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U.S. Geological Survey Activities Related to American Indians and Alaska Natives
Fiscal Year 2000

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Highlights of Fiscal Year 2000

Cooperation among Native American governments and the U.S. Geological Survey builds Tribal capabilities to more effectively manage Tribal resources and to improve the elementary and secondary education of future generations of Tribal leaders. Here are some highlights from Federal Fiscal Year 2000.

Sinte Gleska Agreement
The President of Sinte Gleska University and the Director of U.S. Geological Survey signed a historic agreement to work together to improve science education for Native students. Sinte Gleska's Baccalaureate of Science Degree is being supported by USGS technology and professional development available through the USGS' EROS Data Center. Both parties to the agreement intend this to be a mutually beneficial relationship that will help train Tribal students for data management careers. Acknowledgements to: Eugene Napier, 605-594-6088, or James Rattling Leaf, 605-856-4262;

Tribal Hydrology Workshop
Meeting Tribal needs while exhibiting a "Can do!" spirit, the USGS' Maine Water Resources District hosted a workshop on measuring stream flows. Maine Tribes had expressed interest in learning USGS hydrologic techniques, yet travel costs are an obstacle to Tribal participation in training at the USGS Training Center in Denver, Colorado, or in Water Resources Technician Training Courses, sponsored by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Tribal officials worked with the USGS District staff to create a useful and successful workshop. USGS learned more about the needs of Tribal resource personnel. Based on the comments provided by participants, the USGS hopes to improve future versions of the course. Acknowledgements to: Robert Lent, 207-622-8201,

Public Health Concern
A cooperative scientific project became a means of communicating economic and health concerns to the media. The Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe and the USGS are working together to learn about the bacterial contamination of shellfish that closed a shellfish fishery that is of significant economic importance to the Tribe. To publicize the fact that the contamination is a manageable problem, the Tribe and USGS invited reporters to a suspended-sediment sampling site to reassure the public that the contamination problem is being effectively and appropriately handled. Acknowledgements to: John M. Clemens, 253-428-3600, ext. 2635,

Soil Science for Future Resource Managers
Teachers of Ute Mountain Ute and Navajo students are working with USGS scientists on a curriculum project designed to improve the health of Native rangelands. Soils on the lands of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and the Navajo Nation have suffered significant damage from grazing animals. A curriculum is being created for Ute and Navajo grade-school students, integrating biological and earth sciences to explain soil crusts and the crucial roles they play in the ecosystems of the Four Corners region. The scientific information blends with Native conservation to help guide the future land stewards. This project intends to inspire students to bring their expertise to the community. Students are being encouraged to seek further formal education leading to careers in science. Acknowledgements to: Jayne Belnap, 434-719-2333,

Changing Climate at Hopi Buttes
Arid climate and increasing population combine to pose unique problems in the Hopi Buttes region of Arizona. Native knowledge and oral traditions are being integrated into a USGS project on changing climate in the Hopi Buttes region. Information on past and modern geology and ecology of the region is being supported by the history of land use, supplied by members of the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe. The project is being conducted collaboratively with Tribal participants. A workshop involving Navajo and Hopi governmental agencies, educational institutions, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs was held in Fiscal Year 2000. Acknowledgements to: Margaret Hiza Redsteer, 303-236-0075,

The contacts provided in the report were accurate at the time of publication. Please refer to the USGS Employee Directory or the Office of Tribal Relations contact page if you require information about a specific activity.

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