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Summer Employment and Education Opportunities
Recruiting Future Forestry Leaders and Scientists
Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station has entered
into an agreement with the University of Washington’s School of Forest
Resources to create leadership and learning opportunities for Native Americans
pursuing graduate degrees in the forestry sciences. The effort, coordinated
by the School’s Ernesto Alvarado, provides a broad spectrum of opportunities
to students who are tribal members, focused on recruitment, retention, and
successful completion of their graduate degree programs. Students are offered
financial, educational, cultural, and social support, and provided with mentored
work experiences on research projects in their field of interest. The skills,
knowledge, and experience gained by the students significantly enhance their
ability to contribute to the advancement of science-based forestry both on
and off of tribal lands. In addition, their ability to integrate traditional
knowledge with modern science has significant benefits to both the university
and research agencies where they work.
Three Native American graduate students
have been recruited and are working on research projects led by PNW Research
Station scientists and university
faculty. Two students, Tmthspusmen “Spus” Wilder, and Jeromie Gritts,
enrolled at the beginning of the 2010-2011 academic year. A third student,
Christopher Beatty, is doing project work during the summer and will begin
coursework in fall 2011.
Spus is interested in the ecological effects of different
policy frameworks and restoration practices among forest landowners east
of the Cascade crest.
Starting summer 2011, his research project will examine stand structure and
composition parameters on national forest, state, and Yakama tribal lands
in eastern Washington to determine how forest health is affected by management
and restoration strategies. During summer 2010, Spus assisted with research
projects conducted by the PNW Research Station on the Gifford Pinchot National
Forest, and at the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences
laboratory in Seattle.
Jeromie’s research project, also beginning in summer
2011, will examine the decline of whitebark pine on the Flathead Reservation
in Montana. He is
working under the mentorship of scientists at the USFS Rocky Mountain Research
Station to model the effects of different silvicultural and fire management
regimes on whitebark pine. His research will factor in the cultural values
tribes associate with whitebark pine that are not typically included in ecological
Both Jeromie and Spus have been involved with other Native American
students in the School of Forest Resources on efforts to integrate traditional
with forestry sciences, and have co-authored a paper that has been submitted
for publication. They have also been assisting with the development of a
national natural resources research agenda for the Intertribal Timber Council.
have helped develop and administer a questionnaire for tribal managers and
leaders to ascertain research needs, and Christopher will be completing the
final report documenting research priorities during summer 2011.