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Measuring the Pulse of the Forest


Forest ecosystems are experiencing accelerating levels of environmental alteration associated with climate change. These changes could have serious outcomes for forest ecosystem structure and function, as well as the people that live in and/or depend on the forest. These concerns affect all habitats and cultures worldwide, but potentially have a disparate impact on Indigenous communities because of their dependence on geographically-fixed Tribal lands. The health and long-term survival of Indigenous communities in a changing climate will thus require knowledge and technology transfer between scientists and Native communities.
The focus of this project involves establishing a series of one-hectare monitoring plots on the Menominee Nation’s forest lands to collect and analyze critical information on biological, physical, cultural, and social dynamics and relationships in forested ecosystems. Our project forms a unique partnership between College of Menominee Nation, the Smithsonian Institution, and Michigan State University to bring together faculty, staff, and students from land grant institutions to work with Smithsonian scientists and scholars. Through this partnership we seek to evaluate how sustainable forest management paradigms affect the resiliency of forests to both anticipated and unanticipated climatic variation on the Menominee Forest; a forest which has been intensively managed through a culturally driven approach to sustainable forest management for over 150 years. READ MORE…

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