Community Engagement Core leader, Dr. Karletta Chief, has built an unparalleled program in Arizona and New Mexico to engage and provide training to Native American communities on environmental and health hazards related to metal mining in general and in particular focused on the Gold King Mine Spill that occurred in August 2015.
One highlight is Dr. Chief’s participation in the 2017 New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute Conference on the Environmental Conditions of the Animas and San Juan River Watersheds with Emphasis on Gold King Mine and Other Mine Waste. At this conference, Dr. Chief provided a keynote address; participated in a panel entitled “Making the Community Whole Again” focusing on Navajo perspectives and needs after the Gold King Mine Spill; and participated in a site visit of the Gold King Mine near Silverton, CO with the New Mexico Department of Environmental Quality. This conference is just one example of how the UA SRP has taken a leadership role in engaging university, state, and federal agencies to provide perspective and information on how tribes were and are still being impacted by the Gold King Mine Spill. As a result of Dr. Chief’s efforts she was recently invited to participate in a Science Friday with Ira Flatow Video on Women in Science, entitled “Bitterwater: Protecting the Waterways of the Navajo Nation”.
The video can be found at: https://www.sciencefriday.com/videos/breakthrough-bitter-water/