This year's Southwestern Tribal Climate Change Summit features incredible presenters, who will be sharing their knowledge and experiences with Summit attendees throughout the program.
In order of appearance:
Nikki Cooley | Shasta Gaughen | Pamela Jordan | Amber Pairis | Rob Roy | Bill Madrigal | Alex Warneke | Heather Companiott | Amber Pairis | Emily Clarke | Tony Duncan | Violet Duncan | Ann Marie Chischilly | Megan Jennings | Theresa Gregor | Julie Kalansky | Roberto Nutlouis | Frank Vernon | Lisa Gover | Anthony Madrigal | Gloria Tom | Daniel Calac | Gregg Garfin | Lilian Hill | Will Madrigal | Tamara Wall | Senator Jamescita Peshlakai | Paul Cannon | Lacey Cannon | Connor Magee | Colleen Cooley | Andrea Candelaria | Gerald Wagner | Molly Cross | Sharon Hausam | Angela Mooney D'Arcy | Cynthia Naha | John Parada | Althea Walker | Anecita Agustinez | Elizabeth Rios | Rose Ann Hamilton | Angela Bogner | Sean Bogner | Andrew Pittman | Jamie Lynn Butler | Chairman Brian Cladoosby | Eric Descheenie | Chairman Daniel Salgado
Co-manager / Climate Change Program
Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals
Nikki is the co-manager for ITEP’s Tribal Climate Change Program. She is of the Diné Nation by way of Shonto and Blue Gap, AZ, and is of the Towering House Clan, born for the Reed People Clan, maternal grandfathers are of the Water that Flows Together Clan, and paternal grandfathers are of the Manygoats Clan. Nikki received her Bachelors and Masters of Forestry from Northern Arizona University (NAU) with a few years of post-graduate study at Michigan State University. For her undergraduate and Masters studies, she has worked extensively with the Cherokee Tribe of North Carolina, and has worked with various tribes including the Kaibab Paiute tribe. Prior to ITEP, Nikki has worked with the Merriam Powell Center for Environmental Research on a Climate Change Education Program, and at NAU Talent Search working with underrepresented, low-income, potential first generation college students at 10 middle and high schools in Northern Arizona.
In addition, as a river guide and cultural interpreter working on the Colorado River-Grand Canyon and San Juan River, Nikki is the co-founder of the Native American River Guide Training Program and Fifth World Discoveries, was the first Native American President and Vice-President of the Grand Canyon River Guides Association (GCRG), and is a former associate director of the Native Voices Program. She is very passionate about advocating for and education about the protection and preservation of the environment and its resources. Nikki thoroughly enjoys gardening, her Navajo language and culture, and spending time with her large extended family in the southwest and Iowa.
Environmental Director / Tribal Historic Preservation Officer
Pala Band of Mission Indians
Shasta Gaughen is the Environmental Director and the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Pala Band of Mission Indians in Pala, California. She has worked for the Pala Band since January 2005, and established Pala’s Tribal Historic Preservation Office in 2008. She is also an adjunct professor in the Anthropology Department at California State University San Marcos. Dr. Gaughen received her B.A. in Anthropology and B.S. in Natural Resources at Humboldt State University in 1996, her M.A. in Anthropology from San Diego State University in 2001, and her PhD in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico in 2011. She is Chair of the Climate Science Alliance Tribal Working Group, Chair of the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, Secretary of the Board for the Native American Environmental Protection Coalition, a member of the Institute of Tribal Environmental Professionals’ Climate Advisory Group, and a director for the Upper San Luis Rey Resource Conservation District.
