Earth Week x Astrobites 2024

As students of nature, what can we learn from Indigenous science and teachings to support our stewardship of Earth in the climate crisis?

Welcome to the third Earth Week x Astrobites! This year, our theme centers around the intersection of Indigenous science and Western science, specifically focusing on our relationship to nature as scientists and students of nature. Everything you need to know about this year’s events, posts, and recordings can be found here. When posting on socials, please use the hashtag #EarthWeekxAstrobites2024!

We have an inspiring week planned where we will hear from folks with ancestral knowledge, perspectives on nature, and science stories to share. We note that Indigenous wisdom is not a monolith, and while we will feature a range of folks globally who hold Indigenous identities and perspectives, we don’t expect to be able to encompass every perspective in our program.

Our relationship to Earth changes and is shaped based on geography (e.g. proximity to water or other resources, types of climates). In an effort to showcase as many cultures as possible, we wanted to get perspectives shared by you, our audience, as well as our speakers and writers, on different cultures they are a part of, and how their sustainability practices are shaped by the land around them. Please share with us here a practice that will be highlighted on a map on our website so we can visualize easily how different parts of the world care for our Earth.

As always, our goals are to uplift our speakers, foster community around climate advocacy, and center on doing this work from a place of hope. Thank you for joining us!

If you would like to receive information about the events and zoom links, please subscribe here.


Event Program

Rediscovering our Knowledge: All under One Sky

with Professor Laurie Rousseau-Nepton

Monday, April 22 // 10:30 – 11:30 am EDT (1430 UTC)

Canadian Indigenous Astronomer Dr. Laurie Rousseau-Nepton is inviting you for an immersive journey into the First Nation of Canada’s perspective on our Universe. Oral tradition and its stories often reveal a deep understanding of astronomical phenomenons from the physics concepts to the complex interaction between our environment on Earth, the seasons, and the movement of the celestial bodies. Ultimately aiming at reviving ancestral knowledge, she will also discuss different paths to indigenizing astronomy by transforming both our ways of talking about science, teaching, and conducting research. Dr. Rousseau-Nepton will share the process being the One Sky Project, an international collaboration focused on increasing understanding about cultural and indigenous astronomy, its historical and modern applications, and how our One Sky connects us all. The One Sky Project currently has 6 full dome film shorts highlighting astronomical knowledge from different cultures. There are available (and free) to all online.

Register here for “Rediscovering our Knowledge: All under One Sky”!

Indigenous science and Western science: a discussion

with Bridget Kimsey

Wednesday, April 24 // 10:00 – 11:00 am EDT (1400 UTC)

Join us at Earth Week x Astrobites 2024 for a discussion with Bridget Kimsey about Indigenous science and Western science. Bridget Kimsey is of Lenape and Irish descent. She has her roots and beginnings in learning and working with her Native elders, as a registered member of the federally recognized Delaware Tribe of Indians (Lenape). She has been working inside of Global Indigenous Methods and Western Scientific Methods for 30 years- in the fields of healthcare, research, writing, policy, and security. Her training runs along the spectrum of human health, biology, chemistry, engineering, and physics.

Bridget works closely with the scientific community, medical community, and other communities on differing cases and projects. She is interdimensioned and works in the third and fourth dimensions in all of her work. She is a published author with books that describe her experience on differing topics and how they bridge into dominant modern held scientific findings.

Bridget has an undergraduate degree in science, technology, engineering, and math. She is currently working on a master’s degree in science with a concentration in astronomy/physics. She will then pursue a PhD in artificial intelligence or planetary science. Her professional goals are to continue to research and write in finding different ways of knowing in science, creation, and the nature of reality; to continue to teach and work on projects- including patient care.

She currently enjoys her post as a Solar System Ambassador for NASA/JPL, researcher on an exoplanet research team, teaching at the University of Vermont, her studies, and her own primary and secondary research and writing.

Register here for “Indigenous science and Western science: a discussion”!

Science Storytelling

with Professor Hilding Neilson & Dr. Azadeh Keivani

Thursday, April 25 // 3:00 – 4:00 pm EDT (1900 UTC)

Stories are powerful, no less so in science. In our storytelling event, Hilding Neilson and Azadeh Keivani will tell us about their perspective on astronomy and science in general. They will talk about how indigenous and traditional knowledge has shaped them in their scientific journey and how this can connect to our interaction with the Earth. 

Hilding Neilson is an astrophysicist working on interdisciplinary research and with broad experience in science communication. As a Mi’kmaw person, he aims to combine astronomy and science in general with Indigenous knowledge and uses this intersection in his research for a better understanding of physics of stars and the Universe.

Azadeh Keivani has had a long career in astronomy research and now works in health and education technology. Aside from her numerous outreach efforts and projects, she is co-founder and director of Digital Age Academy, which serves as an educational tool for youths from underserved communities. Having grown up and studied in Iran, Azadeh also co-founded Astrobites’ sister website Staryab, which makes posts in Farsi on recent research.

Register here for “Science Storytelling”!

Embracing Diversity in Astronomy: The Open Cultural Astronomy Forum

with Dr. Mehrnoosh Tahani

Friday, April 26 // 12:00 – 13:00 pm EDT (1600 UTC)

We are happy to invite you to join us in this introduction into the Open Cultural Astronomy Forum (OCAF). Mehrnoosh Tahani, who works in academics as a research astronomer, co-founded the OCAF to put a spotlight on how astronomy has influenced cultures world-wide and how these different cultures have left their mark on astronomy as well. The OCAF seminars take place about every month and touch on a broad range of topics, connecting Indigenous and traditional values to modern astronomy. In this event, we will hear all about how and why OCAF was started up and what is envisioned with this project now and in the future.

Register here for “Embracing Diversity in Astronomy: The Open Cultural Astronomy Forum”!

Posts

Below are the articles + event summaries from this year’s Earth Week event.


Recordings

Session 1: Rediscovering our Knowledge: All under One Sky

Video and transcript

Session 2: Indigenous science and Western science: a discussion

Video and transcript

Session 3: Science Storytelling

Video and transcript

Session 4: Embracing Diversity in Astronomy: The Open Cultural Astronomy Forum

Video and transcript


Learn more about our Climate Change Series. We’d love to hear what you would like to see from this initiative – if you have ideas, please let us know in this google form. Find last year’s Earth Week page here.


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