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©2002 Environmental Education Outreach Program & Northern Arizona University
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Chapter 3:
Arizona's Tribal Environmental Professionals

There are many hundreds of working American Indian environmental professionals in the Southwest. Arizonaís Indian tribes employ nearly one thousand workers in permanent environmental jobs. Meanwhile, federal and state governmental agencies are instituting new hiring policies that should open the door for more Native American environmental specialists. In addition, counties and other local governments employ environmental graduates for their recreation and resource management programs. Private companies are also important employers of environmental professionals. The regionís colleges and universities also seek environmental scientists and practitioners for their diverse programs. The following survey of actual tribal environmental positions, conducted in June 2000, is not a list of job openings. There are people working at these jobs, but more are needed.

Each tribeís list of environmental personnel is a clue to its geography, its resources and its environmental challenges. Tribes with large forests have larger forestry departments; some tribes have Fish and Game departments and others do not. A few of the tribes with the smallest reservations have no environmental personnel at all. Most tribes report that about 50% of their environmental employees are tribal members, and most also report that they are unable to find enough qualified applicants. Many tribal environmental jobs continue to open.

Although farming manipulates and transforms the landscape, European-American knowledge separates agricultural science from environmental science. For the purposes of this survey, employees of tribal agricultural enterprises are considered environmental workers.



Environmental Education Outreach Program (EEOP)
Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP)
PO Box 5768     Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5768     Phone: (928) 523-1275     Fax: (928) 523-1280
E-mail: eeop@nau.edu

Last updated: May 27, 2005