Expanding toolkits for heritage perpetuation: The western apache ethnography and geographic information science research experience for undergraduates

Karl A. Hoerig, John R. Welch, T. J. Ferguson, Gabriella Soto

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


From 2010 to 2013, the White Mountain Apache Tribe and the University of Arizona, with funding from the National Science Foundation, hosted the Western Apache Ethnography and Geographic Information Science Research Experience for Undergraduates. Designed to foster practical skills and scholarly capacities for future resource managers and anthropologists, this field school introduced Apache and non-native undergraduate students to ethnographic field research and GIS tools. Building upon the extensive arrays of geographical, cultural, and historical data that are available for Western Apache territory, field school students engaged in community-based participatory research with Western Apache elders and tribal natural and heritage resource personnel to contribute to the Western Apache tribes' efforts to document their cultural histories, traditional ecological knowledge, local understanding of geography, and issues of historic and contemporary resource management. This essay reviews the program and traces how student alumni have incorporated skills and perspectives gained into their subsequent academic and professional work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-75
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Geospatial Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015



  • Ethnography
  • Geographic Information Science
  • Heritage
  • Research Training
  • Western Apache

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this