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UM News
February 14, 2013


Award-winning author and scientist Robin Kimmerer will give a public lecture at The University of Montana at 10 a.m. Friday, March 1, in the University Center Theater. Her talk, “Renewing Reciprocity: Traditional Knowledge and Restoration,” will explore ecological knowledge of indigenous peoples and how it might guide the science of ecological restoration. The event is free and open to the public.

Kimmerer is a professor of environmental biology at the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York.  She is the founding director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment and the author of “Gathering Moss,” for which she was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing in 2005.

Kimmerer will serve as a mentor for the third annual Native Science Fellows Gathering at UM. Hopa Mountain, a Bozeman-based nonprofit organization, and the Blackfeet Native Science Field Center at Blackfeet Community College organize the program.

The program provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to participate with community-based science organizations in an effort to increase their engagement in higher education and geosciences careers. The Native American Natural Resources Program in the College of Forestry and Conservation hosts UM’s Native Science Fellows. The Native Science Fellows program currently supports 20 American Indian students that attend UM, Montana State University-Bozeman, Blackfeet Community College, Salish Kootenai College, and Little Big Horn Community College.

In collaboration with tribal partners, Kimmerer has an active research program in the ecology and restoration of plants of cultural significance to Native people. She is active in efforts to broaden access to environmental science training for Native American students. She has served as a writer-in-residence at the Long Term Ecological Reflections, the Blue Mountain Center, the Sitka Center and the Mesa Refuge.

Her second book is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions, “Braiding Sweetgrass.”  Her literary essays appear in Whole Terrain, Adirondack Life, Orion and several anthologies. Kimmerer is the co-founder and past president of the Traditional Ecological Knowledge section of the Ecological Society of America. She is an enrolled member of the Citizen Band Potawatomi.

For more information about the lecture or the Native Science Fellows program, call Hopa Mountain at 406-586-2455, email or call Native American Natural Resources Program Leader Rachel Smith at 406-243-5561 or email





Contact: Rachel Smith, Native American Natural Resources Program leader, UM College of Forestry and Conservation, 406-243-5561,