Indige-FEWSS Seminar Library

Native Voices in STEM
and Professional Seminar recordings


Cultural Humility and Supporting Native Students

Dr. Iris PrettyPaint

February 17, 2021

Dr. Iris PrettyPaint (Blackfeet/Crow Nations) is a leading authority on Native student achievement and recognition; cultural resilience and health realization; Indigenous evaluation; community prevention; and community and family engagement with rural and urban American Indian/Alaska Native communities. She guided the development of the Family Education Model, which integrates family-centered strategies for evaluation, networking, cultural activities, counseling, life skills, and mentoring. Dr. PrettyPaint spoke to over 125 University of Arizona and Dine' College students, staff and faculty about engaging with Native American students from a place of cultural humility. View the presentation slides, connect to resources and read the glossary and bibliography of suggested readings. Dr. PrettyPaint supplied a Resiliency personal assessment tool.

This workshop was not recorded. If you have any questions, please contact Cara Duncan Shopa at



Native STEM Education

Gregory Cajete, Tewa

September 13, 2021

Dr. Gregory Cajete's work is dedicated to honoring the foundations of Indigenous knowledge in education. He is a Tewa Indian from Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico. Dr. Cajete is also a scholar of herbalism and holistic health. He 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.

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Hopi Farming, Food Sovereignty and Indigenous STEM Education

Michael Kotutwa Johnson, Hopi

April 21, 2021

Michael Kotutwa Johnson, PhD, a member of the Hopi Tribe in Northern Arizona, serves as NAAF’s Research Associate. As a traditional Hopi farmer and practitioner, Dr. Johnson has given extensive lectures throughout his professional career on the topic of Hopi dryland farming, a practice of his people for over two millennia. Some of Dr. Johnson’s previous work experience involved agriculture and land related issues at First Nations Development Institute (FNDI) and the Indian Land Tenure Foundation (ITLF). He holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Pepperdine University and Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Arizona where he was an Alford P. Sloan Foundation scholar and American Indian Graduate Center STEM awardee. Dr. Johnson was a Natural Resource District Conservationist assigned to the Hopi Reservation for the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

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Indigenous and Interdisciplinary STEM Education

Daniel Wildcat, Yuchi Member of the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma

March 17, 2021

Daniel R. Wildcat, PhD, is a professor at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas, where he has been teaching for over 30 years. Dr. Wildcat is an accomplished scholar who write on indigenous knowledge, technology, environment, and education. He is also co-director of the Haskell Environmental Research Studies Center, which he founded with colleagues from the Center for Hazardous Substance Research at Kansas State University. Dr. Wildcat is the co-author with Vine Deloria, Jr. of “Powers and Places: Indian Education in America (published by Fulcrum, 2001), and co-editor with Steve Pavilik of “Destroying Dogmas: Vine Deloria, Jr., and his influence on American Society” (published by Fulcrum, 2006). Known for his commitment to environmental defense and cultural diversity, Dr. Wildcat has been honored with the Heart Peace Award by the Kansas City-based organization The Future Is Now.

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Tohono O'odham Climate Adaptation and Water Resources

Selso Villegas, Tohono O'odham

February 17, 2021

Dr. Selso Villegas (Tohono O'odham) serves as the Executive Director of the Tohono O'odham Department of Water Resources. His leadership and passion have been instrumental in developing a climate change adaptation plan for the Nation. Dr. Villegas, along with researchers from the IE and several graduate students, crafted a plan to address how climate change is likely to affect the Nation and which strategies could be used most effectively to reduce the negative impacts. The plan was approved by the Tohono O’odham Legislative Council in 2018, allowing for implementation by departments and agencies. Read Dr. Villegas' dissertation: Dynamics of Selenium in Cibola Lake, Arizona

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DigDeep Navajo Water Project: Long Term + Relief Projects

Emma Robbins, Diné

January 20, 2021

Emma Robbins is a Diné artist, activist, and environmentalist with a passion for empowering Indigenous women. As Director of the Navajo Water Project, part of the DigDeep Right to Water Project, she is working to create infrastructure that brings clean running water to the one in three Navajo families without it. Through her artwork, she strives to raise awareness about the lack of clean water in Native American nations. Robbins is also a 2020 Aspen Institute Healthy Communities Fellow.

