Ethnobotany Certificate Program
The Ethnobotany Certificate Program is the first such program in this state and only one of a handful that are currently being offered in the entire United States. Ethnobotany is integral to life in Alaska because it recognizes cultural knowledge and deepens our connection with the expansive and exceptional natural world at our doorstep.
Students enrolled in the EBOT program will learn: basic plant biology & floral ecology of Alaska, economic applications of Ethnobotany, basic applied chemistry of plants, research methods for local specific projects, as well as traditional and new uses of Alaska native plants. These skills will prepare Alaska Native students for employment in wildlife and cultural management agencies, education, and other rural-based jobs, as well as further college milestones such as the Associates and Bachelor’s of
This is the spring section of a year-round course cycle, consisting of two non-sequential applied courses (Fall and Spring) that explore the seasonally-appropriate cultural uses of plants in a native and non-native, mainly Alaskan, context. Emphasis will be placed on the underlying scientific aspects of harvesting and using plants. Students will deepen their understanding of human-plant relationships which will guide them into further studies in ethnobotany and related disciplines.
The vegetation in Alaska is strongly seasonal and so are the activities related to plants harvested from the wild. The activities as well as the context-embedded lectures of the course will be guided by plants available during the second half of the annual vegetation cycle. This includes harvesting, processing and preserving of plants for use during the nongrowing season. The course will provide a space for hands-on exploration of biological, ecological, chemical, and anthropological concepts through the lens of ethnobotany. The cultural aspects of the plant uses addressed will be complemented by their underlying scientific (e.g. ecological, biochemical) principles. The course builds on guided individual projects by the students or a team of students, fostering independent working and creative problem solving as well as discussing results within a group of peers and finally presenting in class or to a wider audience.
Students will begin to learn and understand how plants and plant extracts can be and have been used in Alaska by doing hands-on projects. Through this process, students will learn how to harvest and process Alaskan plants and will become aware of the strong seasonality of plants in Alaska. At the same time, the student will develop the skills to harvest and process a selection of plants in spring growth stages.
Applied Ethnobotany Spring EBOT F293 (syllabus - PDF)
4-H and Ethnobotany
Edie Barbour is preparing a number of after school activity modules for 4-H youth, with an ethnobotany theme. There are thirteen different modules that run the gamut from making a plant press and keeping a plant journal to using twigs and pressed flowers in art projects. Suggestions are included for expanding upon or making changes to the individual modules to suit the youth in the program. There are also links to more information.
Reuniting Little Diomede and Big Diomede
The research being conducted by EBOT Adjunct faculty, Dr. Kevin Jernigan, is included in this article about reuniting the communities of Little Diomede and Big Diomede - formerly separated by political boundaries.
2017 Western Alaska Interdisciplinary Science Conference
The deadline to apply is September 26, 2016. The application and additional information is available on the URSA website at https://ursauaf.wufoo.com/form
This brochure presents an introduction to mushrooms and illustrates a number of the more common and interesting of our local species to help Alaskans and visitors to better understand and enjoy our magnificent national forests. Unlike most plants, birds, and mammals, very few mushrooms have common names. Thus, while we have used common names where they exist, many of the species in this brochure can be referred to only by their scientific names. But, never fear. If you can talk with your kids about Tyrannosaurus rex, you can handle mushroom names.
If the link doesn't take you there automatically, go to:
Wild and Cultivated Berries of Alaska
SNRE Emeritus Professor Pat Holloway will teach a one-credit class this fall called Wild and Cultivated Berries of Alaska. The online six-week class beginsSept. 12 and is an introduction to Alaska wild berries and cultivated fruit crops. Topics in NRM F154 include how to improve wild berry yields, hardy berries, commercial production, diseases, pests, and traditional and modern uses of berries, including strawberries, blueberries, gooseberries, raspberries, currants, cloudberries and more. For more information, contact Holloway at firstname.lastname@example.org or Cathy Donaldson at 474-7188.
Films connect Alaska’s wild plants with traditional uses - description of the film series
Ties to Alaska's Wild Plants - Ethnobotany Film Series
Dreaming about summer? It's time to apply for EBOT 100, Introduction to Ethnobotany!
