Next “Native Voices in STEM” Seminar to Explore Cultural Fire Practices in California

March 6, 2024
Dr. Deniss Martinez

The second seminar in the Spring series of Native Voices in STEM (NVIS) will be presented on March 12th at noon by Dr. Deniss J. Martinez. Dr. Martinez is a community engaged environmental justice scholar working on cultural fire practices in California. She grew up in a fire prone area, Siskiyou County in California, and when she got her first research experience as an undergrad working with the Karuk Tribe, she was empowered and amazed by how her lens of that problem changed. Dr. Martinez explained, “I didn't feel helpless anymore and I truly felt more grounded within forests I had grown up around. That experience taught me a lot, including how important it is to consider justice when it comes to how we steward our environment. I am incredibly grateful for my time working with the Karuk Tribe and continue to learn from the great work coming from their practitioners.”

In her talk, Dr. Martinez will  share her work with cultural fire practitioners through a partnership that UC Davis has with Diana Almendariz (Wintun) and Ron Goode (North Fork Mono). She will also discuss how this partnership has been impactful for their graduate and undergraduate students who have had the opportunity to learn and work with Ron and Diana through this partnership. 

When asked if she has any advice for young upcoming Native scholars, Dr. Martinez responded, “My main advice is to ground yourself in community! Be mindful of the relationship practices you build throughout your career and hold your communities close to your heart. Good relationship practices will ensure that you build strong healthy friendships, mentoring relationships, and partnerships throughout your whole career. These good relationships will keep you going when things get hard.”

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

To register for any or all webinars, please click here

You can also view recordings available from the past twelve seasons here

We hope to see you at Dr. Martinez’s Native Voices in STEM presentation on Tuesday, March 12th from noon to 1 p.m. PDT.