Newswise — The ND EPSCoR Nurturing American Tribal Undergraduate Research and Education (NATURE) University Summer Camp will be returning to the campuses of North Dakota State University (NDSU) and the University of North Dakota (UND) with an opening ceremony at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, June 6 in the Diederich Atrium in the NDSU Alumni Center. 

Every June, the ND EPSCoR State Office hosts its NATURE University Summer Camp for Tribal College and University students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). During this camp, students are afforded the opportunity to spend two weeks at the two largest research universities in North Dakota and engage in research related to their chosen academic fields. Camp participants tour the NDSU and UND campuses, tour STEM labs, meet faculty, and conduct short research projects.   

Dozens of students are expected to travel from four of the North Dakota Tribal Colleges and Universities (Cankdeska Cikana Community College, Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College, Sitting Bull College, and Turtle Mountain Community College) to attend University Summer Camp.  They will not only be able to explore their STEM interests but they will also be exposed to the university experience. The University Summer Camp also provides student mentors to work with camp attendees during their stay.

Raymond Burns, ND EPSCoR Tribal Partnerships Manager, organizes the camp with the aid of associate camp coordinators Dr. Uwe Burghaus, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at NDSU, and Dr. Hallie Chelmo, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at UND. “Many TCU [Tribal College and University] STEM students have never had the opportunity to work in dedicated laboratory spaces to pursue their academic goals. Through the University Summer Camp, TCU students have that opportunity, and it is hoped that through this opportunity, they will continue to pursue a career in STEM,” noted Burns.

The University Summer Camp kicks off with a welcoming ceremony on June 6, beginning at 11:00 a.m. at the Diederich Atrium in the NDSU Alumni Center, and closes on June 17 at 12:30 p.m. at the Gransberg Community Room in the Gorecki Alumni Center at UND. Both the opening and closing ceremonies are open to the public.

NATURE University Summer Camp will run at both NDSU and UND from June 6 – 17.

NATURE programs are currently funded by the State of North Dakota and the National Science Foundation EPSCoR Track-1 Cooperative Agreement OIA #1946202.


The NATURE program is an educational outreach project. NATURE aims to improve STEM education among middle school, high school, and tribal college students and to build a pathway for American Indians living in North Dakota who are interested in pursuing careers in STEM disciplines. NATURE builds on activities of a long-term collaboration between tribal colleges in North Dakota, North Dakota State University, and the University of North Dakota. NATURE programs are currently funded by the State of North Dakota and the National Science Foundation EPSCoR Track-1 Cooperative Agreement OIA #1946202.


ND EPSCoR was established in 1986 as an ND University System co-funded program to strengthen the state’s science and technology infrastructure and enhance its participation in the nation’s competitive research and development enterprise. ND EPSCoR has benefited ND by helping students, supporting quality faculty, growing research infrastructure capacity, and assisting with innovative research that positively impacts the state’s economy and its citizens. For information, visit

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