List Preview (by Last Name)
Christine Ami, Ph.D., is Faculty in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department at Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona. Christine teaches Anthropology, History, and Indigenous Research Methodologies and Methods. Ami received her doctoral degree in Native American Studies with an emphasis in Diné Studies, Animal Studies and Decolonial Studies at the University of California, Davis. Christine’s research investigates the nuances of traditional butchering of sheep throughout the Navajo Nation. Additionally, as the Navajo Cultural Arts Program (NCAP) Grant Manager at Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona, Christine is responsible for programing associated with the Navajo Cultural Arts Certificate Program, the Navajo Cultural Arts Apprenticeship Program as well as various cultural arts lectures and workshops offered throughout the year.
Torren Anderson is a storyteller, author and photographer. He has worked in the field of education for over twenty-five years. He received his MA in International Education and is certified to teach English as a foreign language from University of Arizona’s Center for English as a Foreign Language. He uses storytelling, photography, and writing as a tool for self -exploration and investigation of environmental issues. He has designed workshops and programs about creative writing, reading, digital storytelling, memoir, revision, poetry, and myths/fables.
Mark Bauer, PhD, is a Professor at the School of STEM of Diné College, where he teaches research methods, public health, and mathematics. Research areas (NIH, USDA, NSF and other funding) have included diabetes management, cancer screening, response to uranium mining exposures, HIV/AIDS and substance abuse prevention, availability and affordability of healthy foods on the reservation, the nutrition status of Head Start children, and promotion of family gardens. Current work is on testing a school gardening intervention. He runs a highly successful Summer Research Enhancement Program to teach public health research methods to undergraduate Navajo students and support their participation in internships in a variety of programs serving Navajo communities in areas of diabetes and cancer prevention, and promotion of wellness in general. Currently he co-directs the Navajo NARCH Partnership with Northern Arizona University which promotes a pathway from high school to graduate school in the field of public health.
Michelle Baker works for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 9 Office in San Francisco, and is the Disaster Recovery Coordinator for the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). In this role, Michelle assists the CNMI implement their smart, safe growth strategy. In addition, she manages funds appropriated through the Disaster Relief Act of 2019 to improve solid waste management in the CNMI.
Mae-Gilene Begay, MS is Diné (Navajo), her maternal clan is Salt and paternal clan is Bitterwater. She is Chair for the American Public Health Association Community Health Workers. She manages Navajo Nation Tribal programs that provide community outreach and health education. She conducts program/policy planning and development and ensures conformity to tribal policies. She collaborates with tribal and non-tribal resources to enhance and expand service delivery. Ms. Begay holds various leadership, administrative, and supervisory positions in health, foster care, adoption, behavioral health, youth empowerment, and Indian Health Services.
David Begay, Ph.D., is a member of the Navajo Nation. He received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Arizona, Tucson, in Political Science with a concentration in Policy Analysis and Indian Policy and Law Studies. He received his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA, with a concentration in Indigenous Education and Application of Traditional Knowledge. David is Adjunct faculty at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He is VP for the Indigenous Education Institute, Santa Fe, NM and works with the University of California, Berkeley, Space Sciences Laboratory through a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). He also works with the University of Notre Dame, through a grant from the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA). David is a cultural consultant to many organizations and corporations both in the United States and internationally. He is raised with the deep cultural knowledge, tradition, and language of his people.
Gregory Cajete is a Native American educator whose work is dedicated to honoring the foundations of Indigenous knowledge in education. Dr. Cajete is a Tewa Indian from Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico. Dr. Cajete is practicing a ceramic, pastel and metal artist. He is extensively involved with art and its application to education. He is also a scholar of herbalism and holistic health. Dr. Cajete also designs culturally-responsive curricula geared to the special needs and learning styles of Native American students. He worked at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico for 21 years. While at the Institute, he served as Dean of the Center for Research and Cultural Exchange, Chair of Native American Studies and Professor of Ethno-Science. He is the former Director of Native American Studies (18 years) and is Professor Emeritus in the Division of Language, Literacy, and Socio-Cultural Studies in the College of Education at the University of New Mexico. In addition, he has lectured at colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Italy, Japan, Russia, Taiwan, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, England, France, and Germany.
