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UTTC's Intertribal Food, Energy, and Water Research and Resource Center


A goal of the Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP) is to increase the intellectual leadership of TCUP institutions so that they can address scientific or engineering needs or interests, specifically for their tribes or communities, or broadly for the Nation. The TCU Enterprise Advancement Centers (TEA Centers) strand allows TCUP institutions to capitalize on their investments in STEM instructional and research capacity. This project aligns directly with that goal, and moreover will have a direct impact on tribal communities in the areas of food, energy, and water resources. UTTC is inherently intertribal and is uniquely positioned to serve many tribes through the development of an Intertribal Research and Resource Center (IRRC). Moreover, given that these factors are amplified in the Northern Plains where natural and anthropogenic changes to the environmental, extreme and variable weather fluctuations, and stressed food systems are becoming more common and apparent, this work could serve as an international model for indigenous or rural communities. <br/><br/>The IRRC will expand UTTC's record of serving the Northern Plains as a research and training center and will operate on the four core activities of Research, Outreach, Training, and Education (ROTE). To meet the needs of our communities, the following goals will be met: 1) establish the Intertribal Research & Resource Center at UTTC, (2) develop the institutional and regional capacity for applying science to address community needs, and (3) enhance tribal natural resource and agricultural sustainability. The IRRC will be immediately transformative for the institution, allowing research faculty positions for the first time, a sustainable STEM research and outreach model, and a coordinated interdisciplinary approach to research, outreach, teaching, and education. The IRRC will conduct research and provide training and assistance to tribes in planning and managing multiple resources. A cohesive structure, strong institutional commitment, focus on communication and community resilience, and tiered oversight, including a full time center director will allow the IRRC to operate efficiently and effectively. A focus on sustainability will enhance research productivity, collaborations, strategic planning, and partnerships.<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Jeremy Guinn
United Tribes Technical College
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