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Where our research group works

International Action Research Projects

Dr. Kassam’s research projects are based on an action research approach in which the community directly participates in the design, implementation, and application of results.


Ecological Calendars to Anticipate Climate Change

The goal of this research is to build anticipatory capacity for climate change through the revitalization and development of ecological calendars. We are generating a proof of concept through participatory action research with the Standing Rock Nation, fishing and farming communities around Oneida Lake, and communities in the Pamir Mountains of Central Asia.

Sustainable Forest Communities: Integrated Land Stewardship Strategy for Native American Land Claims

The purpose of our research is to create a biocultural land stewardship strategy for existing and newly-settled land claims of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. We are also creating audio-visual materials for high school and undergraduate environmental science education.

Engaging Environmental Education Through Teen Experiential Learning Programs

This project is designed to serve and impact youth from both urban and rural areas of New York state with rather diverse needs, particularly vis-a-vis nature exploration and education. Youth of the Twenty-first Century are not visitors to their environment but are an integral part of their habitat.

 

Past Research Projects


Anticipating Climate Change in the Pamir Mountains

Hosted an online contest to recalibrate traditional ecological calendars with climate science data, in collaboration with the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence and the Thriving Earth Exchange at AGU.


Indigenous People, Alpine Human Ecology, and Change in the Pamir (Afghanistan and Tajikistan)

Assessed the resilience capacity and developed relevant adaptation strategies resulting from biocultural changes in the Pamir Mountains of Badakhshan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

Guidelines for Incorporating Biocultural Diversity into Northern Forest Resource Management

In collaboration with Mi'kmaq and Maliseet communities, developed guidelines and documented valuable knowledge related to plant gathering, cultivation, and use.

Beyond diversity: Re-situating Pluralism

Engaged a multi-disciplinary group of scholars and leaders from civil society institutions to develop a new vocabulary around the notion of pluralism.

Conservation Bridge

Developed case studies addressing major conservation issues and linking civil society institutions with undergraduate students at Beijing Normal University, University of Central Asia, and Cornell.

Building Capacities of Rural Communities through People's Institutions

Demonstrated best practices for community institutions and analyzed human ecological relations in forest communities to show linkages between cultural and biological diversity.

The Human Ecology and the Impact of Chemical Pollutants on Arctic Marine Communities Project

Documented the impact of chemical pollutants on the human ecology of three Arctic marine communities whose livelihood and food sources are dependent on marine resources.

The Empowerment of Women: The Role of Indigenous Women in Forestry Development

Examined the role of indigenous women in forest communities in India and Canada and related these to current participation of women in economic activities.

Linking Remote-sensing Information with Natural History and Traditional Knowledge

Explored the feasibility of combining remotely-sensed information with surface observations of abnormal sea ice events based on the traditional knowledge of indigenous community members.

The Russian Sami Co-Management Project

Introduced the concept of natural resources co-management to Russia, utilizing Canadian methodology (participatory action research) and Russian research trainees.