CMN receives NASA grant for climate change work

The College of Menominee Nation recently was chosen to receive a $413,423 grant from NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project.

CMN was one of four tribal colleges in the U.S. sharing nearly $3 million in funding to enhance learning through the use of NASA’s earth science resources.

The funds will support the tribal colleges and their partners as they improve teaching and learning about global climate change.

Professor Lisa Bosman wrote the CMN proposal for work that will be done at the Keshena campus. The project involves five partner institutions: NASA Langley Research Center, which will incorporate data sets related to weather and solar irradiation; Argonne National Laboratory, which will provide access to real-time solar energy performance data; University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; the National Council for Science and the Environment; and UW-Platteville.

Bosman, a graduate of the Milwaukee School of Engineering and Clemson University, is a member of the faculty in CMN’s degree program in material sciences and pre-engineering.

She identified several research objectives for the new grant, including opportunities for students in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) programs to construct a user-friendly solar energy system evaluation tool. The project will incorporate solar modules at Argonne National Laboratory, NASA weather and solar irradiation data, and detailed cost analysis.

The grant also will help establish curricula that fuse STEM concepts with climate change literacy, Bosman said. The result will be combined social science and physical science courses that should have wide appeal to many students.

CMN’s introduction to statistics course will be modified to include case studies analyzing climate change data. Another CMN course – global implications of climate change – will be modified to bring science and math concepts into the curriculum.

The grant also helps CMN develop a train-the-trainer model for faculty of tribal colleges and universities and for teachers in local middle schools.

Other tribal colleges receiving grants were in Belcourt, N.D.; Cloquet, Minn., and Pablo, Mont.