Chris Caldwell is currently the Interim President at the College of Menominee Nation. Caldwell, a graduate of the College and enrolled member of the Menominee Tribe, had served as Director of CMN’s Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) for the past eight years. Caldwell began his academic journey in higher education with an Associate Degree in Sustainable Development from CMN. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Environment and Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Nelson Institute, and also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resources from UW-Madison and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science and Policy from UW-Green Bay. Prior to his leadership role at SDI, Caldwell worked from 2005 until 2012 as Tribal Resources Director/Compliance and Enforcement Officer for the Menominee Tribe. His earlier career included positions as a forest products technician with the USDA Forest Service’s Forest Products Laboratory in Madison; student and intern with the U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs-NCCE; and timber marker/forestry technician with Menominee Tribal Enterprises. In the scholarly arena, Caldwell has done academic and applied research and publications on topics including forest ecology, climate change, and the Menominee theoretical model of sustainability. His participation with advisory boards and committees and leadership in planning numerous programs, conferences, and workshops has delivered learning on these same topics to students, tribal communities, and the general public. Earlier this year Caldwell and a Michigan State University colleague were awarded MSU’s Community Engagement Scholarship Award and the University’s Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Research. Caldwell is the fourth person to lead CMN since its inception in January 1993 under the leadership of Dr. Verna Fowler. The College is an accredited baccalaureate-level institution chartered by the Menominee People. Alumni number more than 1,200 individuals holding CMN academic degrees and technical diplomas. More than 40 percent of all graduates are enrolled or descendant Menominee and 70 percent in total are affiliated with American Indian tribes.
Cassandra Casperson joined the Student Programs Office at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) as an internship coordinator in January 2017. At LANL, Cassandra coordinates numerous federally funded internship programs for undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in STEM and many of these programs support students from populations traditionally underrepresented in STEM. Before coming to LANL, Cassandra worked as an academic advisor and program administrator at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO. In this capacity she managed a student internship program and instructed a senior Capstone internship course. Cassandra has fifteen years of experience working closely with students to help them succeed in their internship experiences.
Perry H. Charley, Shiprock Campus, Diné Environmental Institute Research & Outreach- has over 40 years of experiences in education, research (environmental, public health & psycho-social impacts), reclamation-remedial and legislative activities on impacts resulting from past nuclear industries on Navajo lands. In his capacity as Principal Investigators of numerous research projects, he applies Traditional Ecological Knowledge employing traditional values, concepts and their application to Western educational curriculum and research strategies, serves as a Native Cultural Advisor in numerous environmental and public health studies. He has served on several US EPA Advisory Committees. For the past 25 years, he has been instrumental in development of scientific-medical terminologies into Diné glossaries. This includes community organizing within the Navajo Indian Reservation working with Stakeholders and partners to advance social, environmental and economic justice, promoting community sustainability and transformation, effective community leadership, and developing and creating positive changes in communities through grassroots campaigns. From 2002 to 2008, Mr. Charley served on the National Academy of Science’s Committee on Improving Practices for Regulating and Managing Low-Activity Radioactive Wastes. Since 2008, he has served as a Distinguished Fellow with the Quality Education for Minorities- Leadership Development Institute, Tribal Colleges and Universities Programs. He also serves as Commissioner with the Diné Uranium Remediation Advisory Commission and the Navajo Nation Genetics Policy Development Council in efforts to life a moratorium on human genetics research on Navajo. Professionally and academically, he refers to himself as a simple Diné Sheepherder with a little more education.
Lura “Jody” Chase, Ph.D., is at NSF in Education and Human Resources Human Resources Development (HRD). Jody has worked directly with tribal colleges since 1994, when she managed the Rural Systemic Initiatives (RSI) Program. Since 2002, Jody has managed the Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP), which supports STEM capacity-building and instructional improvement in Tribal colleges, Alaska Native-serving, and Native Hawaiian-serving institutions of higher education. She holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Nevada Reno, and undergraduate and graduate degrees in organic chemistry from her home state of Mississippi.
Karletta Chief, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Sciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. Dr. Chief research focuses on how Indigenous communities will be affected by climate change and collaborated in an interdisciplinary group of scientists including hydrologists, system dynamic modelers, and social scientists to determine how hydrological models can be improved to identify and mitigate risks to these vulnerable populations.
Steven Chischilly is an Associate Professor of Environmental Science and past Chair of the Science Department and at Navajo Technical University, where he has been teaching courses in Environmental Science, Natural Resources, Forestry, Environmental Law, Ecology, Range Management and Special Topics courses such as Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response since 1996. Steve’s research focuses on Climate Change and he currently leads a USDA initiative identifying drought tolerance in pinon pine on the Navajo Nation, among other research with pinyon-juniper woodlands. He recently conducted three faculty research fellowships at the Army Research Laboratory in Maryland conducting research on using LiDAR for the research on pinyon and juniper, and he also attended the Organizaton for Tropical Studies in Costa Rica. Steve has served on the NIH Advisory Board for Minority Populations, the Native American STEM Advisory Board, and as an AISES advisor. He earned a B.S. in Biology from Fort Lewis College, a M.A in Biology (Genetics) from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is pursuing a PhD in Population Genetics from UC-Boulder. Steve owns Dine’ Bi Keyah Environmental, an environmental consulting company that conducts work primarily on the Navajo Nation dealing with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance.