Director / Climate Science Alliance
Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation
Dr. Amber Pairis is the Director of the Climate Science Alliance-South Coast covering southern California and Baja. Her current work focuses on building a science focused network of leaders, scientists, and managers focused on sharing ecosystem-based resiliency approaches to safeguard our communities and natural resources from climate change. Pairis leads several initiatives related to innovative community engagement including Climate Kids and the role of art and artists in building community engagement on climate change. In 2013 Pairis was appointed by Governor Brown as the Assistant Secretary for Climate Change-California Natural Resources Agency and worked collaboratively to coordinate the State's activities related to climate change adaptation. Preceding the appointment, Pairis served as the Climate Change Advisor for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for five years and created the Department's Climate Science Program and CDFW Climate College. In 2006 Pairis worked for the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Washington D.C. where she was the Science Liaison coordinating between the states and federal natural resource agencies on energy and climate change. Pairis is a scientist by training and completed her Ph.D. in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England. Pairis is a fellow of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation.
Environmental Director / La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians
Rob Roy is the Environmental Director for the La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians and has been employed by the Tribe for over 15 years. He is responsible for the Environmental Protection Office which employs a staff of seven people working on clean water, air quality, solid waste, wastewater, natural resources, and other critical environmental and human health issues, and also works closely with the Domestic Water and other Tribal Departments. His education is in Geographic Information Systems and he previously worked for the City of San Diego Environmental Services Department. Rob received the EPA Environmental Achievement Award in 2008 for his work with solid waste management including recycling, reducing illegal dumping, hazardous and electronic waste recycling, tire cleanup, and disaster recovery. Rob works hard to foster collaboration between groups to achieve common goals and increase the scope and impact of projects. He also serves as a member of the TWRAP steering committee, as an RTOC rep and RTOC Solid Waste Workgroup lead, and as team co-lead on the Interagency Infrastructure Task Force Solid Waste Workgroup. Rob has a passion for the natural world and goes traveling, hiking and backpacking whenever he can.
Deputy Director / Climate Science Alliance
Alex is committed to a life of inspiring others to view science through a more dynamic and empowering lens. Alex obtained her M.Sc. in Chemical Ecology from San Diego State University and most recently resided as a Science Programs Manager and Marine Scientist for the National Park Service. As an ecologist, storyteller, and community engager, she has spanned critical boundaries between stakeholders in education, academia, non-profit, and government to translate the most current scientific bodies of work in ways that are accessible and inclusive. She is a strong proponent of unconventional science communication and extending the broader impacts of science to the public using the outlets of art, digital media, education, and citizen science. As Deputy Director for the Alliance, her hope is that through her work and experience she can get the world to think differently about how we connect and impact the thriving ecosystem around us and commit to fostering a more resilient future.
Cahuilla Band of Indians
Emily Clarke is a Cahuilla Native American writer, activist, photographer, Zine artist, and Traditional Bird Dancer. Emily graduated from Idyllwild Arts Academy in May of 2018 with a certificate in Creative Writing and is now continuing her study of writing at University of California, Riverside. Emily’s work has been featured in News From Native California, Four Winds Literary Journal, and Hoot Review. She has been a featured reader at events such as Indigenous Now, And The Earth Was Shaken, and UCLA’s Environmentalists of Color Climate Justice Forum. Currently, Emily is writing poetry exploring modern Cahuilla identity, feminism, and human intimacy.
Tony Duncan (Apache, Arikara and Hidatsa) has performed for audiences worldwide including performances at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The National Museum of the American Indian, The Billboard Music Awards, The Tonight Show, and The White House. Duncan has great achievements in both music and dance. As a flute player he is currently signed to the largest and oldest Native American music label Canyon Records. As a hoop dancer Tony Duncan is among the best in the world, winning the title of “World Champion Hoop Dancer,” an amazing 5 times.
Violet Duncan is Plains Cree and Taino from Kehewin First Nations. Violet is a writer, teacher, artist, storyteller, and Creative Director for Young Warriors books and Designs; a First Nations clothing and book collection that represents todays modern Native youth. Violet has published two children’s books; “When We Dance” (2015) and “Let’s Hoop Dance!” (2018). Violet’s work addresses her native culture and is accessible for anyone trying to understand the modern Native experience. She is currently working on her next children’s book, “I am Native” which will debut at the 2019 Eiteljorg Museum Indian Art Market. Recently, her work in literature has allowed her to be the 2019 Featured storyteller Heard Museum Indian Market, 2018 Keynote Aboriginal Youth Conference Treaty 6, 2018 Featured Artist at Santa Fe Days, 2018 Featured storyteller Pueblo Grande Museum Indian Market, 2018 Featured storyteller Litchfield Indian Market, 2018 Radio Interview-Hopi Radio Station and 2018 Performer We Day Toronto (Ontario).
