Ethnobiology is the interdisciplinary study of the knowledge and beliefs about and the consequent interactions with the natural world among unique cultural people groups. It includes classification of natural kinds, subsistence, sustainability and resource management. In this course students examine and learn about the complex and dynamic interactions between human groups and natural systems.
This course is particularly relevant and useful for students that have broad interests in environmental and/or cultural studies as well as those involved in specific a mission and ministry involving different cultural groups. Materials provided are foundational elements to this relatively new area of scientific study examining cultural differences in knowledge about and interaction with the natural environment.
This course is important because global cultures interact daily and all peoples share earth’s resources. Knowledge of different cultures beliefs and actions towards those resources provides opportunities for intentional kindness and care for unique cultures.
God created the uniqueness among cultures and environments. This course examines the varying knowledge and concepts developed by these cultures on natural systems increasing our cultural awareness and allowing all people to extend love to every tribe, tongue and nation.
This course offers an additional element of cultural study that is relatively new in academia. One that analyzes the variances of human-environmental knowledge and interaction. This unique point of view can be incorporated into specialized mission and ministry work pointing people toward Jesus from an individual culture’s natural frame of reference.
The content of this course enhances cultural competence and awareness on local and regional scales increasing our capacity to cogently engage in witnessing opportunities.
Ethnobiological studies naturally encapsulate an intercultural focus because the content centers on the uniqueness of individual culture’s interaction and knowledge of the natural environment and how those may differ over space.
As Christians partner in God’s redemptive plan to reach the lost and point people toward the Savior, the material in this course provides a niche of knowledge that bolsters that effort by approaching this mission from different cultures frame of reference as it applies to environmental understanding and interaction.
Experiences as they pertain to intentional engagement with unique people groups come from each students location and are shared among classmates to assemble a larger cultural frame of reference from which specific ministry and mission works may draw.