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Dr. T. M. Bull Bennett (Mi’kmaq), was born in Brunswick, ME, and grew up in the mountains and prairies of Wyoming. As an undergraduate he studied field ecology earning a BS in Biology from Black Hills State University. He completed his MS in Zoology and Physiology at the University of Wyoming where he studied captive propagation of black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) as part of the National Black-Footed Ferret Conservation Center recovery program in conjunction with the US Fish and Wildlife Cooperative Research Unit.
After Dr. Bennett’s MS program, he went to work for the Tribal Colleges in South Dakota, first at Oglala Lakota College (Pine Ridge Reservation), then Si Tanka College (Cheyenne River Reservation), before returning to graduate school for his PhD studies at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, earning his Doctorate in Atmosphere, Environment and Water Resources. Funded by a NASA Earth System Science Fellowship and the National Science Foundation, his dissertation research focused on utilizing geospatial technologies and biophysical parameter measurements to assess bison impacts on short grass/shrub steppe prairie in Wyoming. After completing his Ph.D., Dr. Bennett worked for the North Dakota Association of Tribal Colleges, first as the Science Coordinator and then as President and CEO.
In 2008, Dr. Bennett was appointed by the Secretary of Interior as a charter member of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee. In 2011 he was appointed by the Secretary of Commerce to the National Climate Assessment Development and Advisory Committee. His responsibilities to the NCA were to coordinate and lead the development of the Indigenous Peoples, Lands and Resources Chapter of the Third National Climate Assessment released in May, 2014.
In 2010, Dr. Bennett and his colleagues successfully deployed NASA Cooperative Agreement NNX10AU65A which partnered Haskell Indian Nations University, White Earth Tribal and Community College, Tohono O’odham Community College and Blackfeet Community College to expand the science, research and technology capabilities of Tribal Colleges. This initial success continues under the newly awarded NASA Experiential Learning Opportunities awarded to Haskell Indian Nations University in 2014.
Dr. Bennett began his consulting firm (Kiksapa Consulting, LLC) in 2009 and continues to work with Tribal Colleges providing science education and research opportunities for students and faculty. His research interests include investigating climate impacts on habitats and marginal populations. His consulting firm provides geospatial and environmental services and research and development opportunities to its clientele. He resides with his family near Mandan, ND.