Ann Marie Chischilly
Executive Director / Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals
Northern Arizona University
Ms. Chischilly is the Executive Director at the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP). She is responsible for managing ITEP's work with Northern Arizona University, state and federal agencies, tribes and Alaska Native villages. In 2017, ITEP celebrated 25 years serving over 95% of all the 573 Tribes and Alaskan Native Villages nationwide. Ms. Chischilly currently serves on two federal advisory committees: the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Drinking Water Advisory Council and EPA’s National Advisory Committee. Ms. Chischilly speaks both nationally and internationally on topics of Indian Law, Environmental Law, Climate Change, Traditional Knowledges, Water Law and Tribes/Indigenous Peoples. She works with the United Nations on issues of the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and co-wrote, “Guidelines for the Use of Traditional Knowledge in Climate Change Initiatives” and “Evaluating Knowledge to Support Climate Action: A Framework for Sustained Assessment”.
Before coming to ITEP, she served for over ten years as Senior Assistant General Counsel to the Gila River Indian Community (Community), where she assisted the Community in implementing the historic “Arizona Water Settlement Act” and founded the Community’s Renewable Energy Team. Ms. Chischilly is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation (Diné). She earned her Juris Doctorate degree from St. Mary's University School of Law and a Masters in Environmental Law (LL.M) from Vermont Law School. She is licensed in Arizona and has practiced in state, district, and federal courts. She is also a member of the International Bar Association.
Co-Director, Institute for Ecological Monitoring and Management
San Diego State University
Megan Jennings is a Conservation Ecologist and Co-Director of San Diego State University's Institute for Ecological Monitoring and Management. The research she works on is primarily focused on informing conservation and management planning in terrestrial systems with particular interest in incorporating landscape dynamics into connectivity planning. Dr. Jennings earned a Ph.D. in Ecology from San Diego State University and the University of California, Davis (2013). She worked for over a decade as a wildlife biologist for the US Forest Service in San Diego where her years of experience in land management for a federal agency informed her perspective as a researcher. Dr. Jennings strives to work at the interface of science and management - developing applied research to address management and conservation issues and communicating results and real-world recommendations to decision-makers and managers. Dr. Jennings serves as the Science Program Manager for the Climate Science Alliance and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at San Diego State University.
Program Manager, California-Nevada Climate Applications Program
Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD
Julie’s research interests stem from trying to understand weather and climate in order to better prepare for extreme events and future conditions. These efforts include using historical observations to understand historical weather variability in the Western US and the impacts associated with this variability as well as future climate projections. Julie is Program Manager for CNAP (California-Nevada Climate Applications Program), a regional climate group at Scripps Institution of Oceanography integrating physical and social science into decision making. In her role with CNAP, she engages with regional stakeholders to communicate the latest climate science and to better understand how this climate and weather information can be applied in decision making.
Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics
Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD
Dr. Vernon is a Research Geophysicist at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary
Physics, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego. His current research interests are focused on developing distributed networked real-time sensor networks in terrestrial and marine environments. Currently he is the Director for the USArray Array Network Facility for the NSF EarthScope program. This network currently has over 500 stations using seismic, acoustic, and atmospheric pressure sensors delivering real-time data to UCSD, which are redistributed to multiple sites. Dr. Vernon is the PI on the ANZA broadband and strong motion seismic network that has operated since 1982 providing real-time seismic monitoring capability for southernmost California. In addition Dr. Vernon is PI on the HPWREN program creating a large-scale wireless high performance data network that is being used for interdisciplinary research and education applications, as well as a research test bed for wireless technology systems in general. Dr. Vernon obtained a B.A. in Physics with Specialization in Earth Sciences from UCSD in 1977, and a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from UCSD in 1989. He is author or co-author on more than 130 scientific articles and is currently editor for the AGU Earth and Space Sciences Journal.
