iSchool Directory

Specialization

  • Environmental Health Science
  • Water Security Research
  • Climate and Native Health

Biography

Clarita Lefthand-Begay is citizen of the Navajo Nation and an assistant professor in the University of Washington’s Information School. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on the protections (e.g., tribal codes, laws, guidelines, declarations, etc.) for indigenous knowledge in the United States, tribal water security, and climate health and resiliency. Indigenous knowledge systems are foundational to each of her projects. She is currently the Director of the Tribal Water Security Project, a project that examines the water insecurity challenges faced by tribes in the United States and around the globe. As a researcher and tribal community member, Clarita supports efforts to strengthen tribal wellbeing while respecting and honoring self-determination and cultural revitalization.

Education

  • Ph D, Environmental and Occupational Hygiene, University of Washington, 2014
  • MS, Environmental Health, University of Washington, 2007
  • BS, Biological Sciences, University of Arizona, 2002

Publications and Contributions

  • Conference Paper
    Indigenous Information System in Chiapas, Mexico: integrating community radio, library and impact assessment for community development (2017)
    Proceedings of iConference 2017 Authors: Ricardo Gomez, Clarita Lefthand-Begay, Jeannie Berwick, Cala Zubair, Yvette Iribe Ramirez, Sigifredo Mora
  • Journal Article, Academic Journal
    Molecular Detection of Viable Bacterial Pathogens in Water by Ratiometric Pre-rRNA Analysis (2010)
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Volume 76, Issue 3, Page 960-962 Authors: Gerard A. Gangelosi, Kris M. Weigel, Clarita Lefthand-Begay, John S. Mescheke
  • Journal Article, Academic Journal
    Native American Perspectives on Health and Traditional Ecological Knowledge
    Environmental Health Perspectives Authors: Isaac Gwyneira, Clarita Lefthand-Begay

