FEATURE STORY

National Science Foundation Announces New TCUP Funding Opportunities

Guidelines for funding through the National Science Foundation’s Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP) have been released, effective for all proposals submitted after January 25, 2016.

According to NSF guidelines, TCUP awards are made to “Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaska Native-serving institutions, and Native Hawaiian-serving institutions to promote high quality science (including sociology, psychology, anthropology, economics, statistics, and other social and behavioral sciences as well as natural sciences and education disciplines), technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, research, and outreach.”

Several new and expanding opportunities are now available to these tribal and native-serving institutions, including:

  • The PArtnerships for Geoscience Education (PAGE), which “provides support for collaborations that will improve TCUP institutions’ instructional capacity in geosciences;” and
  • The Partnerships for Documentary Linguistics Education (PADLE), which “provides support for collaborations that will improve TCUP institutions’ instructional capacity in documentary linguistics” including work in “descriptive linguistics, computational methodology, archiving and preservation.”

Additionally, the National Science Foundation announced Phase II of the Pre-engineering Education Collaboratives (PEEC). While Phase I supported development of pre-engineering degree programs within tribal colleges, the focus of Phase II is on research. According to the NSF, it will “support studies or educational research conducted by institutions that have had active PEEC awards.”

Information about these and other TCUP funding strands can be found at http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5483

Student Research

A Comparison of the Antimicrobial Activities of Cultivated Echinacea angustifolia (Purple Coneflower) versus Wild E. angustifolia

Ech2Marlee Finley, Levi Binstock, and Mandy Guinn
Environmental Science Department, United Tribes Technical College, Bismarck, ND 58504

Abstract

Medicinal plants have been have been used for centuries to treat various diseases across the world. While plant extracts have been used to synthesize modern commercial drugs, so far only a small percent of traditionally prescribed plant medicines have been studied for their therapeutic value. In recent years, the American public has become enamored with herbal remedies, yet there continues to be a relative scarcity of scientific research. Echinacea (purple coneflower) has received global attention because of its potential for medicinal value. Extensive laboratory and clinical research on Echinacea angustifolia in the last few years in Germany has confirmed its immunostimulatory, antiviral, and antibacterial benefit to humans. The purpose of this study is to use the agar-well diffusion method to compare antimicrobial activity of cultivated and wild E. angustifolia. We hypothesize that cultivated E. angustifolia will show more antimicrobial activity against five different strains of bacteria (two Gram-negative, three Gram-positive) due to being cultivated under ideal conditions.

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Field Notes: The Native Science Report Blog

Student Research Featured in NSF Publication

By looking for signs of life in silt samples, including fly larvae, NSF-supported researchers at Aaniiih Nakoda College can gauge the health of a stream that flows into the Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana. Runoff from a gold mine left the stream polluted with heavy metals. Credit: Rob Margetta, NSF

By looking for signs of life in silt samples, including fly larvae, NSF-supported researchers at Aaniiih Nakoda College can gauge the health of a stream that flows into the Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana. Runoff from a gold mine left the stream polluted with heavy metals.
Credit: Rob Margetta, NSF

Undergraduate research projects at two tribal colleges are currently featured in Discoveries, the National Science Foundation’s news outlet, which spotlights exemplary programs funded by the federal agency.

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United Tribes Technical College named a “Tree Campus USA”

TreeCampus

United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, North Dakota is the first tribal college in the country to be a “Tree Campus USA” site. The designation came May 6 from three of the nation’s major tree planting organizations involved with the program: the Arbor Day Foundation of Nebraska, the USDA Forest Service, and the National Association of State Foresters.

“United Tribes really stands out,” said State Forester Larry Kotchman of the North Dakota Forest Service. “The community forest you’ve established on the campus…is a perfect backdrop to highlight educational opportunities here, and they really contribute to a better quality of life for all who live and learn and visit here.”

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