Scott Cowell, PhD, teaches Environmental Science at the University of Arizona. He is very involved in outreach to community and tribal colleges, and in 2019 Dr. Cowell received a Provost Strategic Initiative Grant to foster 2+2 programs between community/tribal colleges and the University. Previously, while employed at Pima Community College, Dr. Cowell participated in outreach programs for Chemistry in underrepresented communities. He collaborated with ADR to teach students with disabilities and represented Chemistry on STEM outreach days. In 2016, Dr. Cowell received the Pima Community College Outstanding Faculty – Adjunct award.
Kern Collymore was born in the Caribbean Nation of Trinidad and Tobago and grew up in Staten Island. After graduating from Columbia University he co-founded Sixth World Solutions with his partner Janene Yazzie and moved back to her community of Lupton AZ on the Navajo Nation where he has worked on land restoration, water security and food sovereignty. Kern has spent the past 10 years working with Dine communities engaging youth and young adults to build their capacity to address local land water and food issues. While working for the Little Colorado River Watershed Chapters Association as the program director for the The Dine Bikeyah Community leadership program Kern was able to collaborate with different federal and tribal programs to create employment opportunities for over 100 Dine adults in the FEW fields. Kern continues to work to increase FEW opportunities for local community members.
Kathy DeerInWater, PhD, Chief Program Officer, American Indian Science & Engineering Society. Dr. Kathy DeerInWater is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. She joined AISES in October 2014, and completed her Doctoral degree in Ecology at the University of California, Davis in September 2015. As a long-time member of the AISES family, Dr. DeerInWater brings first-hand experience and passion to AISES’ mission of increasing the representation of Native people in STEM studies and careers. Dr. DeerInWater oversees program development, implementation, evaluation, and reporting for all AISES special projects, serving our youngest students to senior-level professionals. In addition, Dr. DeerInWater serves as the PI or program director on all research projects such as the National Science Foundation funded “Lighting the Pathway to Faculty Careers for Natives in STEM” project.
Avery Denny is a Hataałii and Diné Studies Faculty at Diné College. As a Hataałii with the Diné Medicine Man’s Association, he is a singer of the Blessing way/Hózhóójí, Protection Way/Naayée’eejí, and Klay’jih Hatal’, The Night Chant. A Hataałii holds the highest standard in the community practicing the Navajo Traditional Healing Ceremonies. These ceremonies last two, five and nine nights. These ceremonies are known as a Hatal’ or Nahaghá. This skill as a healer is like being a physician.
Joseph “Angel” de Soto, MD, PhD, holds a B.S. in Biophysical chemistry from La Sierra University, an M.D. in Medicine and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Howard University. Dr. de Soto is currently working on his third doctorate (DSS) in Strategic Studies in National Security and Intelligence at National American University. His current research is in Translational Oncology and Healthcare Disparities.
Sunny Dooley is the founder of the Hané Storytelling Festival for Indigenous storytellers and received the award of Olive B. O’Connor Distinguished Visiting Professor of Literature and Storyteller-in-Residence at Colgate University. Sunny was the only Native storyteller to be included in the Women’s Chautauqua Institute. In 2006, Sunny received the Navajos Making a Difference Award at the annual Navajo Studies conference.
John Doyle was born, raised and lives on the Crow Reservation in south central Montana. A Crow Tribal member, he served as a County Commissioner and member of the Health Board for 24 years, and as the volunteer Co-Director of the Apsaalooke [Crow] Water and Wastewater Authority for the past 15 years. In the latter capacity Doyle led a nearly complete overhaul and renovation of Crow Agency’s water and wastewater infrastructure, raising more than $20 million for this work. A founding member of the Crow Environmental Health Steering Committee (CEHSC), Doyle has worked since 2005 to help guide community-based risk assessments of exposure to waterborne contaminants in public, home well, cultural and recreational water sources. Doyle leads community education and risk mitigation efforts on water quality and drinking water security across the Crow Reservation, including testing of home well water and springs. He has served as Co-PI of EPA research funding, and currently is the PI for NSF and NIH awards for Little Big Horn College, the Tribal College on the Reservation. He also co-leads research on climate change impacts to Tribal water resources and community health, and mentors Crow graduate student and undergraduate interns. He has co-authored half a dozen peer-reviewed publications on this work, as well as contributed to the Montana Climate Assessment. Doyle is a co-founder and active Board member of the Crow non-profit Plenty Doors, which works on economic development for the Crow people.
