“Protect Our Mother Earth – Nihimá Nahasdzáán Baaháánínizin” Environmental Sustainability

“Protect Our Mother Earth – Nihimá Nahasdzáán Baaháánínizin” Environmental Sustainability

23rd April 2024

TSAILE, AZ – Diné College hosted a presentation by Dr. Tommy Rock on Tuesday, April 23, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The event took place in the Student Union Building (SUB) and was open to students, faculty, and the public. Dr. Rock, a member of the Navajo Nation and a professor at the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Ariz., presented his research in the field of Earth Science and Environmental Sustainability.

Dr. Rock has a Ph.D. from Northern Arizona University and has made contributions to environmental research through positions at the University of Utah and as a Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Princeton University. He focuses on a multidisciplinary approach to sustainability issues in the Southwest, emphasizing the intersection of health, environment, and cultural implications of uranium mining on tribal lands.
During his presentation, Dr. Rock discussed his innovative research that seeks to merge Navajo Fundamental Laws with contemporary environmental science. He aimed to develop more effective policies and procedures for managing uranium contamination on Navajo lands by combining traditional ecological knowledge with scientific research. Dr. Rock’s work was motivated by his personal experiences, growing up in an area profoundly affected by uranium mining. He witnessed the detrimental effects of such activities on community health, including cancer in his own family.
Dr. Rock’s collaboration with the Diné Hataalii Association highlighted his commitment to respecting and protecting Navajo traditional teachings while striving for environmental restoration and sustainability. Attendees of the event had an inspiring opportunity to explore how blending cultural heritage with modern science can lead to meaningful solutions for some of today’s most pressing environmental challenges.


Chris Burnside,
Marketing & Communications Manager

Jazzmine D. Martinez, Marketing Assistant
Marketing & Communications

Dillon Nopah, Videographer

Patrick Begay,
Graphic Designer

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