Making the most of Diverse Learning Environments for Ethnobiology

BAUMFLEK, Michelle - Department of Natural Resources & American Indian Program, Cornell University

Ethnobiology is characterized by the study of applied, hands-on knowledge.  However, new opportunities are arising for online courses that include ethnobiological concepts, suggesting the need for creative approaches in terms of both content and delivery. This paper will present reflections on teaching a Native Food Systems course in two distinct learning environments: a face-to-face Freshman Writing Seminar, and an asynchronous online course.  I will discuss how learning outcomes, tools, resources and assignments were modified to take advantage of the strengths of each learning environment. Student evaluations of the educational process, as well as recommendations for new collaborative teaching resources will be discussed. I will also demonstrate the use of practitioner-based video case studies co-created with the NSF Conservation Bridge as an innovative, flexible tool for ethnobiologial learning that is effective in-person or online.