agenda on issues in the geosciences, and particularly those that impact Native lands,

4) provide a forum to communicate educational opportunities for Native American students in geoscience programs, and

5) to understand and respect indigenous traditional knowledge.

Special thanks to the Naitonal Center for Earth-surface Dynamics, an NSF-funded Science and Technology Center, for their ongoing support of the Geoscience Alliance.

2012 Geoscience Alliance Conference

You are invited to the 2012 Geoscience Alliance Conference!

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  • Salish Kootenai College, Pablo, MT


  • March 17-18, 2012

Vision Statement

We envision a future in which Native Americans are no longer underrepresented in the geosciences. We look to a future where native scientists take a leadership role in helping to steer our country towards a more sustainable and environmentally ethical relationship with the Earth. To appreciate and advance the geosciences while being respectful of indigenous cultures, we articulate the following values:

• We focus on supporting students, even as we recognize that we all are students.

• We respect both western and indigenous approaches to knowing about the Earth, while

recognizing that indigenous approaches historically have been undervalued.

• We believe that there are many paths to being a scientist and many traditions to draw

from. Therefore, there is no single best practice. Instead, we offer a collection of effective

strategies to draw from.

• We will create ways for students to become scientists while holding onto and even

strengthening their traditional knowledge.

• We are inclusive: our focus on increasing Native Americans in the geosciences doesn’t

confine membership to either geoscientists or Native Americans.

• We will explore, make mistakes, forgive and learn together.

Next Year and in Ten Years

 Next year’s conference:

  • Set up a separate e-mail account for GA conference 2011
  • Make contacts with tribal college faculty and presidents.

o   We need better matriculation between tribal colleges and nearby universities

o   23/36 tribal colleges have an environmental science or natural resource program


Question: Do we have an advisory board?

  • If we do have an advisory board, who would we want on it?
  • What type of knowledge do we want?


Ten-year goal: Make sure GA is still around

  • Practical level

o   We need volunteers who will be active

o   We need resources, people, and people time

  • This has to be an organization*

o   How do we sustain ourselves?

o   Do we want to seek sponsorship?

o   *Key point at the next conference

Agency Level

  • Form affiliations with other science centers to synergize efforts rather than compete for students

o   Ex: NCED talks to USGS, National Park Service

o   Most agencies have tribal programs

o   Increase communication between the federal world and the academic world

§  Memo of Understanding

  • Don’t discount non-traditional students. Many of them are very strong, determined students.
  • Possible links:


§  EPA directory of Tribal Champions