Academics at Prescott College

Jared D. Aldern, Ph.D.

Associate Faculty

Jared Dahl Aldern is an environmental historian, ecological restorationist, and educator living in Central California. He directs Prescott College's Land Tenure Education and Restoration Project, serves as an Associate Faculty member in the Master of Arts Program (MAP), and is an alumnus of both MAP and the Ph.D. Program in Sustainability Education. Having studied and taught at numerous institutions, Aldern says Prescott College offers opportunities available nowhere else.

"Prescott offers challenging, complex, and intellectually exciting programs of study. This is an ideal academic institution for students who wish to stay engaged in their own local communities as they join a global community of scholars, shape and define their positions within the scholarly community, and make original contributions to it."

Jared Aldern



Ph.D., Prescott College, Education (Concentration in Sustainability Education), 2010.

M.A., Prescott College, History and Environmental Studies, 2002.

A.B., Cornell University, Physics (Concentration in Biophysics), 1981.



Drawing on archival research, linguistic anthropology, literary theory, and oral interviews, Aldern's research has focused on how members of the North Fork Mono Tribe and other Indigenous groups construct historical knowledge, restore ecosystems, and sustain their land and water tenure. Much of this work focuses on how Indigenous people apply fire to the land for cultural purposes and for ecological restoration. In addition to his faculty position at Prescott College, Aldern co-directs the Comparative Wests Project at the Bill Lane Center for the American West, Stanford University. He is also a member of the steering committee for the Southern Sierra Prescribed Fire Council.

Aldern has developed various indigenous language and ecological field research programs in collaboration with Native American nations and natural resource agencies, and he has helped to develop community-based curriculum for a number of K-12 school districts. He also served as a Start-up Committee member and the public school liaison for the Southern California Tribal Digital Village, and he was a member of the Planning Team and the Tribal Water Stories Team for the 2009 California Tribal Water Summit. See for links to the Summit Proceedings, the Tribal Water Stories book, and digital videos.

Aldern has taught in elementary schools, high schools, and at several California colleges and universities. Currently he participates in research on professional development for teachers with the Assessment and Dissemination Project, part of the California Postsecondary Education Commission's Improving Teacher Quality Program. See

Aldern also directs the Land Tenure Education and Restoration Project (LTERP), a Prescott College program based in California. In collaboration with the Indian Land Tenure Foundation and several Native American nations, LTERP focuses on K-12 curriculum development and professional development for teachers. The curriculum draws on California state academic content standards, with American Indian culture, history, and current land and water topics -- such as American Indian restoration of montane meadows -- at the core of the lessons. 

See and for more information about the Land Tenure Education and Restoration Project.



Environmental history, eco-cultural restoration, American Indian studies, K-12 education.



Aldern, Jared Dahl. Review of Telling Stories in the Face of Danger: Language Renewal in Native American Communities, edited by Paul V. Kroskrity. Forthcoming in Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology. 

Aldern, Jared Dahl. "Making Space for North Fork Mono (Nium) Narrative: Land, Learning, Parataxis, Policy, and Water in Central California." Forthcoming in Occasion: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities.

Aldern, Jared Dahl. California adaptation of the Indian Land Tenure Foundation's K-12 land tenure curriculum. Published online in 2011. See and

Aldern, Jared. Lessons and Activities for 11th Grade Teachers to Accompany We Are California: Stories of Immigration and Change. Curriculum for the We Are California website ( A California Stories Project of the California Council for the Humanities.  Published online in September 2008.

Aldern, Jared. "Response to Morgan Robertson’s 'Borges and the Restorationist’s Dilemma.'” Ecological Restoration, Vol. 19, No.4 (2001), 207.

Aldern, Jared. "Breaking Barriers: The California History-Social Science Project at UCSD." Social Studies Review, Fall 1996.



Recent Presentations:

"Indigenous Fire, Land, Water, Art, and Education," guest lecture in California Indian Environmental Policy class, University of California, Davis, February 2013.

“Story, Restoration, and Sovereignty: Indigenous Art and Performance as How-To Manual,” Invited lecture in Ecological Restoration. Connecticut College Environmental Studies, Anthropology, and Theater departments, New London, CT. February 2012.

“North Fork Mono Narrative: Land, Learning, Parataxis, Policy, and Water in Central California,” a paper presented at the 2012 Comparative Wests Conference at Stanford University. January 2012. 

“North Fork Mono Stories, Land, and Water,” a contribution to the Symposium on Land, Water and Air: Sustaining Traditional Obligations at the California Indian Conference, Chico, CA, October 2011.

Presenter (with Ron Goode of the North Fork Mono Tribe and Terry Janis of the Indian Land Tenure Foundation), “Lessons of Our California Land: Native American Land Tenure Curriculum for California,” California Indian Conference, Chico, CA, October 2011.

Invited Participant, “Trails of Fire: Signatures of Cultural and Environmental Transformations on the American and Australian Frontiers,” a four-day workshop organized by the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University, with participants from Stanford, Australian National University, California State University, Chico, the Campo Kumeyaay Nation, the Martu Native Title, the North Fork Mono Tribe, and the U.S. Forest Service. Stanford and North Fork, CA, June 2011.



Selected Awards, Fellowships, and Grants:

Scholar of the West Fellowship, Bill Lane Center for the American West, Stanford University, 2012-13.

Merit-based scholarship for the Prescott College Ph.D. Program in Sustainability Education. 2006-2010.

Blasker Environmental Program Grant from the San Diego Foundation. 2004-05.

Milton Fintzelberg Award, for the outstanding paper submitted on the Native American, Spanish, or Mexican periods of San Diego history to the 2003 Institute of History, San Diego Historical Society.

Richard G. Lillard Fellowship for research in environmental history, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California. 2001.

Fellowship for research on the work of the writer and educator Mary Hunter Austin, California History-Social Science Project, University of California, San Diego. 1999.

John Montgomery Education Award for significant contributions to the teaching of regional history, from the Congress of History of San Diego and Imperial Counties. 1998.

Received grant to conduct ecological restoration project with K-12 students in Anza- Borrego Desert State Park, California. 1996.

Participating Fellow, “Major American Utopias,” a 1995 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for School Teachers, St. Mary’s College, Moraga, California.

Received curriculum development grant from the Fund for Wild Nature. 1993.

Instruction at Prescott College

Instruction at Prescott College


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