Jim Rock (Dakota). Director of Indigenous Programming for the Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium at the University of Minnesota Duluth (retired June ’23), where he taught the Native Skywatchers ethno- and archaeoastronomy course in the Physics/Astronomy and Honors Departments. As co-author of a D/(L)akota Star Map Constellation Guide (2012), his goal is to “Indigenize and digitize the skies.” Since 2015, he presented Indigenous star knowledge in a touring 30 feet portable GeoDome planetarium in several languages to many thousands annually. He gave live domecasts from Turtle Island(North America) and around the globe with satellite data that allows us to see the changing Earth from space, and space from Earth. He was co-advisor for UMD AISES (American Indian Science & Engineering Society) and previously designed/taught a summer program for UM Twin Cities AISES/Andogiikendasowin Program (1992-2007).
Rock studied chemical engineering and taught physics, chemistry, astronomy and graduate education courses and American Indian Philosophy & Religion courses for Augsburg and Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College, UM/Twin Cities and the University of St. Thomas. Rock was the principal investigator and designed the first Native American experiment aboard NASA’s last space shuttle STS-135 Atlantis in 2011. He was a member of NASA’s Beautiful Earth Team and a consultant with NOAA’s World Views Network, the 106 Group, an exhibit designer and consultant at the Science Museum of Minnesota, founding governing councilmember of Makoce Ikikcupi, founder and board member/chair of Dream of Wild Health and boardmember of the Maya Society of Minnesota. Rock is an activist and author on archaeo- and ethno-astronomy and environmental education for sacred sites restoration issues for Wakan Tipi Cave and Interpretive Center at the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary in St. Paul. He received the 2023 Wakan Tipi Awanyankapi Environmental Award.
He published several books and articles from 2012 to 2023, including articles in the Univ. of Minn. Open Rivers Journal regarding the R.E.M.A.: Rattlesnake Effigy Mound at Afton and others: “Once Upon A Toxic Sanctuary: Partnering To Restore and Reclaim a Dakota Sacred Site (2017)” in Interdisciplinary Journal of Partnership Studies and “Wakan Tipi and Indian Mounds Park: Reclaiming An Indigenous Feminine Sacred Site” in AlterNative (2016). “Indigenous Riverscapes and Mounds: The Feminine Relationship of Earth, Sky and Water (2018) for Hawaii University International Conferences. He has worked and studied internationally in 10 countries and presented papers at the 2017, 2014 and 2005 World Indigenous People’s Conference on Education (WIPCE) in Toronto, Hawaii and Aotearoa (New Zealand) among others.