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Dr. Kimmerer Elected Member of American Academy of Arts & Sciences


SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry's (ESF) Dr. Robin Kimmerer, has been elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Kimmerer, a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, is also the director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment (CNPE) at ESF.

Her membership in the Academy is included in the biological sciences class under the evolution and ecology section. More than 1,300 nominations are considered each year, and of this number, around 270 were elected in 2020.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences honors excellence and convenes leaders from every field of human endeavor to examine new ideas, address issues of importance to the nation and the world, and work together "to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people."

Kimmerer's research interests include the role of traditional ecological knowledge in ecological restoration and the ecology of mosses. In collaboration with tribal partners, she and her students have an active research program in the ecology and restoration of plants of cultural significance to Native people. She is active in efforts to broaden access to environmental science education for Native students and to create new models for the integration of indigenous philosophy and scientific tools on behalf of land and culture. She is engaged in programs that introduce the benefits of traditional ecological knowledge to the scientific community, in a way that respects and protects indigenous knowledge.

Kimmerer holds a BS in botany from ESF and an MS and Ph.D. in botany from the University of Wisconsin. She is the author of numerous scientific papers on plant ecology, bryophyte ecology, traditional knowledge, and restoration ecology.

Kimmerer's book "Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants" has been a fixture on The New York Times Paperback Nonfiction Best Sellers list since February 2020. The book is a collection of essays weaving traditional ecological knowledge with scientific knowledge to examine the relationship people have and can have, with the living environment.