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About NAOP


Interns and Mentors

Internship Outcomes

GWC Internship Program


The involvement of Native American students and researchers in plant genome research is minimal. In an effort to increase their representation in the research community, a summer program to mentor Native American/American Indian undergraduates in plant genomics research is being conducted on the Iowa State University campus. Participating students study various plant species, including plants of importance to many Native Tribes. Students work with USDA-ARS North Central Regional Plant Introduction scientists to carry out field-work (to grow and propagate the plants) and to collect and preserve plant material. One student Nate Etsitty is studying the update of ursolic acid (which is present in apples, basil bilberries, cranberries, elder flower, peppermint, lavender, thyme, hawthorne, and prunes) in a human intestined cell line. This is interesting because ursodic acid is known to inhibit various types of cancer cells. This interface has been created by Lamour Peshtony who is working with members of the Maize Genetics and Genomics Database (MaizeGDB) team. This work is funded by the National Science Foundation, and all participating students' travel, health care, room and board, and a stipend were arranged by the Iowa State University George Washington Carver Summer Research Internship program, which runs from June 6 to August 2. An advisory council made up of Tribal Elders has been involved in this process, and each elder traveled to Ames to work with the students. In this manner, the Elders' hopes for the students have been conveyed alongside the outcomes anticipated by the researcher mentors.

Off to the left are some links that can direct you to what NAOP is about reguarding funding and GWC interactions. Goals from the NAOP mentors and interns, interviews, work stations, and a documentary ar availiable as well as a description of the overall George Washington Carver Internship Program and some of its other participants and coordinators.

Participants in the NAOP (Native American Outreach Program) are interns Nathan Etsitty, Marcus Begay, and Lamour Peshtony; all are undergrad students from Northern Arizona University. Mentors are Dr. Carolyn Lawerence, Dr. Candice Gardner, Dr. Suzanne Hendrich, and grad student Ben Herman. Also involved in the project are Darwin Campbell, Lisa Burke, Steve Hanlin, David A. Kovach, Matt Lively, Sharon McClurg, Mark Millard, Trent Moore, Lisa A. Pfiffner, and Rachael Beyer.