Indigenous Climate Stewardship Lead, DRI
Tenaya Wood-Luna is the Indigenous Climate Stewardship Lead at Desert Research Institute (DRI)—a collaborative position with CSA. Her work centers around climate resiliency projects with tribes in the Great Basin, which includes the creation and furthering of the Great Basin Tribal Alliance (GBTA), serving as the Intake Lead for Team Tribal and Indigenous within the Center for Community Energy and Environmental Justice (CCEEJ) as part of EPA's Region 9 Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers (TCTAC) Program, and leading work within the California Nevada Adaptation Program (CNAP) to focus on building capacity through reciprocity with tribal communities.
Tenaya's background is centered around holistic natural resource management, Tribally-focused initiatives, and place-based knowledge and education. Her experience also includes years of on-the-ground firefighting efforts and large-scale fire, fuels, and fire aviation planning and implementation. Additionally, she created the first-ever Tribal Forestry degree (B.S.) at California State Polytechnic University- Humboldt, formed and led the first student-run prescribed fire module in the country (which specializes in the implementation and reintroduction of cultural fire), and currently teaches Cultural Use of Fire courses at the University of Idaho. Her fire ecology studies have included subjects such as fire serotiny and seed masting in coniferous ecosystems as well as fire intensity’s effects on plant regeneration for cultural use purposes, while her GIS work has included projects regarding fire severity mapping, resource utilization, vegetation cover, fire progression prediction, and climate change impacts. Tenaya currently serves on various committees, consortiums, and instruction cadres related to tribal initiatives, wildland fire, and climate resiliency.
Tenaya received her Master of Natural Resources degree in Fire Ecology and Management from the University of Idaho, as well as graduate certificates in Remote Sensing of the Environment and Climate Change, and her Bachelor of Science degree from Humboldt State University in Forestry with an emphasis in Wildland Fire Management and minors in Native American Studies and Ecological Restoration. She is also a passionate herbalist, Indigenous childbirth educator, artist, and mother.