Indigenous Food, Energy, and Water Systems


Indigenous Food, Energy, and Water Systems

Established by the Arizona Board of Regents: PhD minor 2018

The purpose of the Indigenous Food, Energy, and Water Systems (Indige-FEWS) GIDP PhD Minor is to prepare students through research and scholarship to develop novel and sustainable solutions to real-world Food, Energy, and Water Systems (FEWS) challenges facing INDIGENOUS communities. The GIDP PhD Minor coursework integrates fundamentals of systems thinking with cross-disciplinary pedagogy to support discovery and development of materials, technologies and unit operations for fit-for-purpose water systems and controlled environment agriculture (CEA) systems. Solutions will be fully integrated with the policies, decision-making and public acceptance of Indigenous communities, and will be grounded by an understanding of Indigenous societies, their governance and culture, and the ability to work effectively in these contexts. The GIDP PhD Minor integrates engineering and science disciplines with humanities to fully prepare students for the interdisciplinary collaboration required to tackle the FEWS challenges of Indigenous communities with skill, respect and fellowship.

Program Contacts

Karletta Chief
Cara Shopa
Program Coordinator

Program Address

Indigenous Food, Energy, and Water Systems
The University of Arizona
1177 E. 4th Street
Shantz Building, Rm. 429
P.O. Box 210038
Tucson, AZ 85721
Phone:  (520) 626-5598

Robert Arnold
Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Karletta Chief, Chair
Environmental Sciences

Benedict J. Colombi
American Indian Studies

Joel L. Cuello
Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering

Joseph Hoover
Environmental Sciences

Michael Kotutwa Johnson
Indigenous Resiliency Center

Murat Kacira
Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Vasiliki Karanikola, Executive Committee
Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Barbara J. Mills

Kimberly Ogden
Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Barett G. Potter
Materials Science and Engineering

Erin L. Ratcliff
Materials Science and Engineering

Valerie Shirley
Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies

Kelly Simmons-Potter
Electrical and Computer Engineering & Optical Sciences

Ronald Trosper
American Indian Studies

Indigenous Food, Energy, and Water Systems Program Bylaws


The Graduate Interdisciplinary Program (GIDP) in Indigenous Food, Energy, and Water Systems (Indige-FEWS) offers a PhD minor. In the following Articles and Bylaws, operating procedures, and polices of the Program are outlined. This organization and structure must conform to the guidelines for the GIDPs

I. Reporting Structure

The chair of the Indige-FEWS GIDP reports to the Dean of the Graduate College, through the Faculty Director of Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs.

II. Membership

Membership in the Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Indigenous Food, Energy, and Water Systems (Indige-FEWS) is open to faculty at the University of Arizona who are willing to make a commitment to the GIDP. This commitment should be expressed through participation in developing and maintaining the GIDP, teaching courses, advising students, or supporting the program for the GIDP. Both tenured or tenure-eligible faculty and untenured or non-tenure-eligible faculty may hold memberships.

Criteria for membership are commitment to interdisciplinary approaches as well as activity and excellence in research or extension as demonstrated by research funding, publication record, and service as advisor to students. Members of the Graduate Interdisciplinary Program will be reviewed periodically by the Executive Committee to ensure that they continue to meet these standards.

Membership can be proposed by faculty candidates themselves or through nomination by a current affiliated faculty member of the Program. Consideration of candidacy is initiated by submission of curriculum vitae and a letter of commitment to the Executive Committee. If the Executive Committee votes to recommend membership, a request is then submitted to the Director of Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs for approval and appointment.

The members of the Indigenous Food, Energy, and Water Systems (Indige-FEWS) GIDP will meet at least once a year to review the state of the program.

