Aug 19

Adam’s Corn(er): Episode 4

In this video, Adam gives us an update on the progress of the corn and gives us an overall idea of what you’d have to do to maintain a research garden.

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Aug 06

SLC Family Night!

by Marissa Vele

On August 1st the Sustainability Leadership Cohort (SLC) got to show off all of their hard work from this summer at a community STEM Family Night. The event was well attended from the community. Guests were introduced to the SLC program and were fed delicious food before they had the opportunity to go around and visit each of the student’s activities. The SLC activities were; the oil spill challenge, sensory bottles, aqua sand, lava lamps, eco fish filter, water filters, and rain in a cup. Each group did a tremendous job presenting their activities to the families and we are proud of all of them. At the end of the night the students were recognized for completing the program and were given certificates. The summer is still not over for the SLC, in a couple of weeks they will have the opportunity to attend AlterNATIVE. This is a week long program put on by Columbia University college students at the CMN campus and focuses on topics such as Native History, colonialism, historical trauma, and college prep. 

The students made videos and those can be seen here: SLC 2019 Summer playlist

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Aug 01

It’s Always Sunny in State College: ViFF Season 2, Vlog 6

This week, the ViFF interns try to remember their first week at Penn State. They can’t tell what day they happened to meet up with Amy and Casey, if they went to the Dreamery, or where Jacob took them on their tour of the campus. Watch this week’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia inspired vlog to see if they figure it out.



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Jul 25

Field Trips, Interviews and Shipping Out: ViFF Season 2, B/Vlog 5

This week, the interns went off to Menominee, Michigan, with the Sustainable Leadership Cohort to visit some important locations to the Menominee people, including the site where Aquila resources is trying to build the Back 40 Mine. The team also interviewed Jeff Grignon at Noseum Lake about the 2007 tornado, making that their second and final interview needed for the VR application. Then, to wrap it all up, the team packed for their upcoming trip to Penn State where they’ll continue their work. But that’s only part of the story; watch this week’s vlog to get the full scoop.

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Jul 19

Adam’s Corn(er) Episode 3: Fun with Fish Fertilizer!


This week, Adam applies fish emulsion to the research garden. Why would he do that? Find out on this special two-part episode of Adam’s Corn(er)!



Part two can be found here: Part 2

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Jul 18

SLC Week in Review: Bridge-Building and Water Teachings

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

By Deidre Caldwell

Today the SLC students had fun with our Stem Collaborator Jennifer Morris.  We went over to the CMN Campus Commons where the students were able to explore different STEM activities.  The Stem activities were:


  • 1. Engineering Connection – The Students were given cards with different kinds of engineers and different kinds of engineered products.  The students then matched the product cards to the corresponding engineers.
  • 2. Arches – The students built a straight bridge and an arched bridge. The students tested each bridge by seeing which bridge held the most erasers.
  • 3. Learning From Failure – The students designed boats out of tinfoil.  Then the students tested their boats by seeing how many pennies the boats could hold.  Raymond’s boat won with holding 89 pennies!
  • 4. Domino Diving Board – The students built a ledge out of dominos to see how big and far the ledge could get.  
  • 5. Measure Your Bubble – Students blew bubbles and then measured and compared the buggles.  Catishe created the largest bubble with a diameter of 12 inches.
  • 6. Boxing Beans – The students created square, rectangle, triangle packages out of paper and competed to see how many beans could be held in each.  
  • 7. Inspired by Nature – The students were given human produced item cards and nature produced item cards.  Then they grouped the cards by their similarities.  
  • 8. Let’s Communicate – The students were grouped into two.  Then they sat down across from each other with boxes in front of them with legos inside.  Each person had the same amount and kind of legos. One person built something and then verbally described what they built to their partner.  Their partner tried to build the other persons structure with the verbal directions. The partner was also not able to ask questions.  


The students had a lot of fun exploring the STEM fair and participated in all of the activities.  Some of the favorites were the Let’s Communicate Station, the Measure Your Bubble station and the Learning From Failure station.  This STEM fair was a perfect example for the cohort to experience what they will be doing for their final projects at the end of the program.  

