Virtual Drinks & Speaker Series

Wednesday, November 10, 6:00pm Eastern
3:00pm Pacific / 4:00pm Mountain

Please join us for the final of our 2021 fall Field Stations Lecture Series, 6:00pm – 7:30pm.

New Directions in Environmental Health and Equity in the Southwest



Southwest Colorado and Northern New Mexico (the traditional homelands and territories of the ancestral homes and territories of the Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ, Apache, the Pueblos, Hopi, Zuni, and the Diné (Navajo) Nation) have been impacted by mining and other forms of industrial extraction since the 1870s, when heavy metals mining began in the San Juan Mountains following the Brunot Agreement and the displacement of the Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ (Ute). In the 20th century, the U.S. government milled uranium from this region to build its nuclear program, and coal-fired power plants provided electricity to millions living in Western cities. In the early 21st century, oil and gas companies drilled thousands of wells here. In this panel presentation, researchers, educators and writers will share their ongoing projects that seek to understand environmental health in the region and to build local and Indigenous-led capacity for environmental monitoring. The speakers in this forum have worked to understand the impacts of the Gold King Mine Spill, a 2015 toxic spill in which 3 million gallons of acid mine drainage were released from a gold mine retaining wall near Silverton, Colorado, affecting the Animas River, an important tributary of the Colorado River. They will discuss how this event has impacted new ways forward for writing and research on community health, uses of water and environmental management.


  • Amber Benally (Rising Leaders Manager, Grand Canyon Trust)
  • Dr. Karletta Chief (Associate Professor, University of Arizona Department of Environmental Science)
  • Dr. Rebecca Clausen (Professor of Sociology and Human Services, Fort Lewis College)
  • Jonathan Thompson (Contributing Editor, High Country News)