John Norder (MSU NAI Director) and Rebecca Edler (CMN/SDI Sustainability Coordinator) present on the cultural relationship assessment part of the Measuring the Pulse of the Forest project.

On July 29th and 30th, 2015 College of Menominee Nation’s (CMN) Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) hosted a final community workshop on its project titled “Measuring the Pulse of the Forest: Assessing Adaptation and Mitigation of Tribal Sustainable Forestry and Communities to Climate Change.” The workshop held at the Menominee Convention Center provided an overview of this 3-year project

Qwadazi Young, Andrew Levensen, and Anthony Sanapaw present on the work they did during the summer as part of the Ecological Data Collection crew.

which included the development and use of methods to evaluate ecological and cultural impacts that are being associated with climate change. In addition, all of the summer 2015 CMN/SDI student interns presented on their various projects with integrated themes of indigenous planning, including campus sustainability, forestry, agriculture and climate change.


Anthony Sanapaw (CMN Student) discusses the protocol the crew used for re-measuring the teaching plot behind CMN Keshena campus.

The first day focused on the Measuring the Pulse project and its two parts, which were ecological data collection and cultural relationship assessment. Over the last two years, CMN/SDI has learned how to implement a specific protocol for installing climate change monitoring plots.

Brianna Levensen (UW-Platteville) and Keith Kinepoway (CMN student) discuss their poster, which outlined the invasive species and climate change project they worked on under the guidance of MTE Forestry personnel.

The first plot was installed on CMN campus lands for teaching and educational purposes, with two other plots being approved by Menominee Tribal Enterprises for installation on sustained yield lands. The two plots approved by MTE were installed on a recently harvested area and an area to be harvested in the next year. This provides opportunities to evaluate uses for this monitoring protocol for MTE, but also provides CMN/SDI with experience to either continue this work at Menominee and/or share with other Tribes who may be interested. The second part of the project was to work with the community to develop and use an interview protocol for a cultural relationship assessment. This focused on developing questions about community member’s relationship with the forest, how they knew things about the forest, and what they knew about the forest. At the time of the workshop, the results from both parts of the project were still pending final report write ups, which once completed will be housed at the CMN Library.


The Sustainability Leadership Cohort (SLC) presented their news video which highlighted their project related to the theme of “Sustaining the Family”, which was explored both in their own communities and on a trip to Belize.

The second day started off with an overview of the Measuring the Pulse project, and then segued into both oral presentations and a short poster session by all of the CMN/SDI summer 2015 student interns along with students from the CMN Solar Energy Research Institute led by CMN Faculty member Dr. Lisa Bosman.

Corryn Besaw and her mentor Dr. Carolee Dodge Francis pose for a picture after Corryn completed her first presentation.

The CMN/SDI interns during this summer represented a diverse group including students from College of Menominee Nation, UW-Platteville, Arizona State University, Michigan State University, and also included both tribal members, non-tribal members, as well as undergraduate and graduate level students. This included interactions with high school students who were part of the Sustainability Leadership Cohort (SLC) led by CMN/SDI. The workshop included a presentation by Corryn Arthur presenting on her National Institute of Health High School STEP-UP (Short-Term Research Experience for Underrepresented Persons) project, with assistance from her mentor Dr. Carolee Dodge Francis.