NASA Supports Si Tanka Science DegreesFeb 15th, 2000 | By tcj | Category: 11-3: Native Language, Tribal College News
In coordination with South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Si Tanka College faculty is developing degrees in environmental science and computer science over the next 3½ years, with special emphasis in the areas of GIS/GPS/Remote Sensing. The new degrees result from a curriculum development grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to the tribal college’s Science and Natural Resources and Technology Departments. The environmental science degree will have three programs of emphasis for students to follow, according to T.L. Traversie, president of Si Tanka College (formerly Cheyenne River Community College). At first, the degree will include hydrology, followed by tracks in soil science and atmospheric science.
These degree tracks will emphasize the importance of the land, water, and air to the future reservation communities. Cultural integrity and contemporary technology are also important to the new degrees, according to T.M. “Bull” Bennett, chairman of the department. Si Tanka College already had a memorandum of understanding and a curriculum development agreement with the school of mines, which is being expanded. The grant will also allow the college to build a lab area for use with its GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) equipment, as well as its other research technology.