Director, Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife
Gloria Tom is the Director of the Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife. She has worked with several organizations including the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency, the San Carlos Recreation and Wildlife Department, and the USDA-Wildlife Service. Tom holds a Bachelors of Science in Renewable Natural Resources with a major in Wildlife Management from the University of Arizona.
Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center
Gregg Garfin is Associate Professor in Climate, Natural Resources and Policy, in the University of Arizona’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment, and University Director of the Southwest Climate Science Center—a partnership between the USGS and the University of Arizona. His research focuses on adaptation to drought, extreme climate and weather events and a changing climate. In his extension work, he convenes dialogues with resource managers and planners, in order to plan for and reduce climate-related risks. He is the lead author for the Southwest chapter in the Fourth National Climate Assessment.
Deputy Director / Western Regional Climate Center
Desert Research Institute
Dr. Tamara Wall is an assistant research professor at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, NV and deputy director of the Western Regional Climate Center. Additionally, Dr. Wall is a co-PI of California-Nevada Climate Applications Program (part of the national NOAA-sponsored Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments network) and the Southwest Climate Science Center Consortium and has worked extensively with stakeholders in California, Nevada and other regions of the West in co-produced climate science projects for the last eight years. Her research focuses on qualitative and quantitative social science research in climate information use by stakeholders, evaluating co-produced climate science, understanding the process of climate information dissemination and utilization for climate resiliency and adaptation in natural resource management agencies, and public and agency perceptions of wildfire risk and management. Dr. Wall also has extensive expertise and training in facilitation, workshop and meeting design, collaboration training and working with both small and large groups.
Senator Jamescita Peshlakai
Arizona State Senator, District 7
Jamescita Mae Peshlakai is currently serving her second term in the Arizona Senate as the state's first Native American woman senator, representing legislative district 7. She formerly served in the state House of Representatives in the Fifty-first Legislature from 2013 to 2015. Sen. Peshlakai is Diné — Navajo, of the Tangle People clan, born for the Red House clan. Her maternal grandfathers are the Bitter Water clan, and her paternal grandfathers are the Cliff Dweller clan.
Sen. Peshlakai comes from a line of tribal headmen and officials and values her family's legacy of public service. In 1902, in efforts to protect their Navajo homeland from settlers, two of her great-grandfathers, Chíshí Nééz and Béésh Łigaii Atsidii, traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with President Theodore Roosevelt to negotiate the annexation of the western part of the Navajo Nation.
Born, raised, and living in the district, her constituents are family and LD7 is home.
She holds a Bachelor's degree in History and a Master's degree in Educational Psychology from Northern Arizona University. As a young woman, she served in the U.S. Army and is a Persian Gulf War veteran. A veterans' advocate, she spearheaded an initiative to create an independent veterans' affairs agency for the Navajo Nation and succeeded. She was recently awarded the "Copper Star Award" by the Unified Arizona Veterans of Arizona for her advocacy.
Over the years in her professional career, she served as director of policy and programs for several organizations, such as the Arizona Foundation for Women and Native Americans for Community Action. In previous endeavors, she co-founded the Peshlakai Cultural Foundation and founded the Western Navajo Agency Food Policy Council. Sen. Peshlakai's culturally diverse district spans the seven counties of Apache, Coconino, Gila, Graham, Mohave, Navajo, and Pinal — including the communities of Fredonia, Page, Winslow, Show Low, Eager, and St. Johns. Nine tribes comprise most of the district's constituents — Hualapai, Havasupai, Kaibab Paiute, San Juan Southern Paiute, Navajo, Hopi, White Mountain Apache, San Carlos Apache and a small portion of Zuni Pueblo. The district is the largest legislative district in the
contiguous United States, stretching from near Lake Mead to the Four Corners National Monument and south beyond Globe. It contains some of the most beautiful parks and natural wonders in the world — the Grand Canyon, the San Francisco Peaks, Monument Valley, the White Mountains, and the Colorado River.
