University of Arizona Superfund Research Program (UA SRP) Trainee, Lydia Jennings, recently attended the 2016 Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native American in Science (SACNAS) National Diversity in STEM Conference in Long Beach, California (October 13-15, 2016). SACNAS is an organization dedicated to fostering the success of Chicano and Native American science students and professionals. Jennings gave an oral presentation during the Geoscience’s graduate student section that focused on her UA SRP and Center for Environmentally Sustainable Mining dissertation research, entitled “Evaluating Microbial Bioindicators to Assess Reclamation Progress in Southern Arizona”. She enjoyed the conference stating, “Presenting at SACNAS got me very excited about my research. I received great feedback and interest about the work that I am doing, specifically about how it can serve minority communities, which are disproportionally impacted by mining sites.”
Additionally, Jennings was able to meet some inspirational people including Dr. Gregory Cajete, Director of Native American Studies at the University of New Mexico and Dr. Marigold Linton who helped found both SACNAS and the National Indian Education Association. The conference also provided a variety of professional development sessions that Jennings attended, including Coaching Strong Scientists in Communication and Negotiation, Intersection of Ethnic and Scientific Identity, and Using Science Communication to Support Your Career: From Social Media to Journalism.