List of Presenters and Panelists by Session

SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE: "Food and Water in Arid Lands - Schedule Overview"

Session 1: Dialogues across Traditional Knowledge, Academic Science, and Citizen Science
Friday, November 4, 10am - 12pm

Panelists in this session will explore the ways in which techniques and approaches rooted in different funds of knowledge can be used to develop innovative, sustainable models for addressing arid lands challenges. Critical to such discussions: the rights of Indigenous peoples, and the importance of recognizing intersections across emerging and traditional technologies.

Jonathan Mabry

Jonathan Mabry is the Historic Preservation Officer with the City of Tucson. He was an early leader in the local and heritage foods movements in southern Arizona, and coauthored the successful application for UNESCO designation of Tucson as a City of Gastronomy in 2015. Learn more.

Brad Lancaster

Brad Lancaster is an expert in the field of rainwater harvesting and water management. He is a permaculture teacher, designer, consultant and co-founder of Desert Harvesters non-profit organization. Learn more.

Darlene Sanderson

Darlene Sanderson is the Secretariat for the Indigenous World Forum on Water and Peace. She studies water from Elders’ teachings from her native Cree tradition, as well as from Maori (Aotearoa/New Zealand) and Nuu-Chah-Nulth (Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest) traditions. Learn more

Patrisia Gonzales

Patrisia Gonzales is an Associate Professor, Department of Mexican American Studies at the University of Arizona. She studies Indigenous medicine, Indigenous ways of knowing, and wellness. Learn more.

Terrol Johnson

Terrol Johnson is director and co-founder of TOCA (Tohono O'odham Community Action), a non-profit organization dedicated to creating cultural revitalization and sustainable community development on the Tohono O'odham Nation. Learn more.


Session 2: Traditional Knowledge and Water Scarcity in Arid Lands
Friday, November 4, 1pm - 2:45pm

In this session, panelists will consider ways to bridge Traditional Knowledge with emerging water science, including how patterns of water use honed over centuries can inform and enrich emerging practices.  


Robert Varady

Robert Varady is the Interim Director and Research Professor of Environmental Policy at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy at the University of Arizona. He examines environmental and water-related governance and policy in arid regions, with an emphasis on transboundary issues, especially along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Abdullah al-Ghafri

Abdullah al-Ghafri is the Director of Aflaj Research Unit at University of Nizwa. He studies Alflaj (ancient Omani water irrigation systems), water management, and traditional technologies. Learn more.

Anna Valer Clark

Anna Valer Clark  is a Vice-Chairwoman of Waterock L3C. She founded Cuenca Los Ojos with Josiah Austin; the organization specializes in the restoration and the preservation of wildlife.

Michael Kotutwa Johnson

Michael Kotutwa Johnson is a Hopi farmer and a University of Arizona doctoral student in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment. He studies and practices dry farming and public policy. Learn more

Vernon Masayesva

Vernon Masayesva is the Executive Director of Black Mesa Trust. He specializes in water preservation. Learn more.


Session 3: Traditional Knowledge and Food Systems
Friday, November 4, 3pm - 5pm

Native food advocates, agricultural practitioners, and those with expertise on food sovereignty and systems will examine Traditional Knowledge as it relates to food security, food scarcity, Indigenous rights to heritage seeds and foods, and other agricultural issues.

Gary Paul Nabhan

Gary Paul Nabhan is a W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems and founding Director of the Center for Regional Food Systems. He works on conserving the links between biodiversity and cultural diversity.

Andrew Mushita

Andrew Mushita works with the Community Technology Development Trust in Zimbabwe. He studies seed exchange, biopiracy, small-scale farms, and seed trusts. Learn more.

*Luz Calvo

Luz Calvo are a Professor of Ethnic Studies at Cal State East Bay, where they work on food justice in communities of color and co-author of "Decolonize Your Diet," which focuses on the relationships between health and heritage foods. Learn more.

Julie Ramon-Pierson and Gabriel Mendoza

Julie Ramon-Pierson and Gabriel Mendoza will share their experiences with San Xavier Cooperative Farm, located on the Tohono O’odham Nation in the San Xavier District in the ancestral village of Wa:k.  The farm grows and sells a variety of foods that are well adapted to the desert southwest, including heritage crops such as tepary beans and O'odham peas.

Stefano Ravizza

Stefano Ravizza works with Confederazione Nationale Coldiretti/Campagna Amica, an organization that focuses on local food systems and markets through urban gardens, dedicated shops, farmers markets, and model farms. The organization promotes agro-ecological approaches which help local populations preserve traditional food systems and diets.


Session 4: Traditional Knowledge in a Time of Climate Change
Saturday, November 5, 9am - 10:45am

This panel will investigate how skills and practices are developed and preserved through Traditional Knowledge systems, and how these may be used to tackle contemporary challenges associated with climate change. Panelists will address how Indigenous communities in particular may be affected by climate change, and how traditional practices and techniques align with current efforts to adopt sustainable practices.

Ron Trosper

Ron Trosper is a Professor in American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona. He studies Indigenous economic theory and traditional ecological knowledge. Learn more.

Alejandro Argumedo

Alejandro Argumedo is Affiliated with ANDES and Potato Park. He is working to protect and develop Andean biological and cultural diversity and the rights of indigenous peoples of Peru. Learn more.

Karletta Chief

Karletta Chief is Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist, Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science at the University of Arizona. She studies climate change vulnerability of Native Americans in the Southwest and Indigenous perspectives on sustainable water practices. Learn more.

Miguel Esteban Székely

Miguel E. Székely is associated with the Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. He works with indigenous communities facing the challenges of rural development. Learn more.

Turki al-Rasheed

Turki al-Rasheed is an Adjunct Professor of the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Arizona. He studies Saudi Arabian agricultural development practices, food security, and agriculture’s role in economic growth. Learn more.


Session 5: The Pipeline – Sharing Traditional Knowledge through Industry, Education, and Outreach
Saturday, November 5, 11am - 12:30am

This panel will address some of the ways in which Traditional Knowledge can be shared and preserved. How can we embed the lessons of the previous sessions to transform education, develop partnerships, and create networks that allow knowledge to flow across civil, educational, and commercial sectors?

Moderator: Sallie Marston

Sallie Marston is Professor of Geography and Development and Director, UA Community and School Garden Program at the University of Arizona. She examines experiential curriculum, linking classroom learning to school gardens and their wider ecologies. Learn more.

Kelzi Bartholomaei

Kelzi Bartholomaei is the chef-owner of Mother Hubbard’s Café in Tucson, Arizona.  Her innovative menu is rooted in contemporary Native American cuisine and features ingredients reflective of the local place spirit as well as her own peoples’ traditions spanning both U.S. borders – Mexico and Canada. Learn more.

Jesus Garcia

Jesus Garcia is an Education Specialist at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. He is working on the Kino Heritage Fruit Trees Project, whose goal is to locate and replant historically and horticulturally appropriate varieties of fruit trees. Learn more

Claudio Rodriguez

Claudio Rodriguez is a South Tucson resident from Sonora, Mexico. He’s been organizing with Tierra y Libertad since 2007. An ex-gang member, Claudio found himself while working with Mother Earth; he now farms and is an educator who shares his skills working with Tucson youth.


Teresa Newberry

Teresa Newberry is Lead Faculty in Science at Tohono O'odham Community College. At Tohono O'odham Community College, she co-developed a web-hosted Global Climate Change course. Learn more.