Summer Research Institutes

Summer Research Institutes provide Native American students an opportunity to complete an introductory STEM course and conduct hands-on research for four weeks during the summer.

Students participating and completing the institute receive a $1,000 stipend.

Summer Institutes scheduled for 2021 include the following locations:


Oglala Lakota College (Kyle)

OLC has summer research opportunities for both high school and undergraduate students.

Summer Bridge Program

  • Who: High School Students
  • When: June 14-July 1, and July 26
  • Where: Zoom, various field collection locations in the western/south western part of the state, and the MST building at the OLC Piya Wiconi College Center, Kyle, S.D.
  • How to apply: Complete this registration form.
  • What: Engage in authentic, hands-on interdisciplinary research experiences during the summer, earning 3 science credits toward your undergraduate degree.
    • Select a project that is interesting to you: Heavy metals in soil and plants, Macroinvertebrates survey for stream health, Insect diversity, Plant diversity and root nodule bacteria, Geochemical testing of soil and ground water
    • Use this experience toward your undergraduate degree: BIO 113 People and the Environment.
      Course Description: This course focuses on the role of people in ecosystems and the global effects of their alterations of those ecosystems. The influence of European and Native American cultures on people’s activities in the ecosystem will be discussed. Alternatives for human survival and the well-being and sustainability of the biosphere will be explored.

Complete program applications are due no later than April 30, 2021. (Be sure if taking for credit that you get your OLC application process started ASAP as you will need to be enrolled in BIO 113 People and the Environment by June 1, 2021.) Applications will be reviewed and notifications to participate in an orientation will be made by the end of the 1st week of May. Orientation will be scheduled for June 4, 2021.

OLC Research Experience for Undergraduates

  • Who: Education (Pre-Service teachers) or STEM Majors
  • When: June 7-July 30
  • Where: Zoom, various field collection locations in the western/southwestern part of the state, and the MST building at the OLC Piya Wiconi College Center, Kyle, SD
  • How to apply: Complete this registration form.
  • What: Engage in authentic, hands-on interdisciplinary research experiences and outreach activities for eight weeks during the summer of 2021.
    • Select a project that is interesting to you: Heavy metals in soil and plants, Macroinvertebrates survey for stream health, Plant diversity and root nodule bacteria, Geochemical testing of soil and groundwater.

Sinte Gleska University (Mission)

SGU Greenhouse
Aŋpétu Omášte (Sunny Day): SGU Greenhouse staff stand in front of a buffalo berry bush. All are current SGU students or graduates. June 2020. Image by Nick Klein.

Sinte Gleska University in Mission, South Dakota, will offer Botany (BI 245) in June for area high school and undergraduate students. Graduate teaching assistants Dera Iyotte and Krista Horvath will assist in delivering the courses and will incorporate Lakota cultural knowledge.

The courses may be delivered partially online depending on pandemic status this summer, and the laboratory hands-on portion will mostly be held outdoors. Contact Dera Iyotte, Dera.Iyotte@sintegleska.edu, or Krista Horvath, Krista.Horvath@sintegleska.edu, for more information.


Sisseton Wahpeton College (Sisseton)

(to come)


Lower Brule

The Lower Brule Summer Institute encourages area high school students to participate in one of three research projects in June and July involving collecting data, analyzing and presenting the results. Lower Brule Community College graduates and students will support the student research.

Contact Devon Ritter, devon@wopasi.org, or Esibelle Estes, esibelle@wopasi.org, for more information.


Eagle Butte and Pierre

Students are working on projects between June 14 and July 29.
Contact Bree Oatman, breeoatman@sd-discovery.org, for more information.