Natural Sciences and Technology Department

Natural Sciences and Technology Department
Melanie Wilson

Hillary Barron
Natual Sciences and
Technology Department Chair


Boozhoo! Welcome!

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!!


Hillary Barron
Natural Sciences & Technology Department Chair

STEM Faculty
Annette Drewes
Eric Kuha
Kelly Nipp
Neah Goodwin
Stacie Lyon
Steve Smith


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.

Earth Systems Science, A.S.

Earth Systems Science

 The program is designed for students to receive an Associate of Science Degree upon completion of the requirement. This program will provide students with a basic understanding of the Earth Systems and their management with an emphasis on the earth systems of the Leech Lake Reservation, using both Western science and Indigenous American knowledge.

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.

List of Required Courses

Liberal Education, STEM Emphasis

STEM emphasis

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.

To get more information or to start designing your degree with a STEM emphasis contact Academic Advising.

List of Required Courses

Forest Ecology

Forest Resources

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.

List of Required Courses

View the Gikenimindwaa Mitigoog (Forest Ecology) Website