Mishkos Keher nomagwen: The Teachings of Grass, a chapter in Robin Wall-Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass , illustrates the story of a graduate student researcher wishing to incorporate meaningfulness into her work. She decides to focus in on sweetgrass harvesting methods, and how such methods effect the surrounding environment. She is at first ridiculed, but ultimately shows that harvesting actually increases the health of sweetgrass fields, as opposed to just letting them sit.
The woman's research was inspired by those in the local native community, who had often talked of the best way to harvest the grass. One thing was certain between them all though, that harvesting the grass was better than letting it sit.
Had transdisciplinary research approaches been used in this research, the histories of the harvests could have been discovered as well. Furthermore, differing points of view could have aided in determining the actual biological reasons for why the plants did better with harvest, rather than just settling on that conclusion.
The research could have much more easily been done transdisciplinarily had the academic board sponsoring the research believed in such methods. The board was quite dismissive of any non "hard data" research, especially toward the generational stories of the native communities.
Madison Tinker and others of the University of Wyoming Ski Team