If you are American Indian and are interested in the natural world and Native culture, you should consider joining our team of Native research scientists, educators and physicians on a scientific and cultural expedition. The program provides out-of-the-classroom, hands-on experiences that will strengthen your knowledge of science, medicine and Native cultures. We will work with you to build professional and tribal networks in science, medicine and culture. Ultimately, you will learn how Native cultures complement the natural world and medicine while creating lifelong, professional networks and friendships. To this end, the program will provide guidance for your career choices and strengthen your cultural background. This year, we plan to explore two unique ecoregions within the Basin and Range Province of North America: Central Basin and Range (Great Basin Desert) and Mojave Basin and Range (Mojave Desert).
We will visit famous vertebrate localities, collect vertebrate fossil remains (e.g., horse, rhinos, camels and bone crushing dogs) that are about 16 million years old, visit museums and archeological sites and learn about the history and culture of the Native people that inhabited these regions over the past 10,000 years. You will learn about the modern plants and animals that occur in the Great Basin and Mojave deserts.
If you are interested in learning about the vertebrate fossils, natural history and Native culture and traditions of the Basin and Range Province of North America, this scientific expedition is for you. You may be eligible to earn three hours of college credit. The program will run from May 23 – June 3, 2016. The deadline for application materials and letter of support is March 15th, 2016 (received). Successful participants will be notified by email by April 15, 2016.
Activities will begin on the campus of Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences (OSU-CHS) in Tulsa, Okla. and include exploring anatomy by comparing diseased and normal organs (lungs, hearts, brains, bones). Participants will learn how to identify fossil remains and will be introduced to tools used by vertebrate paleontologists. Physicians and medical students will interact with the participants to teach them about healthful lifestyles and medicine. The on-campus activities will be followed by a scientific excursion. Native traditions and culture will be an integral part of this program.
Participants will work side-by-side with Native research scientists from OSU-CHS, the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History and other natural history museums to learn about vertebrate paleontology and natural history. Archeologists, geologists and biologists from the U.S.D.A. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management will introduce participants to protocols used for the management of natural resources and the preservation and protection of historic sites as well as possible career opportunities and internships.
The primary objectives of the Native Explorers Program are to promote and increase the number of American Indians in science and medicine. This opportunity will expose participants to careers in graduate and medical programs, federal programs (e.g., U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management) and state agencies.
• 18 years of age (minimum)
• Enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe
• Earned high school diploma, equivalent (e.g., GED) or approval of selection committee at time of participation in program
• Good academic background (grades and service). Grades will be considered but will not be a limiting factor for a successful applicant
• Interest in learning, especially sciences and medicine
• Active member of affiliated tribe (traditional). Individuals lacking this criteria but interested in learning traditional ways may be considered
• Letter of reference from an academic instructor
• Applicant is responsible for transportation to and from OSU-CHS
• Physician’s release form signed by licensed physician (for selected participants only)