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INNOVATOR PROFILE

ROBIN WALL KIMMERER

Area of Expertise: Writer

"All powers have two sides, the power to create and the power to destroy. We must recognize them both, but invest our gifts on the side of creation."
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Dr. Kimmerer is a mother, plant ecologist, writer and SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York. She serves as the founding Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment whose mission is to create programs which draw on the wisdom of both Indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability. Her research interests include the role of traditional ecological knowledge in ecological restoration and the ecology of mosses. In collaboration with tribal partners, she and her students have an active research program in the ecology and restoration of plants of cultural significance to Native people. She is active in efforts to broaden access to environmental science education for Native students, and to create new models for integration of indigenous philosophy and scientific tools on behalf of land and culture. She is engaged in programs which introduce the benefits of traditional ecological knowledge to the scientific community, in a way that respects and protects indigenous knowledge. . You may recognize Prof Kimmerer's name from her latest, award-winning book "Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants". In this nonfiction book, Prof Kimmerer teaches readers about plants and botany through the lens of scientific knowledge and indigenous traditions, reflecting on her own experiences as a plant ecologist and member of the Citizen Band Potawatomi. Her first award-winning book "Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses" teaches readers through a series of essays about the lives of mosses, their ecological importance, and cultural importance among indigenous communities. Written for scientists and nature enthusiasts, everyone can benefit from the stories shared in these books.

https://www.esf.edu/faculty/kimmerer/