Meet a Short-Term Fellow: Maddy Nyblade


Maddy Nyblade
Earth and Environmental Sciences, College of Science and Engineering
American Indian and Indigenous Studies, College of Liberal Arts
University of Minnesota Twin Cities

IAS Short-Term Fellow, The Mission of the Land Grant/Land Grab University


Maddy Nyblade is a PhD student in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences studying the hydrology of Manoomin (wild rice) ecosystems as part of a tribal-university partnership, Kawe Gidaa-naanaagadawendaamin Manoomin. She is interested in decolonizing, community-driven research in pursuit of understanding water, ways of knowing, and equitable collaboration to achieve water justice. As part of this fellowship, she is thinking about the colonial and anti-Black roots of Earth science and how these histories shape the present practice and teaching of this science that continues to uphold coloniality and racism. Specifically, she is exploring how geologic science at the University of Minnesota was conducted on, funded by, and furthered the dispossession of Indigenous land. Here are some questions she is grappling with:

How can I respect, value, and uphold the humanity and personhood of community research partners, non-human beings, and myself in research embedded in disciplines, methodologies and institutions that are built on dehumanization?

How can I engage in deep conversations with my department about our scientific discipline and its entanglement in white supremacy and coloniality?

What is the role of the university in working towards justice? Can a space of so much past and present harm ever be a space of true healing or redress?


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