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Haskell Indian Nations University Receives Scientific Research Funding

Haskell Indian Nations University Receives Scientific Research Funding

Haskell Indian Nations University received a research award for $20 million from the National Science Foundation. 

The university, located in Lawrence, Kansas, was granted the largest research funding ever awarded to a Tribal college or university. Moreover, Haskell Indian Nations University will receive the award for 5 years and put it toward an innovative ecological project. 

Creating a New Research Hub at the University 

The university will use the recent funds for an Indigenous science hub project. More specifically, the project creates The Large Scale CoPe: Rising Voices, Changing Coasts: The National Indigenous and Earth Sciences Convergence Hub. 

The new hub plans to combine and share knowledge from various academic disciplines and environmental studies. Further, University-trained social, ecosystem, and physical Earth system scientists, as well as students, will participate in the research. 

Research Designed to Help Native American Communities 

The Haskell Indian Nations University research project plans to focus on transformative research addressing coastal hazards as they relate to Native American communities. 

Using data from numerous academic avenues, the hub will look into the challenges of a rapidly changing climate. That said, the team will collect data from the following sources: existing Indigenous knowledge, modeling capabilities, archeological records, geographic information system techniques, socio-economic analysis, and hazard research. 

After collecting data, the project studies “how Indigenous people in coastal areas can build resiliency to the dynamic forces resulting from climate change.”

Regarding the specific region the hub plans to focus on, the university will look at Alaska [Arctic], Louisiana [Gulf of Mexico], Hawaii [Pacific Islands], and Puerto Rico [Caribbean Islands]. 

Overall, the project will provide a better understanding of the interconnections between physical, cultural, social, and economic processes and how they lead to coastal hazards. On top of that, the project will introduce and promote new and existing climate resilience opportunities. 

A Research Project with Incredible Potential 

The significance of the recent Haskell Indian Nations University research funding affects several avenues tied to Native American communities living in coastal areas. 

“The Rising Voices, Changing Coasts hub…is a tremendous step forward in supporting Tribal communities,” Bryan Newland, the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, attests. On top of that, Newland recognizes that it is a “much-needed opportunity for scientists and Indigenous knowledge keepers to collaborate.” 

Another reason the research is so prevalent is that it applies to current situations affecting Native American communities. Climate change affects people worldwide, and the new research that’s soon to be underway will offer solutions to how tribes can adapt to the changing world. 

The new hub will allow Native American students and researchers to help their communities while learning how to conduct scientific research properly. This further encourages more Indigenous students to pursue higher education, which many don’t because of educational or financial disadvantages. 

Lastly, the research funding offers a chance to show how important and beneficial it can be when Tribal organizations build healthy relationships with outside organizations. 

“This award is wonderful and critically important today. It cements Haskell’s leadership role in Indigenous climate change research,” University Foundation Director Aaron Hove says. 

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