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UA research associate Bob Seaman and Chris Yazzie, a master's degree student in environmental engineering, fasten solar panels to the roof of the bus that will purify water in Navajo Nation. (Photo: Rodolfo Peon)

UA Leads STEM Traineeship to Address Needs of Navajo Nation

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UA Leads STEM Traineeship to Address Needs of Navajo Nation

Oct. 11, 2017
With funding from the National Science Foundation, a five-year, $3 million research traineeship will give UA graduate students the tools to address food, energy and water challenges in the Navajo Nation.

A team of University of Arizona researchers has received a five-year, $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to train UA graduate students in STEM fields with a focus on improving food, energy and water security in the Navajo Nation.

About 35 percent of homes in the Navajo Nation are not connected to central power or drinking water, resulting in challenges to food, energy and water systems, or FEWS, said Karletta Chief, assistant professor in the UA Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, who is leading the program.

Chief's UA collaborators include Benedict Colombi, head of American Indian studies; Erin Ratcliff, assistant professor of materials science and engineering; Kimberly Ogden, professor of chemical and environmental engineering; and Murat Kacira, professor of agricultural-biosystems engineering.