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La Conner, WA, United States

Donatuto J.L.,Swinomish Indian Tribal Community | Donatuto J.L.,University of British Columbia | Satterfield T.A.,University of British Columbia | Gregory R.,Decision Research
Health, Risk and Society | Year: 2011

Current United States government risk assessment and management regulations fail to consider Native American definitions of health or risk. On the invitation of the Coast Salish Swinomish Indian Tribal Community of Washington State, this study examines local meanings of health in reference to seafood where contamination of their aquatic natural resources has been found. By conducting two series of interviews with Swinomish seafood consumers, experts and elders, the study allowed interviewees to provide a more complete picture of the implications of seafood contamination alongside consumption habits within the community. Study results demonstrate that seafood represents a symbolic, deeply meaningful food source that is linked to a multi-dimensional 'Swinomish' concept of health. A health evaluation tool using descriptive scaled rankings was devised to clarify non-physiological health risks and impacts in relation to contaminated seafood. Findings demonstrate that food security, ceremonial use, knowledge transmission, and community cohesion all play primary roles in Swinomish definitions of individual and community health and complement physical indicators of health. Thus, to eat less seafood (as prescribed on the basis of current physiological measures) may actually be detrimental to the Swinomish concept of health. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

Dayton P.K.,University of California at San Diego | Kim S.,Moss Landing Marine Laboratories | Jarrell S.C.,University of California at San Diego | Oliver J.S.,Moss Landing Marine Laboratories | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Polar ecosystems are sensitive to climate forcing, and we often lack baselines to evaluate changes. Here we report a nearly 50-year study in which a sudden shift in the population dynamics of an ecologically important, structure-forming hexactinellid sponge, Anoxycalyx joubini was observed. This is the largest Antarctic sponge, with individuals growing over two meters tall. In order to investigate life history characteristics of Antarctic marine invertebrates, artificial substrata were deployed at a number of sites in the southern portion of the Ross Sea between 1967 and 1975. Over a 22-year period, no growth or settlement was recorded for A. joubini on these substrata; however, in 2004 and 2010, A. joubini was observed to have settled and grown to large sizes on some but not all artificial substrata. This single settlement and growth event correlates with a region-wide shift in phytoplankton productivity driven by the calving of a massive iceberg. We also report almost complete mortality of large sponges followed over 40 years. Given our warming global climate, similar system-wide changes are expected in the future. © 2013 Dayton et al.

Gaydos J.K.,University of California at Davis | Thixton S.,University of California at Davis | Donatuto J.,Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Despite the merit of managing natural resources on the scale of ecosystems, evaluating threats and managing risk in ecosystems that span multiple countries or jurisdictions can be challenging. This requires each government involved to consider actions in concert with actions being taken in other countries by co-managing entities. Multiple proposed fossil fuel-related and port development projects in the Salish Sea, a 16,925 km2 inland sea shared by Washington State (USA), British Columbia (Canada), and Indigenous Coast Salish governments, have the potential to increase marine vessel traffic and negatively impact natural resources. There is no legal mandate or management mechanism requiring a comprehensive review of the potential cumulative impacts of these development activities throughout the Salish Sea and across the international border. This project identifies ongoing and proposed energy-related development projects that will increase marine vessel traffic in the Salish Sea and evaluates the threats each project poses to natural resources important to the Coast Salish. While recognizing that Coast Salish traditions identify all species as important and connected, we used expert elicitation to identify 50 species upon which we could evaluate impact. These species were chosen because Coast Salish depend upon them heavily for harvest revenue or as a staple food source, they were particularly culturally or spiritually significant, or they were historically part of Coast Salish lifeways. We identified six development projects, each of which had three potential impacts (pressures) associated with increased marine vessel traffic: oil spill, vessel noise and vessel strike. Projects varied in their potential for localized impacts (pressures) including shoreline development, harbor oil spill, pipeline spill, coal dust accumulation and nearshore LNG explosion. Based on available published data, impact for each pressure/species interaction was rated as likely, possible or unlikely. Impacts are likely to occur in 23 to 28% of the possible pressure/ species scenarios and are possible in another 15 to 28% additional pressure/species interactions. While it is not clear which impacts will be additive, synergistic, or potentially antagonistic, studies that manipulate multiple stressors in marine ecosystems suggest that threats associated with these six projects are likely to have an overall additive or even synergistic interaction and therefore impact species of major cultural importance to the Coast Salish, an important concept that would be lost by merely evaluating each project independently. Failure to address multiple impacts will affect the Coast Salish and the 7 million other people that also depend on this ecosystem. These findings show the value of evaluating multiple threats, and ultimately conducting risk assessments at the scale of ecosystems and highlight the serious need for managers of multinational ecosystems to actively collaborate on evaluating threats, assessing risk, and managing resources. © 2015 Gaydos et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Ranco D.J.,University of Maine, United States | O'Neill C.A.,Seattle University | Donatuto J.,Swinomish Indian Tribal Community | Harper B.L.,Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
Environmental Justice | Year: 2011

