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Climate + Native American Leaders

Climate Connections: Stories about Climate Change Work with Native American Leaders

July 26th, 8:30 - 10:00 am
The Good Acre
1790 Larpenteur Ave. West
Falcon Heights MN, 55113

The Center for Changing Landscape’s summer 2018 Climate Connections gathering is an opportunity to hear stories and perspectives, and engage in a conversation with three locally based Native American leaders involved in local or regional environmental and climate change work.


Sara Smith  is the Midwest Tribal Resilience Liaison with the College of Menominee Nation as part of the Sustainable Development Institute. She is a direct descendent of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and is stationed at the US Forest Service’s Northern Forest Research Station on the University of Minnesota campus in St. Paul, Minnesota. As the liaison for this region, she works on facilitating stronger relationships between Tribes, climate researchers, and the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center. Through her work she provides Tribal communities with support and assistance in regards to climate resilience and adaptation efforts by identifying and addressing research gaps in climate, natural, and cultural resources to help improve outreach and build capacity.


Francis Bettelyoun, Coordinator of the University of Minnesota Native Medicine Gardens (NAMG).

Francis is a Native Master Gardener and a descendant of the Lakota and Nakota tribes. He is also an expert in the integration of cultural and traditional practices of emotional healing. As the Coordinator of the NAMG, he works with hundreds of student and community volunteers to plant and maintain the gardens, perform informal research, facilitate phenology observations and community conversations about phenology and climate change. He also goes into Minnesota classrooms to teach about issues of food sovereignty and self-preservation.


Robert Blake, Robert works for Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light Just Solar program, recruiting solar garden subscribers and developing our solar workforce development program. Robert is a graduate student in the Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership program at Metropolitan State University. He is also an enrolled tribal member of the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe Indians. He is also the owner of a solar installation company called Solar Bear - the Ojibwe pronunciation is (Gizisomakwa). His passion is spreading the word of renewable energy through communication, cooperation, and collaboration. 

Coffee, rolls, and fruit will be provided!

On the Boards at the Center

June 26, 2018

Congratulations to Center for Changing Landscapes researcher, Amit Pradhananga, for the recent publication in Open Rivers journal, in which he was a contributing author! Read the article here to learn about the work being done by the University of Minnesota, with the help of the farming community, to improve agricultural practices and water quality simultaneously.

May 21, 2018

What makes water conservation efforts successful? Director of the Center for Changing Landscapes, Mae Davenport, points out in a recent Star Tribune article that it "is not to tell the landowner what to do...It’s building capacity and building community around conservation.” While some are finding water quality improvements hard to see, Scott county has experienced success in their water conservation strategy that was built on years of landowner surveys and social science research by Dr. Davenport. To learn more about the history and challenges of Minnesota's water conservation efforts and where we are heading, you can access the article here!

September 9, 2017

Mae Davenport, Director of the Center for Changing Landscapes, interviewed with MN North Shore's WTIP to discuss her integrative research project assessing the affects of climate change to nature-based tourism on the North Shore. Listen to the interview by clicking here!

September 5, 2017

Karen Lutsky, Assistant Professor of landscape architecture and member of the Great Lakes Design Lab, recently published an article in Places journal titled, "Curious Methods: On the mud flat of the Great Salt Lake, in search of a landscape practice that 'probes' but does not 'prove.'" To access the full article, click here and enjoy!

May 25, 2017

An interview with the Director of the Center for Changing Landscapes, Mae Davenport, was featured in the North Dakota Soybean Grower magazine. The article highlights one of Dr. Davenport's projects located in the Red River Basin and discusses what drives and constrains landowners and farmers when making conservation decisions.

To learn more about landowners' and farmers' values, beliefs, norms and behaviors regarding water and conservation decisions in the Red River Basin, click here to access the full article and scroll to pages 30-32. 

March 7, 2017

The Center for Changing Landscapes is excited to announce Director, Mae Davenport's, new e-book titled, Inspiring Actiorn for Nonpoint Source Pollution Control: A Manual for Water Resource Protection

Inspiring Action lays out a new approach for water resource protection, informed by systems thinking and a model of community capacity.  The manual draws upon decades of engagement in conservation management and years of applied research on conservation behavior. The guiding principles presented in Inspiring Action are backed by the latest social science and have been field-tested in Minnesota. Inside, you will find statistics, stories, and strategies that are useful in project design and evaluation, as well as leveraging support for conservation programming. 

To gain access to this innovative resource, click here for a free download! 

December 14, 2016:

Center for Changing Landscapes project "Building Climate Readiness on Minnesota's North Shore" was featured in Wilderness News' 2016 Fall issue. The project aims to understand climate readiness within North Shore communities, and to assess and build the capcity of these communities and resource management agencies to adapt to climate change.

June, 2015:

The University of Minnesota’s Center for Changing Landscapes will conduct a survey using funding from a state proposal  passed earlier this month. Researchers hope to use the survey’s findings to create recommendations that will boost park attendance and make park amenities more consistent across the state.... “The foundation of the project is an interest in connecting people and the outdoors,” Center director and the project’s lead Mae Davenport said. The University has been working on the questionnaire for the last two years, Davenport said. The same survey will be used in the entire state.
MN Daily