Congratulations To Dr. Karletta Chief, Chair of the Indige-FEWS GIDP, on the Establishment of the NEW Indigenous Resilience Center!

Submitted on February 15, 2022

Congratulations to Dr. Karletta Chief, Program Chair of the Indige-FEWS GIDP, on the establishment of the NEW AIR/Haury Indigenous Resilience STEM Center (IRC)! Dr. Chief sat down with the University of Arizona President, Dr. Robert C. Robbins, to talk about her new endeavors as Director of the Indigenous Resilience Center as well as the goals, focus areas and objectives for the center. Find their conversation below as well as the message from President Robbins:

"As we close the first month of 2022, I am very pleased to share with you a conversation I had with Dr. Karletta Chief (Diné), Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, University Distinguished Outreach Faculty, and Director of the new Indigenous Resilience Center (IRC)

Dr. Chief is an expert in watershed hydrology and arid environments, and her commitment to serving others, especially Native Nations and students, exemplifies our mission as Arizona’s land-grant university. For instance, Dr. Chief’s research into the impacts of the 2015 Gold King Mine Spill and leadership in the response to the Spill demonstrate how University of Arizona research and its application benefit the people of our state and region. 

Equally important, Dr. Chief’s work and leadership bring Indigenous knowledge to bear on our most critical global problems such as the climate crisis. The IRC will bring together experts across the university, prioritizing collaboration with tribal leaders and Native Nations so that, as she put it in a UA News story on the creation of the IRC, “Native Nations drive the research questions based on their priorities and long-standing local knowledge.” In doing so, the IRC both will advance the work of the university’s Cooperative Extension, which works to serve rural and other underserved communities, and will contribute to the impact of the Arizona Institutes for Resilience (AIR), of which it is a part. 

In addition, Dr. Chief works closely with the Native American Faculty Group on campus that promotes the research of our Indigenous faculty and works to support recruitment and retention of Native American and Indigenous faculty. I always have strongly believed that having the right mentor can make a world of difference in a student’s education, and I am very glad we have Dr. Chief leading the IRC as a means of pursuing that goal.  

I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with Dr. Chief and learning about her leadership and impact building trust and strengthening community partnerships with the Native Nations of Arizona. I encourage you to watch our conversation to learn more." - Robert C. Robbins, M.D.  President, The University of Arizona

Read more about Dr. Chief's research in her interview with UA News here.