Project Lead / Natural and Working Lands
Climate Science Alliance
Connor grew up in the rich ecosystems of his Southern California Tribal community and has made it a mission to advocate for the important relationships and responsibilities associated with Southern Californian natural and working lands. Connor works closely with scientists, managers, agricultural partners, Tribal representatives, and other partners to support climate smart food systems and climate mitigation strategies within ecosystem stewardship. His professional background encompasses work with various stakeholders to establish and expand innovative alliances to accelerate effective problem-solving among resource managers, scientists, and decision-makers. Connor is a Pala Tribal citizen (Payomkawichum/Cahuilla) and he works to integrate his peoples’ Traditional Ecological Knowledge with emerging and innovative technologies. Connor is in his final stages of completing his thesis and B.S. in Sustainability Studies with a minor in Geology at the University of California of Riverside. His work in Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge and sustainable food systems has awarded him fellowships from the University of California Office of the President’s Global Food Initiative and the University of California Office of the President’s Global Health Institute’s Planetary Health Center of Expertise.
Colleen Cooley is Kinyaa’áanii, (Towering House), born for Lók’aa’ Diné’é (Reed
People). Her maternal grandfather’s clan is Tó’aheedlíinii (Water Flows Together) and
her paternal grandfather’s clan is Tł’ízíłání (Manygoats). Originally from Blue Gap and
Shonto, Arizona, Colleen is a river guide on the San Juan River, an amateur
photographer, and an advocate of sustainable initiatives on the Navajo Nation.
Colleen earned her B.S. in Environmental Sciences and her M.S. in Climate Science &
Solutions at Northern Arizona University. For the past eight years, Colleen has worked and volunteered with various environmental organizations that advocate for the protection of land, air, and water for future generations.
In February 2019, Colleen lived in Uruguay to assist with the building of an Earthship, a home constructed with natural and recycled materials. She plans to share these newly acquired skills and knowledge with others and build an Earthship of her own design in the near future.
Pueblo of Laguna
University of New Mexico
Sharon Hausam is the Planning Program Manager for the Pueblo of Laguna, adjunct faculty and research associate at the University of New Mexico, and an instructor for ITEP. Her current projects include climate change adaptation and renewable energy planning; past experience includes water, forestry and natural resources, land use, site development, housing, alternative transportation, capital project, and economic development planning. Her professional practice emphasizes community engagement. Her research interests focus on equity issues in planning processes related to values, indigenous knowledge, ancestral lands, sovereignty, and environmental impacts. Sharon is the author of “Maybe, maybe not: Native American participation in regional water planning,” in the book Reclaiming
Indigenous Planning, as well as numerous planning documents. She is co-coordinator of the New Mexico Tribal Planners’ Roundtable, a network of planning and community development professionals.
Sharon has a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master of Environmental Studies from Yale University. She enjoys foraging, gardening, and preserving foods; cooking; walking; and spending time with her dog, Naiya.
Director / Natural Resources Department
Santo Domingo Tribe
Cynthia Naha is the Director of Natural Resources Department for the Santo Domingo Tribe and is an enrolled member of the Hopi Tribe and is Tewa and Ihanktowan Dakota Oyate (Yankton Sioux). She has been involved in Tribal Environmental Programs since 2005 starting at the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (ITCA). Cynthia has worked in various fields, including but not limited to solid waste, recycling, Brownfields, emergency response and preparedness, water quality, climate change, Unexploded Ordinances (UXO) and more. She’s worked with several Tribes, including the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community, Lone Pine Paiute Shoshone Reservation and several Pomo Indian Tribes in Northern California. Throughout the past 20 years, Cynthia has worked to build Tribal environmental capacity and seeks to maintain a balance between environmental protection and public health and safety. She enjoys establishing partnerships with neighboring Tribes, Pueblos, Federal and State agencies. Cynthia is a graduate of Arizona State University, where she obtained her BS in American Indian Studies.
