Restoration and Reciprocity: Finding Common Ground Between Traditional and Scientific Knowledge
Robin Wall Kimmerer, State University of New York
Dr. Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, writer and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York and the founding director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment whose mission is to create programs which draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability. Her research interests include the role of traditional ecological knowledge in ecological restoration and building resilience for climate change. In collaboration with tribal partners, she and her students have an active research program in the ecology and restoration of plants of cultural significance to Native people. She strives to broaden access to environmental science training for Native students, and to introduce the benefits of traditional ecological knowledge to the scientific community, in a way that respects and protects indigenous knowledge. Robin is an enrolled member of the Citizen Band Potawatomi. Her writings include the books "Gathering Moss" and "Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants" which incorporate both traditional indigenous knowledge and scientific perspectives. She holds a PhD in botany from the University of Wisconsin and is the author of numerous scientific papers on plant ecology, bryophyte ecology, traditional knowledge and restoration ecology. She is the co-founder and past president of the Traditional Ecological Knowledge section of the Ecological Society of America. She lives on an old farm in upstate New York, tending gardens both cultivated and wild.