Cara Duncan Shopa, MS, is the program coordinator for the University of Arizona NSF-NRT “Indigenous Food, Energy, and Water Security and Sovereignty.” After receiving her MS in Clinical Psychology from Emporia University, she worked in the field of education for over 20 years, as a psychology instructor and providing psychoeducational assessment and support services for children. Cara also managed volunteer and support group programming for Supporting Kidds, a bereavement center, and provided bereavement and trauma counseling for children and families. After falling in love with Tucson, Cara moved to Arizona and found a home at the University of Arizona, contributing to graduate student programming and FEWS sustainability initiatives.
Carl Etsitty, is the Plant Protection and Quarantine Tribal Liaison for the USDA-APHIS. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is a multi-faceted Agency with a broad mission area that includes protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health, regulating genetically engineered organisms, administering the Animal Welfare Act and carrying out wildlife damage management activities. These efforts support the overall mission of USDA, which is to protect and promote food, agriculture, natural resources and related issues.
H. Scott Halliday has been at Navajo Technical University since 2003 and is the Coordinator of the Navajo Technical University’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing. Mr. Halliday has been instrumental in the growth of NTU’s engineering programs which today are the only TCU engineering programs to be ABET accredited. Mr. Halliday has helped develop AAS, BAS and BS programs at NTU as well as an Advanced Manufacturing lab that rivals any “traditional” University. Mr. Halliday’s goal is to provide the very same opportunities for Navajo and Native American students in general at a TCU that would be available at any larger university and provides support for education, research and economic development.
Shazia Tabassum Hakim, PhD, is a Microbiologist/Bacteriologist with expertise in Public health services, research, academics, diagnostics, molecular biology & cell culture techniques. She has 19+ years of bench experience at numerous Clinical/Diagnostic & Research laboratories of Pakistan & US (particularly as Microbiologist & Serologist). She also served as Chairperson and Professor, Dean Faculty of Science & Research at Jinnah University for Women, Karachi, Pakistan. She has educational certifications and qualifications in Medical Laboratory Technology, Microbiology, Biosafety and SOTL in Microbiology.
Stephanie Hall, Executive Director of Tolani Lake Farms, grew up in Leupp, AZ, where she helped her family at Beaver farm with her family’s horses and sheep. After she graduated high school, she joined the U.S. Army as a public affairs specialist and traveled the world on assignments and one deployment to Afghanistan. After she was honorably discharged, she pursued and was awarded a Bachelor’s of Arts in Anthropology with a minor in Ethics from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. Stephanie is a proud mother and daughter and hopes to strengthen her family and community by helping to develop and implement community-based projects.
Timonie Hood is a Zero Waste and Green Building Coordinator for the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Pacific Southwest Office. She served as a past Co-Chair of EPA’s Green Building Workgroup; Co-Created the EPA/AIA/Building Materials Reuse Association Lifecycle Building Challenge – an online competition on designing buildings for adaptation, disassembly, and reuse; and was the first federal LEED Accredited Professional. She has been working on the development and implementation of a Zero Waste Plan with government and industry experts to co-convene the Bay Area Deconstruction Workgroup.
Elizabeth Hoover, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources. She has a rich multidisciplinary background with a PhD from Brown University in Anthropology with a focus on Environmental and Critical Medical Anthropology. Her current research focuses on Native American environmental health and food sovereignty movements. She has published articles about food sovereignty, environmental reproductive justice in Native American communities, the cultural impact of fish advisories on Native communities, tribal citizen science, and health social movements.She has written several books in these areas: The River is In Us; Fighting Toxins in a Mohawk Community and ‘Garden Warriors’ to ‘Good Seeds;’ Indigenizing the Local Food Movement. She also co-edited Indigenous Food Sovereignty in the United States: Restoring Cultural Knowledge, Protecting Environments, and Regaining Health.
Jani C. Ingram, Ph.D. (Chemistry and Biochemistry) investigates environmental contaminants with respect to their impact on health. A major part of her research is focused on characterizing uranium and arsenic contamination in water, soil, plants and livestock. A critical aspect of her research is to foster collaborations with the Native American community and leaders to build trust, obtain access to field samples and gain insights into their health concerns. Recruiting Native American students to work with her as a Navajo principal investigator on the project and building an interdisciplinary, collaborative team of scientists with expertise in analytical chemistry, geoscience, cancer biology, and social sciences are also important to her research. She is also a member of the Navajo Nation (born to the Naneesht’ ezhi clan) and is involved in the outreach activities for Native American students in undergraduate and graduate research. She is the principal investigator of the Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention and the director of the Bridges to Baccalaureate program. She was named the 2018 recipient of the American Chemical Society Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences.