Environmental justice in the tribal context cannot be contemplated apart from a recognition of American Indian tribes' unique historical, political, and legal circumstances. American Indian tribes are sovereign governments, with inherent powers of self-government over their citizens and their territories. Their status as sovereign entities predates contact with European settlers. This separate status, nonetheless, was affirmed by the United States early on and is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. Tribes today continue to exist as distinct sovereigns within the boundaries of the United States. © Copyright 2011, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: AISL | Award Amount: 296.15K | Year: 2015

As part of its overall strategy to enhance learning in informal environments, the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program funds innovative resources for use in a variety of settings. This includes providing multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences, advancing innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments, and developing understandings of deeper learning by participants. The project will develop an informal tribal community-based environmental health (EH) education framework based on Indigenous knowledge, practices, and learning styles using a First Foods paradigm. First Foods represent a unique, place-based knowledge and practice, intimately tied to traditional ecological knowledge. Most (if not all) tribal communities in the United States have knowledge and practices centered around their local natural resources and First Foods. By building, testing and evaluating an innovative EH education model based on a culturally-meaningful local knowledge source, First Foods, this project seeks to increase informal STEM learning in tribal communities. American Indians and Alaska Natives account for 2% of the population but only 0.1% of STEM-related degrees. By working specifically with this underserved and underrepresented group, this project seeks to engage tribal community members in informal STEM learning, increasing access to informal learning settings, particularly for young people who are not currently engaged in formal STEM learning environments. The EH framework will be disseminated locally, regionally and nationally through Indian Health Boards, conferences, and with other tribal communities interested in informal STEM education and environmental health programs.

The project will review established EH and First Foods program curricula to develop a tribal-specific community-based EH education framework. The project will use the contextual model of informal STEM learning developed by Falk and Dierking, which is designed to integrate personal, sociocultural and physical aspects of learning. The project will adapt this model in order to create a space for community experience to enrich learning, as well as expanding the view of the physical context beyond the biophysical environment to encompass a holistic definition of the living environment. This model and framework will be developed in an iterative manner, with continuing formative evaluations both internally and externally. The overarching hypothesis is that the proposed model will increase informal STEM learning by providing a culturally meaningful education platform that resonates with tribal community members. The model will focus heavily on the sociocultural aspect of learning, striving to collaboratively design a CBEH education program that is appropriate and adaptable for tribal communities and includes pertinent EH themes and information. Metrics and evaluation techniques will be developed, as relevant, for the iterative evaluation of specific program components. Year 1 development and evaluation will focus on the review of community-based EH activities, design of the project EH model and prototype program components. Critical review will be provided by project advisors, the Swinomish Health and Human Services Committee, and tribal elders. Year 2 will focus on the implementation of prototype program components. The project external evaluator will use mixed methodologies, including observation, interviews, pre-and post-surveys, participant ranking of activities/events, and quantitative analysis of attendance at EH events. A tribal-university partnership has been established that includes expertise in informal STEM learning, environmental health program evaluation, cultural competency, and outreach and engagement.

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