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Helping Tribal College Students Excel in STEM

It’s shaping up to be a good year for students in Indian Country.

For the first time in school history, students at Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College in Mount Pleasant, Michigan can register to take physics thanks to an upgraded laboratory. And at Leech Lake Tribal College in Cass Lake, Minnesota, students were able to take trigonometry for the first time last year.  Funded and supported by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA ), both schools made  improvements to bolster their students’ learning in the areas of science and mathematics.

NIFA’s Tribal Colleges Education Equity Grant is a noncompetitive program that enhances educational opportunities for American Indians in the food and agricultural sciences.  These grants strengthen formal educational opportunities at the associate, baccalaureate, or graduate level at 1994 land-grant institutions, also known as tribal colleges. Read more »

US Forest Service Lands in North Dakota Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

The beautiful Greater Elkhorn Ranchlands in North Dakota is now in the National Register of Historic places.

The beautiful Greater Elkhorn Ranchlands in North Dakota is now in the National Register of Historic places.

Two crown jewels in the heart of North Dakota have recently been announced as historic places tied to President Theodore Roosevelt’s conservation legacy.

The Elkhorn Ranch and Greater Elkhorn Ranchlands are now on the National Register of Historic places as a national historic district. President Roosevelt made the Elkhorn Ranch his home and explored, hunted and wrote about the Greater Elkhorn Ranchlands. Read more »

US Forest Service Researcher Uses Science to Fight Forest Fires

Dr. Terrie Benavidez Jain in wildland firefighting gear doing field work on the Boise Basin Experimental Forest in IdahoDr. Terrie Benavidez Jain in wildland firefighting gear doing field work on the Boise Basin Experimental Forest in Idaho

Dr. Terrie Benavidez Jain in wildland firefighting gear doing field work on the Boise Basin Experimental Forest in Idaho

With wildfires that raged out of control this fire season, a year of “devastating conflagrations” seems to be the only way to describe such massive destruction on the nation’s forested lands. And scientists who know something about limiting the power of these forest infernos are needed more than ever.

Lucky for us, Terrie Benavidez Jain, a U.S. Forest Service scientist, has answers to help reduce the impacts of fire on forested lands. In fact, researching and studying the science of forest fires is something Jain has come to know quite well throughout her impressive career. Read more »

USDA Puerto Rico Rural Housing Director Recognized as Public Servant of the Year

Late last month, Arlene Zambrana, Rural Housing Program Director, was recognized as the Public Servant of the Year by the Puerto Rico Housing Builder Association.

Through her professional career, she has escalated higher positions that have provided the opportunity to obtain the present position as Rural Housing Program Director. As part of her responsibilities, she has successfully administered a budget of $1,071,533,067 during fiscal years 2009 to 2011 and has provided homeownership opportunities to 7,830 families.

Arlene has been working with the Agency since 1986.  She started as assistant to Loan Specialist of the local office of the municipality of San Sebastian. Read more »

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack in Omaha to Kick Off Regional Drought Workshops

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack speaks at the opening session of a Federal Drought Workshop in Omaha, NE on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. This was the first of four regional workshops to outline resources available to assist with drought recovery effort.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack speaks at the opening session of a Federal Drought Workshop in Omaha, NE on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. This was the first of four regional workshops to outline resources available to assist with drought recovery effort.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack participated in the kickoff of four regional workshops on drought recovery, the first of which was held Tuesday in Omaha, Nebraska.  More than 200 people gathered in Omaha to discuss ways to access existing resources and to offer ideas on new efforts to assist those impacted by drought. Read more »