GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 220-8
Presentation Time: 3:30 PM


SEMKEN, Steven, School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, PO Box 871404, Tempe, AZ 85287-1404, LONDONO, S. Carolina, School of Earth & Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1404, GARCIA, Angel A., School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287 and BRANDT, Elizabeth, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85281,

Ethnogeology is the scientific study of human relationships with, and human knowledge related to, the Earth system. It is typically conducted in the context of a specific community or cultural group. Ethnogeological research synthesizes methods from geology and field ethnography, and is best conducted through participatory means (community members and cultural experts are co-researchers) to ensure protection of cultural integrity and intellectual property rights. The results of ethnogeologic research conducted in indigenous communities are variously referred to as Native science, traditional knowledge, or traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). Such knowledge is often more in-depth than mainstream science because of its place-based nature. In closes consultation with appropriate cultural experts, ethnogeological findings can and have already been used to inform place-based and culturally inclusive geoscience curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment, in concert with “western” or Euro-American scientific knowledge. Neither domain is considered to validate the other. Instead, both should be synthesized thoughtfully to enhance relevance and interest for culturally diverse students who are often underrepresented in geoscience. We report here on specific examples of applications from ethnogeologic studies in the Southwestern USA and Latin America to place-based curricula and instruction.