Angela James is Vice Chair of the Pinoleville Pomo Nation. Pinoleville is one of ten independent Sovereign tribes in Mendocino County, California, each governed by their own constitution and tribal laws. She works with UC Berkeley’s CARES (Community Assessment of Renewable Energy and Sustainability), initially to co-design sustainable housing for low-income families of her 300-persson nation.
Gilbert H. John has a PhD in Microbiology from Colorado State University and a Postdoc in Toxicology from University of Arizona. His decision to pursue an academic career was fueled by his desire to engage in high level research and to teach future scientists, particularly underrepresented minorities. As a Native American scientist himself, Dr. John is keenly aware of the under-representation of Native Americans in the biomedical sciences. For 22 years, as faculty at Oklahoma State University (OSU) and head of a research laboratory, he was fortunate enough to work with under represented populations. In his research, Dr. John studies the structure and function of flavin proteins in Clostridium perfringens, Enterococcusfaecium and Pseudomonas aeruginosa which are potential human pathogens. His research was funded mainly by the NIH, NSF, and private agencies. Through his research activities, Dr. John was able to develop and direct multiple training programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. Building on this experience, he now serves as the Assisted Dean for Research in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science (CVMBS) at Colorado State University, a full-time administrative position. In his capacity as Assistant Dean for Research Dr. John’s goal is to improve the research environment at the CVMBS. Specifically, he assists and facilitates the development of faculty research efforts (pre-award, post-award, compliance, etc.), student research training programs, and initiatives to improve diversity. Dr. John is also the PI of a research team that is addressing the impact of uranium mines on the Navajo people as well as Co-PI on several training grants for undergraduate, graduate, and DVM students.
Wahleah Johns is the Co-Founder and Executive Director and a member of the Navajo (Diné) tribe and comes from the community of Forest Lake, Arizona atop Black Mesa. Wahleah’s work with the Black Mesa Water Coalition and Navajo Green Economy Coalition has led to groundbreaking legislative victories for groundwater protection, green jobs, and environmental justice. In 2019, she was awarded the Nathan Cummings Foundation Fellowship.
Rex Kontz is the deputy general manager for the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA). The NTUA was established on January 22, 1959, to address the absence of utilities on the 27,000 square-mile Navajo Nation. Since then, NTUA has grown into a self-sustaining, not-for-profit, successful tribally-owned enterprise. NTUA is organized for the operation, maintenance and expansion of electric, communications, natural gas, water, wastewater and generation, including photovoltaic (solar) services for the Navajo people at a low and reasonable cost. In addition to providing multi-utility services, other objectives of NTUA are to promote employment opportunities on the Navajo Nation, and to improve the health and welfare of the residents of the Navajo Nation while raising the standard of life.
Benita Litson is the Director of Diné College-Land Grant Office. Ms. Litson has served in this capacity for 9 years, providing professional experiences in project development for Navajo Ranchers and Farmers by offering technical service around rangeland management, conservation planning workshops, and various extension and outreach programs. In addition to her responsibility to the Navajo Communities, she has developed a Natural Resource Certificate Program and serves as an Instructor for the program’s courses at Diné College.
JoRee LaFrance comes from the Apsáalooke Nation and was born and raised on the Crow reservation in southeastern Montana. Her Apsáalooke name is Iichiinmáatchilash/Fortunate with Horses and she is Greasy Mouth clan and a child of Ties in the Bundle clan. She currently resides in Tucson, Arizona as a third-year PhD student at the University of Arizona in the Department of Environmental Sciences. JoRee’s research aims to understand the concentration-discharge relationship in the Little Bighorn River and those impacts on the Indige-FEWSS nexus and tribal water uses on her reservation.
Nonabah Lane is a sustainability specialist and entrepreneur in environmental and culturally conscious business development, energy education, and tribal community commitment. She is a co-founder of Navajo Ethno-Agriculture, a farm that teaches Navajo culture through traditional farming and bilingual education, and is active in promoting and developing tribal sustainable energy strategies.