Thursday, July 11, 2019

By Marissa Vele

Today we started off our day by going to Mawaw-ceseniyah to work on our water canteen gourds with Ben Grignon. For this project, the SLC students are painting or carving their gourds and then cleaning the insides out. The next step is coating them with beeswax and adding a carrying strap. Once all those steps are completed, the canteens should be ready for use! Our afternoon consisted of taking a tour of a wellhouse, water tower, and water reservoir in Shawano with Patrick Bergner, the Water Foreman for the city’s Department of Public Works. On our tour the SLC learned the role of each place and why it is important for the city. Did you know that Shawano uses 1.2 million gallons of water per day? This was an interesting end to another busy week with the SLC and it solidified the fact that water is important for all and we must protect it as best we can. After all, nepew pemateset, water is life!

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Jul 17

Planting the Seed: SDI Phenology Team Shares Their Knowledge

The Summer 2019 Phenology Team. From left to right: Kayla Cleveland, Sharissa Grignon, and Luke Perez. Not pictured: Brandon Boyd

By Kayla Cleveland

Upon starting the Phenology Internship, it was really hard to tell a group of people what phenology is and the important role it plays within the Menominee Nation.  The computer research that I had done to mentally prepare myself for Earth Day at the College of Menominee Nation was not enough and the amount of questions I had was very overwhelming at times. 

It wasn’t until the first time that I went out into the forest to experience phenology that I finally understood. 

Phenology is all around us. It doesn’t run on Indian Time– phenology is the time that Mother Nature runs on. Its indicators help to clue us in on the changes that are happening all around us. These changes may start as a bud sprouting from the ground, or a robin laying its eggs. As these changes are tracked over time, one will begin to see the changes, or the effects that our actions are having on the environment and the climate. 

Being out in the woods is an exhilarating feeling, minus the swarms of mosquitoes that we may encounter. We are taught to be aware of our surroundings, because you never know what will be lurking around that shrub. Another thing that we are taught is to step lightly, meaning watch where you step. All the plants that we follow are critical in our research, one wrong step and the plant is done for. 

One of the most important aspects in our research is to determine whether or not our indicator plants are being affected negatively or positively. Because we are halfway through our third year of research, it is still too early to determine how any of these indicator plants are being affected. By the end of the summer we should have further results. 

Throughout the summer, we have had many opportunities to share what we are learning with the younger generations by giving tours on the CMN learning path. This gives each of us an opportunity to help reflect on the knowledge that we have learned. At the same time, it also gives us the opportunity to inform the younger generations of the opportunities they have sitting right in their backyards. 

On a personal level, this internship has sparked my interest in plants. I was always extremely skeptical about plants because I could never keep them alive. So I took it upon myself to plant some flowers. You could not imagine my excitement when I seen little green stems sprouting from the soil. At this point in my plants life, it is at the fruiting stage, and this is by far the longest I have ever kept a plant alive. At some point I plan on transplanting it outside, but I will keep you posted. 

Since learning about phenology I tend to take a little more time walking outside. I take more time to, “stop and smell the roses” as some would say (not literally, I don’t live near any rose bushes.) I take more time enjoying the plants, because they are a life all on their own. This internship has so far, been a great experience! I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for SDI phenology future. 


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Jul 17

Bonus!: ViFF Vlog 4.1

As a bonus treat, the ViFF crew has an extra posting for this week.


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Jul 16

Back to the Lab: ViFF Season 2, Ep 4

In this shortened week, the interns did some lab work. The team was split up and took on individual projects in CMN’s Mac Lab. Evelynn and Amy compiled a list of 50 identified plants from the 360 locations and their uses. Matthew listened back to the audio of last week’s interview and transcribed what everyone said in 2 days. Jacob spent his time fixing up last year’s VR app and implementing a new user interface (UI). With everyone working on their own projects this week, who was left to do the B/Vlog? Well, on Monday, the ViFF team welcomed back a familiar face. Watch this week’s Vlog to get all the details!


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Jul 15

Where It All Began: SLC trip to Marinette



On July 8th, the SLC students had the opportunity to travel up to the mouth of the bay where the Menominee People originally started in Marinette, Wisconsin for the No Back 40 Mine project. We stopped at seven known locations of garden beds, caches (storage of food for winter), burial mounds, dug up burial mounds, the spirit rock, ceremonial circle dance rings, the Oxbow where the first General Council meeting was held to determine the clans, also other stops. We also went down to the lake where we were greeted by a sturgeon. It was good to see our future generations coming together and remembering our ancestors. As the day was coming to an end and we were heading home, on the side of the road a huge beautiful eagle flew up out of the ditch and flew right next to the bus and looked in at all of us.! Such an amazing sight and feeling to have experienced. ❤️

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