Presentations

  • Water Insecurity & Indigenous Peoples (2018)
    UW-Nepal Partnerships in Health Innovation: Multi-disciplinary Collaborations to Advance Population Health Symposium, UW Department of Bioengineering and Department of Global Health - Seattle, WA
  • A tribally- based resiliency toolkit for community members. What makes Tribal Nations resilient to the impacts of climate change? (2017)
    8th Annual National Tribal Public Health Summit - Anchorage, AK
  • Center for Native American Environmental Health Research Equity: Abandoned Hardrock Mines/Uranium Mines (2017)
    Regional Tribal Operations Committee (RTOC) EPA Region VIII - Rapid City, SD
  • Climate Adaptation, Human Health and Environmental Health (2017)
    Climate Adaptation Workshop - Akiak, AK
  • Community Resilience and Tribal Self-Determination (2017)
    Changing Current’s Tribal Water Summit: Summit to Sea, University of Oregon, Law School, Knight Law Center - Eugene, OR
  • Creating a tribally-based toolkit to encourage community-driven resilience planning (2017)
    Pacific Northwest Climate Conference - Tacoma, WA
  • Native American Knowledge Systems: Sovereign Rights, Protections and Protocols (2017)
    Integrating Exposure Science Across Diverse Communities - Research Triangle, NC
  • Overview of Tribal Research in the Environmental Health Disparities Centers (2017)
    Integrating Exposure Science Across Diverse Communities - Research Triangle, NC
  • Panel speaker on the intersections between race and ecologies (2017)
    University of Washington - Seattle, WA
  • Perspectives on Genetic Research in the Navajo Nation (talk delivered by Dr. Claw) (2017)
    Navajo Nation Human Research Review Board Conference Navajo Nation Museum - Window Rock, Arizona
  • Previous Genetics Research with the Navajo (2017)
    Tribal Data Sharing & Genetics Policy Development Workshop, UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center - Albuquerque, NM
  • Summer Research Training by the Center for Native American Environmental Health Equity Research: Risk assessment (RA), risk management framework and gaps in addressing Native American health needs (2017)
    Native Environmental Health Equities Center Annual Meeting and EAC meeting - Rapid City, SD
  • The UW Exposures, Diseases, Genomics and Environment (EDGE) Center 2017 Annual Retreat (2017)
    Campus-Community Capacity Building for Climate Change Research and Adaptation (NIEHS Supplement Project Talk), UW Center for Urban Horticulture - Seattle, WA
  • Tribal Sovereign Rights, Knowledge and Data Protections and Protocols in the Environmental Health Sciences U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10 (2017)
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10 - Seattle, WA
  • Tribally-Based Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Workshop in the Pacific Northwest (presented by Maggie Sander) (2017)
    National Adaptation Forum - Saint Paul, MN
  • Working with tribes in Alaska and the Northwest (2017)
    Tribal Environmental Health Forum - Chandler, AZ
  • Addressing Tribal Water Security Challenges in the 21st Century (2016)
    Tribal Leadership Summit, University of Washington - Seattle, WA
  • Climate Change Science and Adaptation (2016)
    Nisqually Community Climate Adaptation Workshop - Olympia, WA
  • Native American Perspectives on Environmental Stewardship and Climate Change (2016)
    Seattle King County Speaker Series - Seattle, WA
  • Water Security, Climate, Tribal Environmental Health: Projecting Seven Generations (2016)
    Northern Arizona University Bridges’ End of the Summer Banquet - Flagstaff, AZ
  • Engaging citizen scientists in the aftermath of disasters and emergence of new concerns (2015)
    International Society of Exposure Science (ISES) - Nevada, USA
  • Food Sovereignty and Lessons from The Living Breath of wǝɫǝbʔaltxw (2015)
    Indigenous Ways of Knowing Cultural Food Practices and Ecological Knowledge Summit - Bellingham, WA
  • Tribal community concerns, climate change and adaptation (2015)
    The National Conference of State Legislators Legislative Summit - Seattle, WA
  • Water Security, Ecosystem Services, and Indigenous Well-Being in the Southwest and Pacific Northwest (2015)
    Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) - Washington, DC
  • Water security: the value of water and our well-being (2015)
    Centre for Aboriginal Health Research's Annual speaker series - Canada
  • Employing an Interdisciplinary Approach to Food Security and Indigenous Health (2014)
    2014 Washington State Public Health Association Conference - Wenatchee, WA
  • Groundwater Sustainability: Indigenous cultural values, uses and sources (2014)
    2014 Ground Water Protection Council Annual Forum - Seattle, WA
  • The Value of Water (2014)
    Nisqually Community Development Committee Presentation Series - Washington, USA
  • Using a value-based approach to inform environmental management decision making aimed to meet the water insecurity needs of two tribal communities (2014)
    2014 Annual Ph.D. Symposium: The Centrality of Urban in the Anthropocene: Implications for Graduate Research and Education - Seattle, WA
  • Water Security, Climate Change and Indigenous Health (2014)
    9th Annual Vine Deloria, Jr. Indigenous Studies Symposium, Northwest Indian College - Bellingham, WA
  • Water Security, Food Security, Health, and Self–Determination (2014)
    The Living Breath of Wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ” Indigenous Ways of Knowing Symposium, University of Washington - Seattle, WA
  • What it means to be an Indigenous Scientist: My life and research experiences (2014)
    National Indian Center for Marine Environmental Research & Education at the Northwest Indian College - Bellingham, WA
  • Building a Community-based Native Environmental Justice Program in Higher Education (2013)
    National Indian Education Association Conference - Rapid City, SD
  • Indigenous Women in the Sciences (2013)
    “The Living Breath of Wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ” Indigenous Ways of Knowing Cultural Food Practices and Ecological Knowledge Symposium - Seattle, WA
  • Self-determination, environmental health stewardship and water health disparities (2013)
    “Environmental Health Disparities and Environmental Justice” Series, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH) - Seattle, WA
  • Self-determination, environmental health stewardship and water health disparities (2013)
    National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ Addressing Historical Inequities: Environmental Justice for Native Americans - Research Triangle Park, NC
  • Water security among Pacific Northwestern and Southwestern Tribal Communities (2013)
    American Public Health Association (APHA) American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Caucus - San Francisco, CA
  • A values-based approach to identifying disconnects between Tribal community values and water quality standards in the Pacific Northwest and Southwestern United States (2012)
    First Stewards Symposium - Washington, DC
  • If we are going to survive, we have to do something! (2012)
    First Stewards Symposium, as Witness for West Coast Panel - Washington, DC
  • Water Security and Sovereignty among Pacific Northwest and Southwestern Tribal nations (2012)
    2012 National Conference "Asking Permission to Come Ashore: Journeys to Indigenous Health and Health Research," Native Research Network - Seattle, WA
  • A values-based approach to identifying disconnects between Tribal community values and water quality standards in the Pacific Northwest (2011)
    American Public Health Association (APHA) - Washington, DC
  • Molecular Detection of Viable Bacterial Pathogens in Water By Ratiometric Pre-rRNA Analysis (2010)
    University of Washington Human Health and Oceans Center and NOAA's North West Fisheries Science Oceans and Human Health Center - Seattle, WA
  • Microbial Source Tracking in the Tulalip Bay (2007)
    National Environmental Health Association - Atlantic City, NJ
  • Microbial Source Tracking in the Tulalip Bay (2007)
    Society of the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science - Kansas City, KS
  • Microbial Source Tracking in the Tulalip Bay (2007)
    Northwest Indian College - Bellingham, WA