Based on indigenous and place-based "ways of knowing," this course (1) presents a theoretical and humanistic framework from which to understand generation of ecological knowledge; (2) examines processes by which to engage indigenous and place-based knowledge of natural resources, the nonhuman environment, and human-environment interactions; and (3) reflects upon the relevance of this knowledge to climatic change, resource extraction, food sovereignty, medicinal plant biodiversity, and issues of sustainability and conservation. The fundamental premise of this course is that human beings are embedded in their ecological systems.
To appreciate natural resource development from a human ecological perspective;
To apply the interdisciplinary lens of human ecology to understand human and environmental relations;
To appreciate the complex interconnectivity between the ecological and the cultural;
To comprehend that individual actions informed by cultural systems manifest themselves in social structures that rely on ecological foundations;
To extend the notion of transdisciplinary to include indigenous and place-based knowledge;
To situate indigenous and local knowledge within a humanistic framework of knowledge generation;
To illustrate the participatory and experiential basis of indigenous and place-based knowledge;
To propose a method best suited for researching such knowledge processes; and
To value the contributions of indigenous and place-based knowledge in the context of socio-cultural and environmental change and natural resource utilization.