How traditional ecological knowledge is shaping Adirondack research

By Chloe Bennett

For decades, the Adirondack Park has housed piles of scientific research on its natural systems. Academic scientists and independent researchers use the park to survey water, forests, animals and more for insights into the constitutionally protected land. But a reckoning with the United States’ past is reshaping the way some think about science.

Two convenings of scientists and educators spotlighted Indigenous voices this month in the High Peaks. Their messages called for respect of traditional knowledge and history, and its inclusion in the broader scientific conversation.

Looking out to a gathering of dozens of North Country researchers, Keeley Jock, the climate justice fellow for the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA), described a wetland project she led that flips federal protection criteria to traditional Indigenous values of the natural systems. Her talk took place at the annual Adirondack Research Consortium in mid-May.

A few days earlier, Neil Patterson Jr., executive director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, called traditional ecological knowledge the twin of Western science during a conference at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake.

Read the full article in the Adirondack Explorer.