Department of Science, Math and Technology
Fredenberg, M.S. Chairperson
OLC is fast becoming
a regional leader in environmental science
of Science Degree in Environmental
The Lakota have always held their land base to be sacred. The land is something that must be protected and managed wisely and effectively. Consequently, OLC has developed a strong program in the area of environmental scienc. Two emphasis areas have been developed: earth sciences and conservation biology. In the earth sciences, students learn about water management, solid waste disposal, and a myriad of other issues needed to protect andimprove the quality of life on the reservation. In the area of conservation biology, wise management of wildlife and habitats is critical to the future of our reservation. The Lakota perspective is vital to the environmental science program. All students are required to take specific courses that incorporate traditional Lakota concepts about land, plants, and animals.
Associate of Arts Degree in Environmental Science
This degree is designed to prepare students to continue into OLC' four-year IES program, transfer to an environmental science program at another four-year institution, or to further employment opportunities. This degree provides a well-rounded approach to the environmental sciences, with a strong emphasis on core biology and chmeisty components.
Associate of Arts Degree, Science, Engineering and Math (SEM)
While environmental scientists can identify and help to remedy many of the ecological problems that exist on Pine Ridge Reservation, the solution, in many cases, will have to come from the engineering community. OLC has therefore developed a two-year Associate Degree in Science, Engineering and Math (SEM). Students who complete this program can then transfer to a four-year program. Recent studies have shown that Native American students who gain a strong math/science background at their local tribal college will then have a significantly higher chance of completing a four-year degree at an outside institution.
Associate of Arts Degree, Life Science
The same transfer concept that was used to structure the AA, SEm degree has been utilized to develop a new Associate degree in Life Science. The reasons for expanding into this area are two-fold. First, health issues are a major concern on the reservation. Students will be encouraged to explore the connection between health-related issues and the environment. Second, medical schools may be producing Native Americans to work in the health fields, but very few Native Americans actually teach in these medical/nursing programs. Our ultimate goal is to address this issue by having Native Americans complete their graduate degress in the areas of biology, physiology, and other life science areas.