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Division of Environmental Science
Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK)

sky woman paintingSolutions to complex ecological problems require not only scientific expertise, but also an understanding of the cultural context in which they occur. Ecological restoration can greatly benefit from the integration of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and scientific ecological knowledge to develop more holistic and effective restoration approaches. TEK refers to the on-going accumulation of knowledge, practice and beliefs earned from indigenous communities about the relationship between humans and nature. Policy makers are realizing the importance of incorporating local and indigenous knowledge as well as the equitable participation by indigenous people in conservation efforts. SUNY ESF researchers are particularly adept and experienced with integrating TEK within ecological restoration efforts. SUNY ESF is home to the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment which coordinates TEK activities on campus and facilitates scholarships for Native American students. GPES Faculty involved with TEK can be found in both the ELWA and PPCS Study Areas.