UAS scholar Dr. Tom Thornton’s and colleagues’ Indigenous Environmental Knowledge handbook chosen as 2021 Best Geoscience Research Resource Work Award
This volume provides an overview of key themes in Indigenous Environmental Knowledge (IEK) and anchors them with brief but well-grounded empirical case studies of relevance for each of these themes
Date of Press Release: November 5, 2021
The Routledge Handbook of Indigenous Environmental Knowledge has been selected as the 2021 winner of the Best Geoscience Research Resource Work Award, given by the Geoscience Information Society (GSIS). The award recognizes geoscience research resource works or works focused on information aspects of the geosciences. The textbook was edited by Dr. Tom Thornton, scholar and director of the Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS), along with Dr. Shonil Bhagwat of the School of Social Sciences and Global Studies at the Open University in the United Kingdom. The award was presented at the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting on October 22.
“Shonil and I are humbled to receive this award,” said Thornton. “The Handbook includes some 50 authors, including Indigenous and non-Indigenous academics and practitioners working around the world in nearly every type of environment. The award is a tribute to their contributions and willingness to share their expertise and experience with Indigenous Knowledge to inform cultural-ecological understanding and stewardship.”
This volume provides an overview of key themes in Indigenous Environmental Knowledge (IEK) and anchors them with brief but well-grounded empirical case studies of relevance for each of these themes, drawn from bioculturally diverse areas around the world. It provides an incisive, cutting-edge overview of the conceptual and philosophical issues, while providing constructive examples of how IEK studies have been implemented to beneficial effect in ecological restoration, stewardship, and governance schemes.
Collectively, the chapters in the Routledge Handbook of Indigenous Environmental Knowledge cover Indigenous Knowledge not only in a wide range of cultures and livelihood contexts, but also in a wide range of environments, including drylands, savannah grassland, tropical forests, mountain landscapes, temperate and boreal forests, Pacific and Indian Ocean islands, and coastal environments. The chapters discuss the complexities and nuances of Indigenous cosmologies and ethno-metaphysics and the treatment and incorporation of IEK in local, national, and international environmental policies. Taken together, the chapters in this volume make a strong case for the potential of Indigenous Knowledge in addressing today’s local and global environmental challenges, especially when approached from a perspective of appreciative inquiry, using cross-cultural methods and ethical, collaborative approaches which limit bias and inappropriate extraction of IEK.
The book is a guide for graduate and advanced undergraduate teaching, and a key reference for academics in development studies, environmental studies, geography, anthropology, and beyond, as well as anyone with an interest in Indigenous Environmental Knowledge.
Thornton serves as the director for the UAS Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center. In addition to previously serving as the Dean of Arts and Sciences, he was Associate Professor at the Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, UK. Bhagwat is Professor of Environment and Development, and Head of the School of Social Sciences and Global Studies at the Open University, UK. His research focuses on the links between environment and development in the context of global challenges.
The book is available on the Routledge website. Learn more about indigenous knowledge and Alaska Native Studies at the University of Alaska Southeast or call and speak with an advisor at (907) 796-6000.
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