Environmental Coordinator / Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians
Born and raised San Diego CA, I have spent 22 years working for Tribes in the environmental field. I am currently employed with Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians in The Coachella Valley, where I manage CWA 106, CWA 319, BIA WR and GAP while providing oversight for PWSS water operators and manager. I recently drafted climate change adaptation plan for Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians. I have always enjoyed conducting outreach and coordinating training in various media and providing assistance for numerous Tribal staff to increase capacity for water quality monitoring, air quality monitoring, develop quality assurance project plans, solid waste management plans, storm water management plans, non-point source management plans, emergency management and Public Water Supply Systems support. I have provided assistance to many Tribes in Region IX to acquire the capacity necessary to develop, maintain, manage and run tribal environmental programs efficiently.
Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center
American Indian Higher Education Consortium
Althea Walker, a Certified Public Manager and Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Green Associate, is a descendant of the Nez Perce, Hopi, and Gila River people. She is an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Community. She has her B.S in Environmental & Resource Management and M.S in Environmental Technology Management from Arizona State University. Her career has revolved around green building, zero waste, community engagement, and climate change, which includes analyzing how dam operation and climate change affect Columbia River salmon
and lamprey migration and incorporating Indigenous knowledge into geoscience curriculum for the village of Hydaburg in Alaska.
She is a Sequoyah Fellow (lifetime member) of the American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES), as well as an editorial board member of the AISES magazine, Winds of Change. Althea previously worked for the Gila River Indian Community where she was the Environmental Education & Outreach Specialist.
Cahuilla Band of Indians
Míyaxwe 'úmun,nétew Elizabeth Rios. NehenKáwiiangaxvish.
"My passion is awakening the Cahuilla language for generations to come."
Elizabeth "Leesa" Rios is a member of the Cahuilla Band of Indians and lives on the Cahuilla Indian Reservation. In 2016 she graduated from the University of California Riverside, graduated magna cum laude, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Anthropology and a minor in Native American Studies.
After graduating she began her career working for the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians Tribal TANF program as the Language and Cultural Preservation Specialist. Ms. Rios is committed to strengthening tribal sovereignty, tribal self-sufficiency and the culture and language of Native people. In that endeavor she is an active member of the Cahuilla Community, she serves on the Cahuilla Cultural Committee and Cahuilla Scholarship Committee.
Her passion lies with her two children and the younger generations. Her passion was ignited by participating in Cahuilla language classes taught by Cahuilla Elders including Alvino Siva and Katherine Saubel. Through these classes she is able to teach immersion language classes.
Jaime Lynn Butler
Jaime is Navajo of the Tangle People Clan, born for the Bitterwater Clan, maternal Grandfathers are the Redhouse Clan, and paternal Grandfathers are the Toweringhouse Clan. She grew up in Cameron, Arizona, on the Navajo Nation Reservation. Jaime and her extended family on the Reservation remember times when there was enough water on the Reservation for agriculture and farm animals, but now the springs they once depended on year-round are drying up. Jaime also sees firsthand the cultural and spiritual impacts of climate change, as participating in sacred Navajo ceremonies on the Reservation is an important part of Jaime’s life, and climate impacts are starting to harm the ability for Jamie and her tribe to participate in their traditional ceremonies. Since she was four years old, Jaime has been working to protect the earth. Beginning in elementary school, Jaime wrote letters to President Obama about her concerns for the environment. In 2011, she filed a lawsuit against the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, also supported by Our Children's Trust. In 2015 Jaime became a plaintiff in
Juliana v. United States. Jaime is 1 of 21 youth plaintiffs suing the United States and several of its executive branch positions and officers, also formerly including President Donald Trump.