We need to understand that education is a tool that can be used to deal with relationships; the basic problems are the social ecology, or how we relate to one another, and physical ecology, or how we relate to the land and resources.
- Dr. Gregory Cajete © 2001
First Nations Initiatives Keynote Address

What is biodiversity?

The term biodiversity is used to describe "the diversity of life on Earth, reflected in the variety of ecosystems and species in their processes and interactions" (World Wildlife Fund). For example, Tribal land containing dozens of culturally significant Native plants-which provide habitat for various species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects—has higher biodiversity than a town with paved streets, nonnative grass, and ornamental shrubs.

Thank you for visiting our website. Native Science Field Programs focus on helping youth create biodiversity profiles for their local community and learn more about native species from scientific, cultural, and linguistic perspectives. Knowing the biodiversity of an area is vital to beginning to understand - and enjoy! - the ecological health of a place including the land, water, and all living things.

Integrating cultural ways of understanding with Western science ecological studies promotes appreciation of and respect for Native American homelands.

Together, tradition and science can achieve healthy and diverse communities for present and future generations.
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Our program is modeled after the successful UrbanWatch citizen science program designed by scientists at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, the Illinois Natural History Survey at the University of Illinois, and the Ecowatch Network. On our Native Science Field Program website you will find background information to orient you to the terminology, science methods, safe practices, and educational activities.

We welcome your
suggestions and feedback.
Please e-mail info@hopamountain.org

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation and the Bush Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recomendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF) or Bush Foundation.

Hopa Mountain