III. Executive Committee (EC) and Chair

The GIDP in Indigenous Food, Energy, and Water Systems (Indige-FEWS) is administered by a Chair and an Executive Committee (EC) consisting of at least six members. The Executive Committee will be made up of faculty members from at least three colleges, ideally with members from all participating colleges. The Chair is appointed for a renewable three-year term and EC members are appointed for renewable three-year terms. Both the Chair and the EC members will be chosen by vote by participating faculty that hold regular memberships. Nominations from participating faculty for both positions will be received by the EC. A faculty member may run for one or both positions. Fifty-one percent of the members will constitute a quorum. Majority vote of those present at a meeting or 51% return of the ballots will rule. The roster of elected members will be forward to the Director of Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs for approval and appointment. The EC will also have 1 student member elected by the students to a renewable 1-year term.

A) The responsibilities of the Executive Committee are to:

  1. Devise and implement procedures to be followed in selecting and reviewing members of the Indigenous Food, Energy, and Water Systems (Indige-FEWS) GIDP;
  2. Devise and implement appropriate policies and procedure for the operation of the graduate program, such as admissions, curriculum, student supervision, completion of degree program requirements, and decisions regarding program resources;
  3. Appoint GIDP faculty members to serve on the GIDP’s one standing committee: the Graduate student Admissions and Progress Committee (GS-APC); see Article 3;
  4. Appoint other ad hoc committees as needed for effective operation;
  5. Act on recommendations of the GS-APC regarding academic counsel to new students and evaluations of students at various stages of progress through the Program;
  6. Prepare and submit annual reports of the Indigenous Food, Energy, and Water Systems (Indige-FEWS) program’s activities and accomplishments to the Director of Graduate Interdisciplinary;
  7. Ensure that regular academic program reviews, consistent with the Board of Regents requirements, are carried out;
  8. Facilitate interaction and communication within the Program in Indigenous Food, Energy, and Water Systems (Indige-FEWS) with supporting academic units heads and deans;
  9. Seek funding from appropriate University, State, Federal and private sources;
  10. Solicit nominations to vacated slot(s) on the Executive Committee to ensure continuity over time; and,
  11. Move, consider and approve (by majority vote) all proposals to change the requirements for the minor.

B) The responsibilities of the Chair of the Executive Committee (and the GIDP) is to:

  1. Administer the Program and activities of the EC with the assistance of the program coordinator of the GIDP;
  2. Convene and chair meetings of the EC as needed, but not less than once per semester;
  3. Act on behalf of the EC and the GIDP to implement policies of the Program;
  4. Serve as representative of the Program to the University Administration, granting agencies, prospective students, etc.;
  5. Prepare and submit an annual report of activities and accomplishments of the Program according to University regulations.
  6. Serve as an ex officio member of the Institute for Energy Solutions Faculty Advisory Committee, or designate an ex officio member from the Executive Committee to serve in his/her place if needed.
  7. Provide advice to students in the program
  8. Act as Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) for the program.

The GIDP’s Program Coordinator works closely with the Chair of the EC as well as the students, faculty, EC and standing committees to ensure timely fulfillment of the policies of the UA and the Program in in Indigenous Food, Energy, and Water Systems (Indige-FEWS) as well as the flow of the information among all concerned.

IV. Standing Committees

In addition to the EC, one standing committee carries important responsibilities for the operation and welfare of the Program: The Graduate Student Admissions and Progress Committee (GS-APC).

The GS-APC is responsible for evaluating applications from prospective graduate students who are already enrolled in the Ph.D. programs at the University of Arizona. It advises the EC with the respect to publicizing the Program. It also advises all first-year students who have not identified an advisor from the program, and solicit and evaluation progress reports from all students. Finally, it advises the EC regarding the Program policies and procedures as well as revisions of the Program Handbook. Student input will be encouraged.

V. Amendments

The Bylaws shall be amended or revised by the movement of the EC and a two-thirds positive vote by the regular membership of the Program. Bylaws also are reviewed and approved by the GIDP Faculty Director and Dean of the Graduate College

Approved by Indige-FEWSS faculty committee, May 1, 2018