TOCC Plant Atlas: A tool for preserving biocultural diversity

Date and Time: 
Thursday, 17 March, 2016 - 11:15
, Teresa - Tohono O'odham Community College

Over the past decades, biocultural studies have shown that diversity in language and culture are strongly linked to biological diversity and have established that a loss of diversity in one domain negatively impacts diversity in the other.   Thus, a thriving linguistic and cultural diversity sustains the vitality and resilience of our planet.  The tribal college system in the U.S plays a pivotal role in the biocultural preservation and resilience for indigenous communities.  For example, the Tohono O’odham Community College has developed a “TOCC Plant Atlas” which is a medium for cultural and language preservation.  The TOCC Plant Atlas is a web-based teaching tool that provides a visually rich and culturally-relevant medium to relate native knowledge to scientific knowledge.  It merges Tohono O'odham traditional knowledge with scientific knowledge.  The Plant Atlas includes audio of the Tohono O’odham names which strengthens its role in Tohono O’odham language preservation.