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Individual Highlight

New collaborative project focuses on tribal climate change issues in the Southwest

Photo of The San Francisco Peaks in northern Arizona are sacred to many Native American groups. Forest ServiceThe San Francisco Peaks in northern Arizona are sacred to many Native American groups. Forest ServiceSnapshot : This southwestern project is helping Native American tribes identify how climate change is affecting them and how to address these issues.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Raish, Carol B.  
Research Location : Arizona and New Mexico
Research Station : Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS)
Year : 2011
Highlight ID : 398


In August 2010, the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) and the Rocky Mountain Research Station began a collaborative project focused on tribal climate change issues in the Southwest. Project collaborators are coordinating with the Pacific Northwest and Northern Research Stations as part of the Agency's 2010 Coordinated Approach to Tribal Climate Change research project. The goals of the southwestern project are to 1) identify existing tribal climate change efforts being undertaken in Arizona and New Mexico, 2) assess tribal research and information needs regarding climate change issues, and 3) develop strategies for meeting those needs. To accomplish these goals, the Station and ITEP recently hosted a climate change workshop for tribal environmental and natural resource managers in Flagstaff, AZ.

The workshop built knowledge concerning climate change issues and fostered dialogue on the needs of and opportunities for tribes in Arizona and New Mexico to engage in climate change planning. Specific topics covered in workshop sessions included: Traditional Knowledge and Western Science; Observed Climate Change Impacts on Tribal Lands; Global and Southwestern Climate Change; Water: Issues and Opportunities; and Land-based Resources: Issues and Opportunities.

The Southwest Tribal Climate Change Network provides ongoing engagement among those interested in tribal climate change issues in Arizona and New Mexico. The Network provides regular input into the project's activities, such as the workshop, and also shares resources and information that may facilitate tribal climate change efforts. The Network is open to Arizona and New Mexico tribes and tribal organizations, agencies, and other interested individuals. If you wish to participate in the Network, please email Sue Wotkyns at You can access the ITEP webpage at, and the ITEP tribal climate change website at

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Northern Arizona University, Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals

Program Areas