About Us:

About ITEP

ITEP Faculty & Research Affiliates

Northern Arizona University The mission of the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) at Northern Arizona University (NAU) is to "strengthens tribal capacity and sovereignty in environmental and natural resource management through culturally relevant education, research, partnerships and policy-based services." Since our inception in 1992 ITEP has formed collaborative partnerships with NAU faculty to develop programs and offer services to tribes regionally and nationwide.

Partnerships with NAU faculty in Environmental Engineering for example, have been instrumental in formulating ITEP’s air quality management training programs. This national training and technical assistance program established in the mid 90’s is the cornerstone of ITEP’s programming and has served as a model for all other programs that have developed since. More recently ITEP has been partnering with faculty in Mechanical Engineering to expand opportunities for NAU students to work with tribes on renewable energy projects.

ITEP has grown from a small staff of 3 individuals in 1992, to 25 full and part-time staff in 2015. We also employ many undergraduate and graduate students as interns or student workers throughout the year. Our programs and services include Environmental Education & Outreach; Climate Change Adaptation & Planning; Ambient Air Quality Management; Solid & Hazardous Waste Management; Environmental Information Exchange Networks; Indoor Air Quality Management; Water Resources Management; and Renewable Energy Planning and Development. With many of our programs we seek to provide tribes with policy, management and technical training and expertise.

With ITEP’s mission in mind, we seek to expand our faculty partnerships at NAU and beyond where there is mutual interest and opportunities for a collaborative partnership. To become an ITEP Faculty & Research Affiliate requires the following:

  1. Desire on the part of ITEP and interested faculty and or research staff to work collaboratively and develop programs or services for the benefit of tribes and students.

  2. Submission of a letter of interest and C.V. to ITEP by interested faculty and/or research staff.
Benefits of Becoming an ITEP Faculty & Research Affiliate:
  1. Develop culturally-respectful collaborations and community-based participatory research;

  2. Collaborate on programs and projects that benefit tribes and environmental protection;

  3. Develop research and training opportunities for NAU students;

  4. Work directly with tribes to address community and regional scale environmental issues;

  5. Network and learn how tribes are developing unique and innovative environmental programs;

  6. Attend and present at national tribal environmental conferences that ITEP develops annually
Current ITEP Faculty & Research Affiliatesplease note this is not a complete list.
Dr. Laura Huenneke Dr. Laura Huenneke: Professor, NAU School of Earth Sciences & Environmental Sustainability
Expertise: Science education and research training; biological diversity and ecosystem function; environmental health especially of Native American communities
Dr. Octaviana Valenzuela Trujillo Dr. Octaviana Valenzuela Trujillo: Professor of Applied Indigenous Studies
Expertise: Tribal governance; Native American education; climate research education and community engagement; international Indigenous education and research


Ron Hubert Ron Hubert, MBA, MS: Ron is one of the founders of the Sustainable Economic Development Initiative of Northern Arizona (SEDI), and has served as its President and Chairman. He continues to work with this organization on initiatives in community sustainability and resilience indicators, local food production, entrepreneurship, and tribal school garden curricula. Ron has published several white papers on sustainable economic development, and served as an economic development expert on the Flagstaff area’s Regional Planning effort.
Dr. Bridget Bero Dr. Bridget Bero: Department Chair, NAU Civil Engineering, Construction Management, and Environmental Engineering
Expertise: Air pollution control systems; emission inventories; air pollution modeling;


Dr. Patricia Ellsworth Dr. Patricia Ellsworth: Associate Research Professor, NAU Civil Engineering, Construction Management, and Environmental Engineering
Expertise: Working with Native American air quality professionals; curriculum development;
Dr. Tom Acker Dr. Tom Acker: Professor, NAU Mechanical Engineering
Expertise: Renewable energy; energy systems (wind, solar, and hydropower), electrical grid integration of wind, solar and hydropower; fluid mechanics; smart grid; gas dynamics.


Dr. Jani Ingram Dr. Jani Ingram: Professor, NAU Chemistry and Biochemistry
Expertise: Native American communities; cancer disparities among Native Americans; environmental exposure effects of uranium and arsenic on Navajo communities.
Dr. Cathrine Propper Dr. Catherine Propper: Professor, NAU Biological Sciences
Expertise: environmental endocrinology; reproductive endocrinology;


Dr. Stefan Sommer Dr. Stefan Sommer: Director, Colorado Plateau Biodiversity Center, NAU Biological Sciences
Expertise: pollination ecology, biodiversity conservation, adaptive restoration ecology.
Dr. Paul Gremillion Dr. Paul Gremillion: Professor, Civil Engineering, Construction Management, and Environmental Engineering
Expertise: Water resources management; mercury and metals transport in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems; aquatic sediment geophysics; water quality monitoring



Ann Marie Chischilly
Executive Director
Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals
Northern Arizona University
Ann-Marie.Chischilly@nau.edu