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Navajo Ethno-Agriculture and Community Empowerment
Nonabah Lane, Navajo

December 2, 2020

Nonabah Lane is the co-founder of Navajo Ethno-Agriculture, a community non-profit she operates with her family to sustain Navajo culture by teaching traditional farming. Ms. Lane also co-founded Navajo Power, a public benefit corporation that develops utility scale clean energy projects on tribal lands.

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Studying Those Who Study Us: Anthropologists, Geneticists, and Indigenous Peoples
Kim Tallbear, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate

November 18, 2020

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Rethinking Tribal Resource Governance in an Era of Climate Change
Dr. Andrew Curley, Diné

October 21, 2020

Dr. Andrew Curley is Assistant Professor in the School of Geography, Development & Environment at the University of Arizona. Contact Dr. Curley at

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Indigenous Ecosystem Stewardship
Dr. Joseph Brewer, Cherokee Nation & Oglala Lakota

September 16, 2020

Dr. Joseph Brewer is Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and the Director of the Indigenous Studies Program at the University of Kansas. He received his PhD in Arid Lands Resources Sciences from the University of Arizona, where he was a Sloan Scholar.

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Working with Tribal Nations in Natural Resources & Climate Change
Dr. Casey Thornbrugh, Mashpee Wampanoag

April 28, 2020

Dr. Casey Thornbrugh (Mashpee Wampanoag) is the Tribal Climate Science Liaison for United South & Eastern Tribes, Inc., and Northeast/Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Centers.

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Trees, Water, & People
Mr. James Calabaza

March 4, 2020

Mr. James Calabaza is the National Program Coordinator for Trees Water & People. He spoke about the mission of empowering Native communities to move toward a renewable and cleaner world.

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Engineering with Leadership in the Indian Health Service-SFC Program
Part of the Alumni Lunch Series
Dr. Peter Littlehat

February 21, 2020

Dr. Peter Littlehat is the District Engineer for the Indian Health Services Sanitation Facilities Construction program. His primary responsibility is to provide safe drinking water and sanitation facilities to Navajo homes.

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Dr. Tommy Jones: Native Voices in STEM Seminar
Dr. Tommy Jones

February 5, 2020

Dr. Tommy Jones is an environmental engineer with the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs. His focus is on developing renewable energy projects on tribal lands.

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Endocrine Disrupting Pollutants in Wastewater
Dr. Otakuye Conroy-Ben

February 5, 2020

Dr. Otakuye Conroy-Ben is Assistant Professor at the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University (ASU).

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Outdoor Industry and the Food, Energy, Water Nexus
Len Necefer, PhD

September 3, 2019

Len Necefer, PhD, American Indian Studies and the Udall Center for Public Policy

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Prioritization of potable water infrastructure investments on the Navajo Nation
Ronson Chee, PhD, PE

April 17, 2019

Ronson Chee, PhD, PE; Principle Water Resources Engineer, Riley Engineering

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Conducting Business In Indian Country
Joan Timeche

March 13, 2019

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Food-Energy-Water Challenges in a Solar and Wind Powered, Off-Grid School
Mark Sorenson

February 13, 2019

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A Navajo Engineer’s Perspective on Walking in Beauty on an Ever-changing Path
Sandra Begay

January 16, 2019

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Arizona Tribal Extension: Supporting Tribal Communities and Extension in Indian Country
Trent Teegerstrom

November 7, 2018

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Indigenous Rights to Water and State Responsibility Under International Law
James Hopkins, PhD

October 10, 2018

Jim Hopkins, PhD, Associate Clinical Professor, Indigenous People's Law and Policy Program, Affiliated Professor of American Indian Studies & Latin American Studies

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Nexus Thinking, Nexus Tools, Nexus Solutions: Origins and Prospects for Food-Energy-Water Systems
Christopher Scott, PhD

September 12, 2018

Christopher Scott, PhD, Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy; Professor – School of Geography & Development; University Distinguished Scholar

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