Tribal Affiliations

Tribal affiliation extension programs build upon research to apply science to address tribal stakeholder’s concerns for water and the environment. The three extension programs, run by SWES faculty Karletta Chief,  are 1) tribal watershed hydrology, 2) mining impacts, and 3) water management and policy. The tribal watershed hydrology extension program focuses on the unique hydrology and water resource challenges facing tribes because of their cultural, economic, and federal status and addresses the need to translate relevant hydrologic science and research to Native Americans. Mining impacts is the second extension program. Tribes are facing environmental impacts and degradation on their water and land as a result of mining activities. There is a need to understand mining processes, environmental impacts, remediation techniques, and to increase the number of Native American students pursuing college degrees in the environmental sciences and natural mineral and energy resources fields. Water management and policy is the third extension program. This program employs a novel modeling framework and stakeholder engagement to address climate uncertainties so as to increase stakeholder capacity to adapt water planning and management for future climate uncertainties. This extension addresses the need to meet water demands in a water-limited region where climate change projections are uncertain and the reliability of surface and groundwater supplies is also uncertain. The goal of these extension programs are to develop applied research projects that provides hydrology expertise, transfers knowledge, assesses information needs and develops relevant tools and collect needed data. The results of these extension program areas have been transferred externally through presentations, posters, educational modules, extension publications, factsheets, newsletters, news articles, video, audio, websites, and social media.