New Season of “Native Voices in STEM” Speaker Series is Starting on Tuesday, February 6th!

Feb. 2, 2024
NVIS 2.6.24 Dr. Johnson

“Native Voices in STEM” is a professional seminar series that invites Native scientists, engineers, activists, community members and leaders to share their personal and professional journeys, along with their research and professional expertise, providing inspiration to the next generation of change-makers. This speaker series is co-sponsored by the UArizona Indigenous Resilience Center (IRes),the UArizona-Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership, the Water Resources Research Center, the Native FEWS Alliance, and the Office of Societal Impact.

The series began in 2018 as a resource for students in the Indigenous Food, Energy, & Water Security and Sovereignty (Indige-FEWSS) program led by Dr. Karletta Chief. What first started as an in-person event, transitioned online with the COVID-19 pandemic, and became fully virtual with a national attendance that often exceeded 100 people. Torran Anderson, Outreach Coordinator for UArizona Indigenous Resilience Center, shared: “It is exciting to see how Native Voices in STEM has grown over the last six years to be an ongoing series supported by different departments. One of the highlights is not just hearing about innovative research but learning about the challenges and discoveries that each presenter has encountered in their professional journey.” Cara Shopa from the Office of Societal Impact and the seminar coordinator explained: “We also invite students to suggest speakers and really appreciate having input on topics that interest our community.” This is also what sets this series apart from others: “We have witnessed participants making valuable connections with our speakers, and watched true mentorships emerge that ended up supporting Indigenous scholars advancing in their careers,” added Anderson. “This directly connects to IRes’ mission to be a bridge and give back to local tribes who have stewarded this land for millennia.” 

The first talk in the Spring 2024 series will be held on Tuesday, February 6th at Noon by Dr. Michael Kotutwa Johnson (Hopi) with a title “Indigenous Ingenuity: A Path Forward.” Dr. Johnson will be presenting an overview of why Indigenous Ingenuity and its many voices should be at the forefront of the discussion about conservation, biodiversity, and climate fluctuations (climate change). Dr. Johnson will also discuss the resources needed and policy changes that must be enacted for Indigenous people to have a place at the table. This talk will be held in a hybrid form (Zoom and ENR2 Room N595).

Other speakers featured this Spring include Dr. Deniss Martinez! who will share on Place Based Learning and Cultural Fire Practice in California (March 12), Dr. Demetra Skaltsas (April 12) and Dr. Don Hankins on May 7th whose talk is entitled “Eleltek Waali (I'm Reading Country).”

To register for any or all webinars, please click here. You can also view recordings available from the past twelve seasons here. For more information reach out to Cara Shopa at

Katarina “Nina” Sajovec Altshul