UM Awarded Grant for Conservation Training from Indigenous Perspective

UM recently was awarded a $281,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to implement two intensive field courses in India for Native American graduate students. The courses will offer hands-on, multidisciplinary research and learning opportunities in wildlife management and natural resource conservation sciences.

Under the Advanced Studies Institute International Research Experience for Students program, 10 participants from the U.S. and 10 from India will be selected per year for the 13-day intensive courses.

These courses will create a multicultural, dynamic learning experience designed to train students to conduct multidisciplinary research in an international context, building a network of young professionals who will be at the forefront of world conservation and wildlife management sciences.

“This is an opportunity for a traditionally underrepresented student population to work with fellow Indigenous students in building community and global awareness where their unique perspective is needed to help decolonize conservation practice, not only in the U.S. and in India but worldwide,” said co-principal investigator Professor Keith Bosak.

Courses focus on addressing complex challenges in biodiversity conservation by integrating Indigenous ways of knowing with Western science. Research themes are grounded in social-ecological systems thinking – with dual emphasis on social and biophysical sciences – and include Indigenous and participatory perspectives on conservation, conservation biology, landscape ecology, ecological restoration and wildlife management.

Students will study each of these themes first in the classroom and then through field experiences by leveraging the unique research facilities and field sites available through a partner institution, the Wildlife Institute of India, a global leader in applied research in wildlife management and natural resource conservation sciences.

This program is implemented through a collaboration between UM’s W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, the College of Humanities and Sciences, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center, and the Global Engagement Office. Application information will be announced mid-summer 2021.