Peter Littlehat, Ph.D, P.E. (Navajo) is a District Engineer for the Indian Health Services Sanitation Facilities Construction program at Fort Defiance, Arizona. He is also an engineering officer in the US Public Health Services Commissioned Corps. His primary responsibilities are to provide safe drinking water and sanitation facilities to Navajo homes. This includes planning, designing, reviewing, and overseeing the construction of water and sewer facilities to individuals homes and complex community infrastructures. He enjoys mentoring and providing technical guidance to engineers who are still early in their careers. Dr. Littlehat holds a Professional Engineering license in the State of Arizona. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Arizona, and B.S. from Northern Arizona University all in Environmental Engineering.f
Vinod K. Lohani, Ph.D., is an NSF Program Director (NRT, Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE), and CAREER programs) in the Division of Graduate Education. He is on leave as a Professor of Engineering Education and a W.S. “Pete” White Chair for Innovation in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech (VT). He received his undergraduate engineering degree in India, M.S. at the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand and Ph.D. in civil engineering from VT. His research interests are in the areas of computer-supported research and learning systems, engineering education, hydrology, and international collaboration. He is founding director of an interdisciplinary lab called Learning Enhanced Watershed Assessment System (LEWAS) at VT. This lab is a unique real-time high frequency water and weather monitoring research and education lab on VT campus and has an associated cyberlearning system called the Online Watershed Learning System (OWLS). In 2011, he was awarded the American Society for Engineering Education International Division’s Global Engineering & Engineering Technology Educator Award.
Patrick Naranjo is a member of the Santa Clara Pueblo. He is the Director for the American Indian Graduate Program at UC Berkeley. Patrick holds a B.S. from Haskell Indian Nations University and an M.A. from UCLA in American Indian Studies with an emphasis on contemporary tribal cultural property protections. He is a very active member within my home community. His intentions are to break the historical barriers that are associated with Native students so that a new generation can see themselves (fully) succeeding in prestigious institutions of higher education, working on Native specific research.
Teresa Newberry, Ph.D., is Chair of Science and Health at Tohono O’odham Community College (TOCC). She is a science educator, researcher, and program director who values equity in education, environmental sustainability, partnerships, and multi-disciplinary approaches to problem-solving and knowledge production. She has been Principal Investigator on several grants in climate change, energy sustainability, and capacity-building. Starting 15 years ago, she developed the TOCC Science program using innovative methods in culturally-based education. She is Principal Investigator on the NSF TCUP STEM Grant, Pathways to Indigenous STEM, which aims to increase student success in STEM by strengthening and Indigenizing the science curriculum, increasing research capacity, and implementing culturally-responsive academic support for students.
Ilena Yeru Pegan is the Water Quality Specialist for the EPA Department at Pinoleville Pomo Nation. Ilena is a filmmaker, science communicator and environmentalist focused on amplifying voices that need to be heard. She studied Geology and Environmental Science at Bryn Mawr College. For the last six years, Ilena has been collaborating with Pinoleville, working to build conservation plans, watershed assessments and outreach programs.
Yael Perez, PhD, is a Research Fellow at the Blum Center and the InFEWS Program Coordinator. She holds a PhD in Architecture from the UC Berkeley. Her scholarship focuses on co-design methodologies and technologies to support and empower communities and design practitioners in fostering sustainable development. Currently, she leads the Blum Review on Development Impact, a repository of Development Engineering case studies. For over a decade, she has been collaboratively leading CARES—Community Assessment of Renewable Energy and Sustainability—a team of UC Berkeley faculty and students working with Native American Citizens in their pursuit of sustainable development. Before joining the Blum Center, she was a visiting scholar at IIT Mandi (India).
Shandin Pete, PhD, was raised in Arlee, Montana on the Flathead Indian Reservation. His mother is Salish and his father is Navajo. At the University of Montana, he completed a Masters of Science in Geology and a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. Dr. Pete has been working at Salish Kootenai College in the Natural Resources Division since 2008 where he also co-founded the first Hydrology program among the Tribal College system. He currently serves as the Director of the Indigenous Research Center at SKC. Dr. Pete is seeking to advance understandings of indigenous research methodologies from Salish philosophical commitments. His approach to teaching and research seeks to harness the cultural values and knowledge of his community.
Zhao Qiu is the Self-Governance Administrator, Pinoleville Pomo Nation; The Pomo Youth College and Career Success Project Director. In 2016, Pinoleville Pomo Nation was awarded a 4-year Indian Education Demonstration Grant #S299A160006 under the Department of Education to support Native American students (pre-K to 12th Grade) to achieve college and career success. This project partners with Ukiah Unified School District (UUSD), collaborated with other tribes in the greater Ukiah area and non-profits to implement three major strategies to address critical challenges faced by the Native students in the Ukiah, CA area: 1.) Community Cultural Education 2.) Enhancement of Academic and Family Support 3.) Mentoring and Academic Counseling.
Erin Riley is a National Program Leader in the Division of Community and Education at the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. As the National Program Leader, she provides program management and oversight on 1994 Research, Education Equity, Extension Capacity and Special Emphasis, 1994 Institutions Endowment Fund and the Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Grant Program.
