Natural Sciences & Technology
The Department of Natural Sciences & Technology supports the institutional mission and goals of Leech Lake Tribal College. Our programs prepare students for careers in natural resources, life sciences, forestry, computers and technology, as well as set a foundation necessary to enter a Bachelor’s Degree program. Internships, field experiences, and research opportunities expose students to the benefits of science and technology while developing workforce skills. Our three degree programs promote and facilitate respect and appreciation for Anishinaabe heritage, culture and values. Come join us!!
Natural Sciences & Technology Department Chair
M.S., Mathematics, Bemidji State University, 2006
Eric Kuha, M.A. English, Bemidji State University, 2009
Katie Zlonis, M.S. Integrated Biosciences, University of Minnesota, 2013
Melinda Neville, Ph.D. Ecology and Environmental Science, University of Maine, ABD, 2018
Neah Goodwin, B.S. Secondary Math, Bemidji State University, 1997
Stacie Lyon, M.S., Psychology of Culture, Walden University, 2012
Steve Smith, B.S., Biology and Chemistry, Concordia College, 1987
From native geneticists who developed maize, to the southwestern chemists who produced dyes for pottery and weaving, Native Americans were involved in genetics, engineering, architecture, chemistry, pharmacology, and physics long before Europeans landed in North America.
What is STEM?
Stem is the acronym for “science, technology, engineering, and math”. The National Science Foundation (NSF) would like to see an increase of students graduating with a STEM-based degree. They provide funds to colleges for the development of courses, educational materials, and qualified instructors.
STEM at LLTC means you enroll in courses and work towards a degree in a STEM related field. A STEM field is any field that fits under the umbrella of science, technology, engineering, and math. So, it covers a pretty broad range. Every career is touched by the STEM field one way or another.
Read more about STEM programming in Minnesota at MN-STEM online.
Natural Sciences & Technology Department Chair & Math Instructor
The program is designed for students to receive an Associate of Arts Degree, Indigenous Leadership. This Degree Program is a two-year course of study designed intentionally as an exploration of and exposure for many disciplines, but in particular to Ojibwe language and culture, history, governance, and land base; the four elements of nationhood. Based on Ojibwe values, these educational and cultural opportunities provide students with skills to identify community concerns and then engage in community service. It also prepares students to transfer to four year programs of study at other colleges and universities. The credits a student earns at Leech Lake Tribal College are accredited and will transfer to colleges of the student’s choice, depending on transfer equivalency guidelines.
Upon completion of the requirements, this program is designed for students to receive an Associate in Arts Degree in Indigenous Leadership. This program focuses on the people of the Leech Lake Reservation, their world view, culture, and knowledge. It also addresses the same categories for the Indigenous American (Anishinaabe) of North America in a global context.
Specifically, the program provides skills to identify community concerns and then engage in community service.
The program is designed for students to receive an Associates of Arts Degree in Liberal Education with a STEM Emphasis upon completion of the requirements. The program will provide students with an opportunity to customize their educational background to fit the student’s future four year STEM major of choice. This degree allows for flexibility, whether pursuing a concentration in any STEM area, or a broad overview of the STEM field.
Graduates of the Associate in Arts Degree in Liberal Education with a STEM Emphasis can transition into a four-year STEM Bachelor of Science degree.
Earth Systems include the lithosphere (geology), the hydrosphere (hydrology), atmosphere (meteorology), and the biosphere (biology). ESS students will gain an understanding of how the individual systems of the Earth interact, including the influence of humans on these systems.
A strong emphasis on environmental monitoring is included in the program to prepare students for careers in the Earth Systems sciences.
The Degree Program is centered and infused with culturally relevant material. It is the intention of this course of study to provide students an exposure to the Ojibwe language and allow them the opportunity to understand Anishinaabe values and how these values can provide a foundation for lifelong learning and community involvement.
The credits a student earns at Leech Lake Tribal College are accredited and will transfer to colleges of the student’s choice, depending on transfer equivalency guidelines.
The program is designed for students to receive an Associate in Science Degree (A.S.) upon completion of the requirements. Gikenimindwaa Mitigoog translates to ‘getting to know the trees,’ an apt description for a program which provides graduates with broad based field knowledge of forest lands, the organisms inhabiting them and the systems (soil, water, air) that support them. Students complete course work designed to develop an understanding of natural systems, examine human impacts and interactions, and practice relevant field and technical skills. Students who chose this option are prepared for employment at the technician level upon completion of this degree, or they may choose to continue on into a four year program.
The Forest Ecology program is intended for students with an interest in plant communities, water, forestry, wildlife and fisheries and/or recreation management.