Greetings! Thank you for your interest in learning a bit about the people and places that have informed my path to National Wildlife Federation. My maternal grandparents lived and loved in one of the most biodiverse regions of the world before relocating. I was raised urban with my paternal grandmother telling me about flora and fauna, and my maternal auntie translating those teachings to medicines and relationships. My personal, academic, and professional endeavors are guided by my auntie’s commitment to relational accountability, my grandmother’s love of the more-than-human world, and my mother’s perseverance raising a strong (stubborn) child.
I was born in the spring, and recognize my internal role with the National Wildlife Federation as planting seeds that cultivate story, policy and actionable change through community partnerships with Free, Prior, and Informed Consent. Indigenous knowledge holders globally are uniquely qualified to address the climate and biodiversity challenges of our time. Our Federation family’s role is to amplify, resource, and respect sovereignty, self-determination, and science for the well-being of people and place.
My on-the-ground community-based conservation efforts as the co-founder of Honor Water, include localized infrastructure projects to help further access to safe drinking water in Indian Country with my research partner Dr. Tommy Rock (and our dogs). Tommy is also part of the primarily BIPOC equity and inclusion consulting team, Inclusive Community, that I established in 2016. Prior to consulting and joining the National Wildlife Federation, I was an Associate Provost, professor, and student affairs professional for 15 years with applied research in land management, and in queer Afro-Indigeneity.
I earned my first PhD in Politics and International Affairs from Northern Arizona University, and earned my second Ph.D. is in Ecology (Sciences) from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia — first generation! I was grateful for the opportunity to co-chair the Commission for Disability Access and Design, and teach as an experiential Field Instructor for Wild Rockies Field Institute.
I appreciate the joy and pain of ultra-marathon roller skating to raise awareness about environmental justice and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives. When not working or roller skating, I enjoy horse trekking, dancing, and engaging with humor as medicine.
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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.