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Speaker Series with Ethnobotanist Kat Anderson
Linking plants with people is the work of an ethnobotanist. Kat Anderson employed by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service and affiliated with the Plant Sciences Department at the University of California, Davis will be speaking on how Native American cultures used and tended plants. Her book Tending the Wild; "is an unparalleled examination of Native American knowledge and uses of California's natural resources that reshapes our understanding of native cultures and shows how we might begin to use their knowledge in our conservation efforts. Kat Anderson presents a wealth of information on native land management practices gleaned in part from interviews and correspondence with Native Americans who recall what their grandparents told them about how and when areas where burned, which plants were eaten and which were used for basketry, and how plants were tended. The complex picture that emerges from this and other historical source material dispels the hunter-gather stereotype long perpetuated in anthropological and historical literature. We come to see California's indigenous people as active agents of environmental change and stewardship. Tending the Wild persuasively argues that this traditional ecological knowledge is essential if we are to successfully meet the challenge of living sustainably.
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