Environmental Studies Program Hosts Campus Panel Discussion on Braiding Sweetgrass

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Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants has been the talk of campus this fall. Chosen as the summer reading for in the incoming class of 2025, the bestseller features Wall Kimmerer’s essays on the value of indigenous knowledge systems and how those teachings can help us see the world in ways often missed by western culture and science. 

On Friday, Nov. 12, the Environmental Studies Program invited three Colgate staff and faculty to participate in a panel discussion on Braiding Sweetgrass. Moderated by ENST Program Coordinator and Assistant Director of Sustainability Pamela Gramlich, the panelists included Lisa Latocha, Community Liaison for Colgate’s Longyear Museum of Anthropology, Catherine Caredelús, professor of biology and environmental studies, and John Pumilio, director of sustainability. 

The panelists covered a range of topics and takeaways from the book, including Latocha’s perspectives as a member of the Oneida Nation and the way that Braiding Sweetgrass accords with her own experiences and family traditions. Both Caredelús and Pumilio shared stories about how Kimmerer’s essays helped them see nature in more expansive ways. 

Please join us for our final two brown bag presentations of the semester, coming up after the break, when students in Environmental Studies 490 present the results of their senior capstone research on Friday, Dec. 3. Students in Environmental Studies 389 (Conservation Biology and Policy) share their work on Dec. 10 in a presentation titled, “What's Up with the Deer in Hamilton?