Meet Our Scholars
Tribal Affiliation: Mam of the Maya Nation
Hometown: Bakersfield, CA
Faculty Mentor: Jessica Stanley
Program/ Research: Montejo is researching the late Cenozoic history of the Gallatin/Madison region in southwest Montana. He will be using the sedimentary record and low temperature thermochronology to determine the spatial and temporal nature of exhumation related to the Yellowstone hotspot and Basin and Range style faulting in the area. This work will help refine our understanding of how hotspots influence landscape evolution and faulting patterns.
Hobbies/ Interests: Fishing, health and wellness, and college football.
Tribal Affiliation: The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes make up the people of Flathead Reservation and I am proud to be a part of the Kootenai Tribe.
Hometown: I am from Polson, MT.; a small town located on the Flathead Reservation in Northwest Montana.
Faculty Mentor: Alistair Smith
Program/research: Funke, alongside Alistair Smith, is researching how fires impact the growth and mortality of plants that have cultural importance to the Kootenai Tribes of the northern United States and Canada.
More specifically, she is interested in:
- Plants that are used to make traditional Kootenai baskets and how, under climate change, the increasing occurrence of fires where they grow (usually wetland and high elevation regions) will impact their productivity or mortality.
- How fire impacts plants traditionally used by the Kootenai Tribe for food, such as Huckleberries and Camas.
Hobbies/interests: Outside from my studies you’ll find me with my dog Sage, flyfishing, hiking, traveling, and photographing the beauty around us. I also enjoy weaving baskets, tying flies and gardening.
Tribal Affiliation: Navajo from the Navajo Nation
Hometown: Ramah, New Mexico
Faculty Mentor: Charles Goebel
Program/research: Hannah's research with Charles Goebel has the following goals:
- Hannah would like to find and understand numerous methods in improving mortality rates for different tree species that have a cultural aspect to the Indigenous community.
- She wants to understand not only the mortality but the phenology and resiliency of each tree species which makes it possible to overcome a harsh environment.
Hobbies/interests: In my spare time I enjoy crocheting, sewing, hiking, or playing volleyball. Each of these hobbies provide relaxation and stress relief from any stressful day I have overcome.
Tribal Affiliation: The Confederate Tribes of Warm Springs
Hometown: Simnasho, Oregon
Faculty Mentor: Christopher Caudill
Program/ Research: Keo is researching the migration behavior of lamprey after translocation on the Warm Springs River and Beaver Creek which are located on the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon. The two collection sites are Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River and Shears Falls located on the Deschutes River. To monitor the migration behaviors of the lamprey after translocation, radio telemetry will be used to track their movement throughout the Warm Springs River system.
Hobbies/ Interests: Keo enjoys basketball, spending time at the river, and fishing.
Tribal Affiliation: Lumbee
Hometown: Rowland, NC
Faculty Mentor: Michael S. Strickland
Richardson's research with Michael Strickland focuses on:
- The use of nitrification inhibitors in synthetic fertilizers.
- The impact of nitrification inhibitors on the soil microbial community and ecosystem functioning.
Hobbies/interests: He hopes his research will improve agricultural practices and provide insight on soil microbial interactions.
Tribal Affiliation: Anishinaabe (Ojibway)
Hometown: Northwest Angle #33 First Nation, Ontario
Faculty Mentor: Greg Latta
Program/research: Ross is working with Greg Latta to examine carbon insetting as an investment for corporations. Carbon insetting allows corporations to reduce GHG emissions in their supply chains while at the same time, providing measurable environmental and socioeconomic benefits to local and Indigenous communities.
Hobbies/interests: Mountain biking, skiing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, and travel.
Karina Silvestre Bringas
Tribal Affiliation: Nahua, La Mesa, Estado de Mexico, MX
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Faculty Mentor: Chris Hamilton
Program/research: Bringas' research, with Chris Hamilton, is focused on understanding the diversity and evolution of Aphonopelma tarantulas of the Madrean Archipelago.
Through the integration of Western Science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), She is focusing her studies on how climate change is going to impact their diversity in the future.
Hobbies/interests: I enjoy camping, hiking, reading mystery novels, and spending time with my loved ones.
Tribal Affiliation: Yakama Nation
Hometown: Toppenish, WA
Faculty Mentor: Sophie Gilbert
Program/research: Stewart's research is based on plant restoration work with first foods of the Yakama people. She wants to help restore these foods, such as the roots Camas and Yampah, to help preserve her tribe's culture. Additionally, understanding the phenology of these traditional foods will be helpful with planning future conservation efforts as the growing/gathering seasons have shifted.
Hobbies/interests: During my spare time I like to paint and play games with my family, karaoke, read books and beadwork.
Tribal Affiliation: Acoma Pueblo
Hometown: Nampa, Idaho
Faculty Mentor: Kerri Vierling
Program/research: Townsend's research with Kerri Vierling is located in Southeastern Arizona in the Chiricahua mountains. She will be working with HawkWatch International on the Elf owl and Whiskered Screech owl to understand their nest site selection and microclimates within tree cavities.
Her interest in working with raptor species and being part of the work that HawkWatch does for conservation led her to conduct this research.
Hobbies/interests: I enjoy hiking, climbing, backpacking, camping, fishing, taking my dog along with me, and beading.
Tribal Affiliation: Navajo
Faculty Mentor: Laurel Lynch
Her research with Jaap Vos seeks to answer the following questions:
- How do biological environments benefit from tribal planning in Navajo communities?
- How can we determine the success of these practices within Navajo governance?
- How do these planning outcomes sustain community and support tribal advancement?
Whitehorse's work will be with Indigenous districts on the Navajo reservation looking at the larger planning process in managing and maintaining a healthy ecosystem related to soil and water.