Read the full post from the Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center.
I have a close connection to the Columbia River–five of my family members were born in small towns next to the waterway. This is why I chose to focus my dissertation research on restorative justice in the Pacific Northwest on the Columbia River. As a Ph.D. student in Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis, I focus on Native American water resources and rights. I am continually researching Tribal ecology, water rights, and StoryMapping techniques to help promote the Columbia River Tribes in reuniting with their traditional fishing sites. When I applied for the SW CASC Natural Resource Workforce Development (NRWD) Fellowship, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity for me to grow as a meaningful collaborator with other students in different disciplines. The interdisciplinary approach is crucial for mitigating and adapting to climate change. We need diversity. Until now, I have only worked with one or two professors at a time on research. The Fellowship is exciting, from the apps we use to connect to each other, to the bi-weekly brainstorming of actionable science. For example, one step in the Fellowship was to complete the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). The certification helped me as a researcher, to look at the ethical component of possible interviews I conduct. There are many sections to this training designed in different modules to give users a neatly formatted structure to reference at any point throughout the certification process. A valuable skill I acquired from the training was how to conduct research ethically while engaging with human and nonhuman collaborators.