Cornell Courses Taught:
Ways of Knowing: Indigenous and Place-Based Ecological Knowledge: NTRES 3330/AIS 3330/AMST 3330 - Graduate Section NTRES 6330.
Course Description: Based on indigenous and local “ways of knowing,” this course: (1) presents a theoretical and humanistic framework from which to understand generation of ecological knowledge; (2) examines processes by which to engage indigenous and local knowledge of natural resources, the non-human environment, and human-environment interactions; and (3) reflects upon the relevance of this knowledge to climatic change, resource extraction, food sovereignty, and issues of sustainability and conservation.
Course Objectives: Based on applied empirical research carried out in communities, the objectives of this course are: to appreciate natural resource development from a human ecological perspective; to apply the interdisciplinary lens of human ecology to understand human and environmental relations; to appreciate the complex interconnectivity between the ecological and the cultural; to comprehend that individual actions informed by cultural systems manifest themselves in social structures that rely on ecological foundations; to extend the notion of interdisciplinarity to include indigenous and local knowledge; to situate indigenous and local knowledge within a humanistic framework of knowledge generation; to illustrate the participatory and experiential basis of indigenous and local knowledge; to propose a method best suited for researching such knowledge processes; and to value the contributions of indigenous and local knowledge in the context of socio-cultural and environmental change and natural resource utilization.
Karim-Aly Kassam gives an overview of Ways of Knowing: Indigenous and Place-Based Ecological Knowledge