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U.S. Geological Survey Activities Related to American Indians and Alaska Natives
Fiscal Year 1998

Table of Contents | Tribal Governments | Organizations/Events | States | Introduction | Education | Environment | Resources | Technical Assistance | General Coordination and Policy | Future Opportunities | Contacts |

General Coordination and Policy Activities

American Indian Science & Engineering Society. USGS American Indian employees are participating in the planning of the American Indian Science & Engineering Society's (AISES) 20th Annual National conference to be held in Denver on December 3-5, 1998. AISES is a non-profit organization that promotes the college education of young Native Americans in the sciences and engineering and aids in professional development of Native American scientists and engineers. The USGS employees are assisting in planning the conference and conference program, participating in the traditional foods and tours committees, and chairing of the equipment committee. One of the USGS employees is also a member of the AISES Government Relations Board, a board that provides personal and professional links with Federal agencies. USGS employees also regularly participate in the Native American Science and Engineering Fair in Albuquerque each year as judges and exhibitors. The Fair provides opportunities for mentorship and guidance about careers in the earth science and environmental fields. Contact: Maria Montour, 303-236-2787, mmontour@usgs.gov

American Indian Program Council (AIPC). The USGS has participated in the American Indian Program Council through a member of its Central Region Mineral Resources Team. The AIPC is an interagency team of Federal representatives who meet quarterly to discuss and resolve issues involving recruitment and retention of Indian employees in Federal service. The USGS formed a Recruitment Team that is visiting Indian and other institutions to encourage students to pursue careers in science with the USGS. Contact: Maria Montour, 303-236-2787, mmontour@usgs.gov

Southwest Strategy. The Southwest Strategy is a commitment by Federal agencies involved in natural resources management to collaborate with each other, the public, and Tribal, State, and local governments to maintain and restore the cultural, economic, and environmental quality of life in Arizona and New Mexico. Arizona and New Mexico have large expanses of public and Tribal lands intermingled with private lands, fast growing metropolitan centers, scarce water resources, unique cultural resources, diverse and fragile ecosystems with numerous endangered species, and many competing demands on public lands and water resources. The Strategy will address community development and natural resources conservation and management within the jurisdictions of the involved Federal agencies. It will be scientifically-based, legally defensible, and feasible.

The USGS is helping to guide the Southwest Strategy (SWS) by:

Continuing Cooperatiion With the Pueblo of Zuni. In past years, the Pueblo of Zuni has participated in the USGS' Gap Analysis Project in New Mexico. In Fiscal Year 1998, USGS scientists from the New Mexico Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit met with Zuni representatives to identify areas of potential joint research. Contact: New Mexico Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, 505-646-6053, bthompson@nmsu.edu

Electronic Communication Improvement. The USGS' Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center began a 3-year project to enhance communication between USGS scientists and Tribal natural resource managers. The project will eventually include five southwestern Tribes. Current efforts involve the Havasupai Tribe. The Science Center has assisted the Tribe in establishing e-mail capability. Work is continuing on the Tribal Information and Technology Enhancement Project begun in 1997; sources for funding and network hardware are being sought. Fifty personal computers, network hardware, and a technical team to install the hardware have been secured for the Tribe from Oracle's Promise, the philanthropic unit of the Oracle Corporation. Contact: Director, Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Corvallis, Oregon, 541-750-7307, or, in Arizona, 520-556-7466, michael_rhodes@usgs.gov

Nevada Cultural Awareness Training. District staff members involved in water-quality and sediment sampling in the Bryant Creek drainage received cultural resources training from the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California. This training gave the staff a better understanding of the importance of plants, biota, and other resources for which there are continuing traditional uses. Contact: Jon Nowlin, 775-887-7600, jonowlin@usgs.gov

Cooperative Data Project in Alaska. The USGS, along with other Department of the Interior (DoI) bureaus, signed a charter document for the Native Allotment Data Collection and Access Project (NADCAP). The charter provides a framework to ensure that, in Alaska, DoI bureaus and Native governments collaboratively share in the benefits and costs of acquiring geospatial and informational data specific to the State. Contact: Gordon Nelson, 907-786-7111, glnelson@usgs.gov

Rural Partnerships. USGS also gave a brief presentation to the Alaska Governor's Commission on Rural Governance and Empowerment. The USGS described our Alaska mission and how our operations impact Alaska tribal entities. The USGS also inquired about potential partnerships within Alaska Native communities. Contact: Gordon Nelson, 907-786-7111, glnelson@usgs.gov

Employment Opportunities in Alaska. The USGS is negotiating with the Douglas Indian Association Tribal Government to hire a student hydrology technician. Several meetings were also held with the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska to discuss student employment. Contact: Gordon Nelson, 907-786-7111, glnelson@usgs.gov

The contacts provided in the report were accurate at the time of publication. Please refer to the USGS Employee Directory or the Office of Tribal Relations contact page if you require information about a specific activity.

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