Study the relationships between people and plants, with a special focus on Alaska. The ethnobotany training program at UAF brings together diverse fields such as botany, biochemistry, ecology, Indigenous studies, anthropology and political ecology. Cultural sensitivity and ethical conduct of research are a focus in all courses of the program, as well as sustainable and safe harvesting practices. When you graduate, you’ll be ready to conduct your own research projects and assess research involving people and plants.
Who is the ethnobotany program designed for?
Our students share an interest in botany and the role of plants in different cultures. The ethnobotany training program is a great fit for students pursuing careers in natural resource management, or for those interested in learning more about traditional uses of plants. Depending on your goals and needs, we also offer a minor in ethnobotany which can be used to focus your bachelor’s degree in the interdisciplinary area of botany and its intersections with human cultures.
How is the ethnobotany program delivered?
Attend classes of the Alaska ethnobotany program from wherever you live. The ethnobotany program is available entirely through distance delivery. The introductory class, (Introduction to Ethnobotany) has a field section that you can complete online or in-person (field-school).
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Why Study Ethnobotany at UAF?
Hand-on learning in the ethnobotany training program
When you study ethnobotany at UAF, expect hands-on, place-based learning from day-one of your studies, and for every theoretical concept to be supported by topic-related discussions and activities. You’re also encouraged to engage in projects related to your career or primary field of interest.
For example, in the introductory field course, you’ll have the opportunity to learn directly from Elders in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region about plant knowledge and uses. You’ll also conduct several hands-on ethnobotanical projects with seasonal plants available in your region, through which you’ll learn how to document plant knowledge, analyze ethnobotanical data and present the information to the public.
This program is unique beyond words (...) the goal of UAF to embrace and grow a culture of cultural respect, inclusion and caring is what I’ve felt through this program. The program is based on knowledge entrusted by Alaska Native Elders and its platform allows for intergenerational and intercultural learning, something that most universities do not offer.Pier Imbriano
Check out this student video project for ethnobotany
at the University of Alaska Fairbanks
This training program is designed to prepare you for entry-level positions as natural resource technicians, or for home and cottage industries that involve working with plants. Graduates will be readyfor subsistence-related agency or tribal positions, and can use this training to build qualifications in fields such as education, tourism and health and wellness.
The ethnobotany program is also a great stepping stone to an associate or bachelor’s degree if you choose to pursue further education. Our graduates have gone on to advanced study in fields including anthropology, Alaska Native studies, environmental studies, education, biology and dietetics.
Explore Classes in the Ethnobotany Training Program
Courses in the ethnobotany program cover topics such as ethical wildcrafting, plant biology, plant collection methods and uses of traditional plants in different cultures. Coursework will include activities such as conducting interviews with Elders to learn about common plant uses, analyzing data, and designing projects you will then present to your cohort.
Get Started on Your Ethnobotany Training Program
Take the next step toward earning your degree in ethnobotany at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. We have the resources to help you get started.
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Transferring to UAF? We can walk you through the process and help make sure you get the most out of the credits you’ve earned.