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4 April, 2003

Inupiaq Speaker

Today at ECU:

Warm and cloudless weather is bringing all the greenery to life. Unfortunately for allergy sufferers, there is a yellow dust of pollen coating everything that stands still long enough.

Martha Whiting, an Inupiaq woman from Kotzebue, (and wife of Alex Whiting on our team) and her 12c year old daughter Denali gave a lecture about the Inupiaq culture. She showed many slides covering the hunting and every day life in an Inupiaq village, demonstrated some traditional Inupiaq games and talked about what it means to be an Inupiaq in the 21st century. The most striking example of what it means to be Inupiaq, but also American was when Denali led the entire room in the pledge of allegiance, once in English and once in Inupiaq. What science is happening:

The TEK and the SEK groups got back together and discussed they decisions reached yesterday. The TEK group had some interesting data pieced together in a quantitativly by Dr. Jeff Johnson. He was able to make a 3D computer model of the local food web, from the Inupiaq perspective. He could pick different level to highlight and study. This will make for an easy visual comparison when the SEK data is collected.

How many times have you turned in an assignment and got the answer wrong only to have the “Right” answer be something that you knew? Not only does a scientist have to come up with the answer to the problems, they have to explain it in a way that is clear to others. If you didn’t communicate the answer to your teacher, how could he or she give you credit? If a scientist doesn’t communicate his/her data then how will it benefit others?

<FONT COLOR = BLUE>Reflections

Dr. Johnson showed easy to follow 3D computer images. One of the scientists primary responsibilities to disseminate (share with others) the data they learn. Not everyone that they share with will have the same understandings that the scientists acquire, that is why the data needs to be easy for others to follow. While still keeping meticulous records for anyone wishing to reproduce the same results or build on the work we are doing here, scientist must make data accessable to the people. That is one of the major tenets of this project. We will make a guide for local use, documenting the food web, preserving the traditional knowledge and helping local teachers share information with Kotzebue youth.

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