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Graduate Degree Programs
M.S., M.P.S. and Ph.D. in Indigenous Peoples and the Environment

Students in the Indigenous Peoples and the Environment (IPE) Area of Study work collaboratively to generate strategies for vital new directions in environmental thinking that engage both Indigenous knowledges and the tools of western academic science. This Area of Study is anchored by the guidance of the ESF Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, which has a decades-long record of integrating these ways of knowing in the context of environmental problem-solving.

We find ourselves at an extraordinary moment, when after years of attempted erasure, there is an opening of respect and recognition for Indigenous environmental knowledges. Across Turtle Island, Indigenous Peoples and Nations are recovering homelands and renewing ancestral land stewardship practices. Land management agencies and conservation organizations are increasingly collaborating with Indigenous Nations and integrating Traditional Ecological Knowledge in their work.

At the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, we are deeply inspired by this momentum toward recognizing the value of Indigenous-led conservation and advancing justice for the land nationally, and particularly within our culturally and ecologically rich Northeastern region. At the national level, the White House Memorandum requiring the elevation of Traditional Ecological Knowledge into federal environmental decision-making is an inspiring, historic recognition and creates an extraordinary opportunity for CNPE to play an influential role. CNPE is actively involved in advancing land rights and models of  land conservation that support and empower Indigenous Nations. Globally, Indigenous people steward areas with some of the highest remaining biodiversity on the planet.

This moment calls for a new generation of environmental professionals who are trained to work cross-culturally and possess the skills and experience to integrate diverse knowledges and perspectives in the context of restoration, conservation, policy, and other critical environmental fields. The Indigenous Peoples and the Environment Area of Study prepares students and future environmental professionals for just this work. Through coursework, focused seminars, community outreach, research and mentorship with faculty and staff engaged in knowledge integration, students become part of a community of scholars committed to scholarly work in support of biocultural thriving.

We expect that students and affiliated faculty in IPE will work together to collaboratively craft a set of courses and experiences which address these significant issues for an individualized program. This Area of Study is intentionally designed to be highly flexible and student-directed, and there are no course requirements beyond those required by the respective Environmental Biology degree-granting program.

Participating Faculty

  • Robin W. Kimmerer;
    plant restoration ecology, bryology, bryoecology, restoration ecology, ethnobotany, conservation biology and bryophyte ecology, traditional ecological knowledge
  • Stewart Diemont;
    systems ecology, ecological engineering, traditional ecological knowledge, Latin America, ecosystem restoration, sustainability analysis, natural wastewater treatment systems and re-use, less-developed countries, agroecology
  • Neil Patterson;
    environmental justice, Indigenous-led conservation, Indigenous environmental education and interpretation, traditional ecological knowledge, renewable energy, fishery management, treaty rights, science-policy interface
  • Kyle Artelle;
    Indigenous-led conservation, human-wildlife coexistence, ecology, wildlife stewardship and management, minimally invasive monitoring, biodiversity-supporting food production systems, restoration, fisheries stewardship and management