Registration for the 2016 EBOT 100 summer course is currently closed to all but local (Bethel region students). We are still accepting applications for our waitlist, until 15 May 2016, and encourage students from the Bethel region to apply now to reserve your spot in the roster of this popular course.
Join students from all over Alaska to learn about Ethnobotany: the uses of plants as food, medicine, and in art.
- Take daily field trips out to the tundra to learn the names of our local plants
- Learn from Elders about uses of plants for food and medicine
- Collect, prepare, and eat native wild plant foods & learn how to make fireweed jam
- Create your own grass basket to take home
- Make medicinal plant salves, soap, and natural plant dyes
- Scholarships are available to students enrolled in the certificate program to cover tuition, transportation to and from Bethel, lodging in Sackett hall, food, and course books and materials.
For More Information: email@example.com, 907-474-6935, in Fairbanks, AK.
Read the flyer
Fill out and mail a paper application
Send the paper application to:
- Mail: KuC Summer Ethnobotany 2016, Attn: Rose Meier, PO Box 750140, Fairbanks AK 99775-0140
- Fax: 907-474-5139
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fill out and send an online application
- Note that for the online application, you will need to add a link to your personal statement. You can use Google docs or Dropbox (yes, you can link to the Dropbox file), or something similar. If you need help or have questions, please email email@example.com.
Kevin Curran is a biology professor at USD in San Diego, teaching Cell Biology and an Ethnobotany course. He has recently put together a new ethnobotany website. On this site, he delves into the cultural history and health benefits of various medicinal plants. He also provides a mini-review of the latest clinical results for the science behind the health claims of these plants.
Be sure to scroll through the page to see some exciting information about medicinal plants!
Kayla Scheibl, Ethnobotany exchange student in Hawaii
Kayla is an exchange student at Kauai Community College, in Lihue, HI.
Here's a longer article about Kayla's Kapa-Making Experience
Kayla Scheibl's experience in Hawaii, with Kapa making, traditional Hawaiian bark cloth. Kayla attended a four day workshop to create her own piece of kapa.
|I am grateful to have begun my studies on the island of Kaua'i with the wonderfully complex natural history of Hawai'i. Learning about some of the basics of the geologic history, topography, and climate has helped orient myself within these beautiful islands. Now I am focused on learning more about how the people and plants came to the islands and how they have adapted to their new environments. The class field days have been especially helpful in exemplifying everything I have learned, including the dramatic and sometimes concerning changes humans and introduced species have had on the islands over time.|
I have also had the opportunity to listen to kumus (teachers) and other cultural practitioners about the current and historical uses of local plants. Being given the opportunity to participate in service learning, such as gathering and processing lauhala (Pandanus tectoris) for a fundraising project to fund Hawaiian culture education, has been especially rewarding. I have helped plant endemic and endangered plants on campus. To aid my overall understanding of everything I have learned, I have utilized the following wonderful books: Hawaiian Mythology by Martha Beckwith, Hawaiian Heritage Plants by Angela Kepler, and Kaua'i: Ancient Place Names and Their Stories by Fredrick Wichman.
Check out our new guide to traditional uses of plants for food, medicine and other purposes in our region. We thank the 31 elders from 13 local villages who shared their knowledge and everyone who helped put together this book. This book is still a draft and we are putting it up as web-based document only for a year. We are asking for comments from the public about how we can improve this book.
If there is anything we need to correct or anything you think we should add please email editor Kevin Jernigan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ethnobotany 100 Field Course Pre-class Botany Module
The class EBOT 100, “Introduction to Ethnobotany,” will discuss the relationships between people and plants in the Sitka region as well as other parts of Alaska and the rest of the world. People relate to plants in many ways, for example, by eating them, using them as medicine, naming them and telling stories about them. To give you an idea of the types of things we'll discuss, we have included a few sample pages from our ethnobotany program's upcoming book on the ethnobotany of the Yukon-Kuskokwim region, in Western Alaska. This will give you a feeling for how people of a different region relate to a few species you may also have in your area. Please read the descriptions below of fireweed, Labrador tea and cloud berry. Then you can take a short quiz to see what you learned, and what you already know about plants and the study of how people use them.
Anyone interested in the program is welcome to take the quiz too!