In the webinar, Strengthening Capacity to Implement Culturally Responsive Practices, members of the NSF INCLUDES National Network explored the intersectionality of social, economic, and environmental dynamics, and discussed culturally responsive practices effective for broadening participation in STEM in both urban and rural settings in environments with limited access to resources.
This Network Spotlight highlights one of the presenters, Timberley Roane, of the Building a Network for Education and Employment in Environmental Stewardship of Indigenous Lands (ESIL) project, based at the University of Colorado Denver. The ESIL network provides training for job placement for Indigenous students interested in environmental issues involving tribal and non-tribal entities, and opportunities for Indigenous students to use STEM to contribute to their communities by combining a passion for protecting natural resources with a desire to work with communities and different schools of thought.
During the webinar, Timberley discussed building the ESIL network, and challenges her team faced along the way. Keep reading below to learn more from Timberley about the importance of building a collaborative culture, and the need to keep the student voice at the center of this important work.
Contributed by Timberley Roane
Changing course and redesigning the project
We designed the ESIL program around students participating in a series of courses; a series of skill-based and knowledge-based workshops; and ultimately participating in an internship where they work with one of our partners to gain additional skill sets. The ESIL network, a group of federal, state, tribal, and university partners which support and administer the ESIL program, aims to work together to design and deploy this unique educational program by giving students an opportunity to train for employment as tribal liaisons in the environmental field. In addition to the one-on-one mentoring of students, the network thought the courses and training opportunities would be enough to recruit and retain students in the ESIL program. It turns out that, at least so far, these have not necessarily been enough.
Contributed by Timberley Roane and Altinay Cortes