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The Alliance Welcomes Marlene’ and Joel to Advance Stewardship Pathways Training Program

Marlene’ Dusek and Joel Arellano joined the Climate Science Alliance team in October of 2023, working closely with Tribal and Indigenous practitioners and community partners to plan for upcoming training opportunities as part of the Stewardship Pathways program. Meet Marlene’ and Joel on today’s blog!

A tan graphic with "Welcome to the team, Marlene' Dusek and Joel Arellano" and "We are excited to welome Marlene' as our Indigenous Stewardship Coordinator and Joel as our Indigenous Land Stewardship Specialist!" next to cut-out images of Marlene' and Joel placed over a light blue oval. The Climate Science Alliance logo is in the bottom left corner.

In October 2023, the Climate Science Alliance welcomed Marlene’ Dusek as our Indigenous Stewardship Coordinator and Joel Arellano as our Indigenous Land Stewardship Specialist. Since then, Marlene’ and Joel have been supporting our Stewardship Pathways programming, working closely with Tribal and Indigenous practitioners and community partners to plan for upcoming training opportunities that build capacity, community, and resiliency. Their efforts are supporting Indigenous climate stewardship and advancing co-stewardship of ancestral lands through several Alliance efforts, including our Tribal Working Group, the Southern California Interagency Fire and Fuels Cadre, Indigenous Coastal Initiative, and our Indigenous Food Sovereignty efforts. 

We are so grateful to have them join the Alliance family and we’re excited to share more about their work in the future! Meet them below.


A headshot of Marlene' Dusek

Marlene' Dusek

Indigenous Stewardship Coordinator

Marlene' Dusek comes from the Payómkawichum, Kúupangawish, and Iipai Kumeyaay people and grew up on the Rincon Reservation. She is an Indigenous queer woman, cultural practitioner, weaver, traditional foods and medicines practitioner, cultural burner, language learner, teacher, master food preserver, and community member who has always been in a relationship with the land since she was a child and stewarded in various ways using methods of Indigenous cultural management and TEK. She graduated from Cal Poly Humboldt with her Master's in Environment and Community with an emphasis in Indigenous Natural Resource Management. She also graduated from Humboldt State University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management with an emphasis in Planning and Policy and a minor in Native American Studies, with a focus on Federal Indian Law. Marlene’ is a professor at Cal Poly Humboldt in the Native American Studies Department where she teaches the Food Sovereignty Lab course. She is also affiliated with the Rou Dalaguur Food Sovereignty Lab and TEK Institute as the program coordinator.


A headshot of Joel Arellano

Joel Arellano

Indigenous Land Stewardship Specialist

Joel Arellano is an enrolled member of the Pechanga Band of Indians and is a descendant of Payómkawish, Desert Cahuilla, and Zacatecas family lineage. Through his role in helping facilitate the Climate Science Alliance’s Stewardship Pathways program and other fire-related planning, Joel works to advance Indigenous land stewardship practices and return people, plant, and animal relatives back to the land. 

Joel is a practitioner and life-long student of traditional Payómkawish sciences and culture. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Native American Studies through Cal Poly Humboldt, with focused work in Indigenous Natural Resources, Federal Indian Law, and Fire Ecology. He also currently holds NWCG FFT2 Wildland fire certification. 

Working primarily for his tribal nation over the years, Joel has strived to uphold kinship bonds and ancestral rights and responsibilities before all else. He has chaperoned and worked as a youth cultural instructor at Pechanga since 2010 and assisted in various technical and archival work with his tribe’s departments relating to native plant identification, management, and propagation. Along with a group of fellow members, he privately protects and manages a 327 acre ranch of traditional Payómkawish/Cahuilla homelands, caring for the space for food, medicine, and habitat.


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