Timberley Roane (Lumbee), PhD, received her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in 1999. Dr. Roane is currently an Associate Professor of Microbiology in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Colorado Denver. Her research interests aim to increase our understanding of the roles microorganisms and microbial communities play in ecosystem restoration, chemical mitigation, and energy production. In collaboration with scientific, regulatory, and community agencies and organizations, Dr. Roane’s research is interdisciplinary involving many different scientific disciplines and cultural expertise in addressing complex issues impacting environmental health and representation. Working within the fields of basic microbial ecology and applied environmental microbiology, her research has been sponsored by research agencies including the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, and the National Science Foundation. Regularly publishing and presenting their research, Dr. Roane’s program combines conventional and advanced molecular and biochemical approaches to the study of microorganisms, and involves students from diverse backgrounds, educational levels, and scientific interests. Dr. Roane is currently a director of the Environmental Stewardship of Indigenous Lands certificate program and is the faculty sponsor of the CU Denver American Indian Science and Engineering Society student organization.
Emma Robbins, is the Navajo Water Project Director at Dig Deep. She is a native artist, activist, and environmentalist originally from the Navajo Nation in Arizona. She completed her BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and studied Contemporary and Modern Latin American Art in Argentina. She currently splits her time between Los Angeles and the Rez, with her dog Cindy Sherman, where she works as American Projects Director for digdeep.org, providing families on the reservation with clean, running water.
Donald Robinson, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the School of STEM at Diné College in Tsaile, AZ. Dr. Robinson is past Chair of the Science Division and is the Principle Investigator for the NSF TCUP grant, STEM 2020, responsible for starting BS degrees in Biology, and Secondary Education Science and Math at Diné College. This grant also supports student research internships, including students participating in this CoInFEWS Workshop. Dr. Robinson is also PI for EPA grants to study watershed and livestock contamination from abandoned uranium mines. Past research involved behavioral health promotion through alternative medical systems, including the practice of Transcendental Meditation.
Charles Roessel, PhD, is the former Director of the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) where he oversaw 183 K-12 schools and two Tribal Colleges and Universities. As the Director, Dr. Roessel spearheaded a $1 billion reform and reorganization effort that focused on tribal sovereignty, self determination and self-governance as a cornerstone of school improvement. Prior to his work at the BIE, Dr. Roessel served as the Superintendent of Rough Rock Community School where he implemented a Navajo Language Immersion program, improved the financial operations, and secured $56 million in funding that resulted in the construction of a new elementary school, dormitories and renovation of the high school.
Valerie Segrest, an enrolled member of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, serves as the Native American Agriculture Fund’s Regional Director for Native Food and Knowledge Systems. She has a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition and Health Sciences from Bastyr University and a Master of Arts in Environment and Community. Ms. Segrest has dedicated her work in the field of Native American Nutrition towards the efforts of the food sovereignty movement rooted in education, awareness and overcoming barriers to accessing traditional foods for tribal communities throughout North America. Ms. Segrest has co-authored several publications including the books, Feeding the People, Feeding the Spirit: Revitalizing Northwest Coastal Indian Food Culture and Feeding Seven Generations: A Salish Cookbook. Valerie aims to inspire and enlighten others about the importance of a nutrient-dense diet through a culturally appropriate, common sense approach to eating.
Sriram Shamasunder, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at UCSF, and co-founder and faculty director of the HEAL Initiative, a health workforce strengthening fellowship working in Navajo Nation and 9 countries around the world. He obtained his Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene in 2013. Throughout the last decade he has spent several months out of every year in underserved settings around the world including South Los Angeles, rural Liberia, Haiti, Burundi, and rural India.
Neilroy Singer is currently the Environmental Specialist with Dine Environmental Institute Research & Outreach program. He graduated from New Mexico State University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Kinesiology. His focus aims towards the environmental and health impacts of Uranium and other radionuclides in the area of the Cove Community under the careful supervision of Dr. Perry H. Charley (Senior Scientist, Dine College). His involvement provides opportunity for him to mentor and/or supervise undergraduate full-time and summer interns. This work keeps him involved with other studies such as; the Gold King Mine Spill with Dr. Karletta Chief (University of Arizona), Stove Exchange Study with Dr. Lupita Montoya (University of Colorado, Boulder), and The Phytoremediation Study with Dr. William Joseph Waugh (Navarro Research & Engineering).
Suzanne Singer is a member of the Navajo (Diné) tribe and grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona. She co-founded the non-profit organization Native Renewables in 2016 to solve energy access challenges for 15,000 families in the Navajo Nation who live without electricity. Singer earned a PhD and MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, where she investigated thermal transport in thermoelectric materials, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Arizona.
Mark W. Sorensen, PhD, is the co-founder, Governing Board President, and CEO of The STAR (Service To All Relations) School, the first off-grid solar and wind powered public elementary school in the U.S. As an administrator, Dr.Sorenson work has focused on improving the quality of Native American and Native Hawaiian education by developing place-based, full service, culturally relevant and ecologically sensitive schools. He has a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. As a trainer, author, and speaker on place-based education, Dr. Sorensen has helped to develop and encourage green schools in Indigenous communities across the United States.
Kim Tallbear, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the University of Alberta. Dr. Tallbear is working to build a research and training program at the University of Alberta that is focused on Indigenous peoples’ engagements with science and technology as those fields and projects serve Indigenous self-determination. Dr. Tallbear is interested in the historical and ongoing roles of science and technology (technoscience) in the colonization of Indigenous peoples and others. Additionally, she is concerned with research, collaborations, and teaching Indigenous, postcolonial, and feminist science studies analyses that enable not only critique but generative thinking about the possibilities for democratizing science and technology.
Maya A. Trotz, Ph.D., born in Georgetown, Guyana is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of South Florida (USF), Tampa. She works at the nexus of geochemistry/water quality and global/community sustainability and education with current and previous student research projects in Barbados, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Bolivia, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, and Peru. Maya’s interests are interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, applied and seek to forge non-‐traditional university partnerships.
James Tutt, M.Ed., Dean of the School of STEM at Diné College in Tsaile, AZ. He previously worked as an administrator at Diné College’s Shiprock campus from 1975 to 1988. He is the former president of Navajo Technical College. Tutt, who is from Red Valley, Ariz., is a graduate of Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., and Western New Mexico University.
John Weishampel, Ph.D., is an NSF Program Director in the Division of Graduate Education (NRT). He is on leave from the University of Central Florida, where he has served as a Professor in Biology and Associate Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. His primary research interest is in the field of landscape ecology, i.e., how landscape pattern influences ecological processes and biodiversity. Using simulation models coupled with field observations, he explores how the interplay between abiotic conditions (e.g., habitat structure, natural and anthropogenic disturbance regimes) and biotic processes (e.g., competition, dispersal, growth, succession) governs the behavior of plants and animals at landscape scales.
Daniel R. Wildcat is a Yuchi member of the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma. His service as teacher and administrator at Haskell spans 34 years. In 2013 he was the Gordon Russell visiting professor of Native American Studies at Dartmouth College. He has served as adjunct faculty for the Bloch School – UMKC for the past decade. Dr. Wildcat received B.A. and M.A. degrees in sociology from the University of Kansas and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. In 1994 he helped form a partnership with the Hazardous Substance Research Center at Kansas State University to create the Haskell Environmental Research Studies (HERS) Center as a non-profit Native American research center to facilitate: 1) technology transfer to tribal governments and Native communities, 2) transfer of accurate environmental information to tribes, and 3) research opportunities to tribal college faculty and students throughout the United States. He is the author and editor of several books: Power and Place: Indian Education In America, with Vine Deloria, Jr.; Destroying Dogma: Vine Deloria’s Legacy on Intellectual America, with Steve Pavlik. His most recent book, Red Alert: Saving the Planet with Indigenous Knowledge, suggests current environmental issues will require the exercise of indigenous ingenuity – indigenuity – and wisdom if humankind is to reduce the environmental damage underway. He is a co-author on the Southern Great Plains chapter of the Fourth National Climate Assessment.
Duane “Chili” Yazzie is the President of the Shiprock Chapter of the Navajo Nation. Yazzie, who is better known as “Chili,” became a voice for the Navajo people and began paving a path of “peaceful resistance” on which he has walked since. Yazzie’s experiences as an activist earned him a place on the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission, formed in 2008 in response to the Clint John shooting. He served as chairman of the commission for four years. He traveled to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and other international forums promoting Native rights. He also helped put in place Memoranda of Understanding between the Navajo Nation and seven of its 13 border towns, including Farmington.
Rebecca Zarger, PhD, is a cultural anthropologist at the University of South Florida. For more than a decade (2000-present) Zarger has explored the ways environmental knowledge, practice, and meanings are learned, taught, and transformed by children and their families in Q’eqchi’ and Mopan Maya communities in Belize. Since 2008, she has worked on the interdisciplinary project “Development and resilience of complex socioeconomic systems: A theoretical model and case study from the Maya Lowlands” to study the relationships between cultural landscapes, climate change, and the resilience of complex sociopolitical systems in the Maya lowlands of southern Belize, supported through the NSF Human Social Dynamics program.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DGE-1633740. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.