Native Waters logo








The Academy works with faculty to facilitate the development of interdisciplinary research and education project proposals that are funded from external sources. These projects play an important role in the Academy’s efforts to bring faculty from diverse disciplines to work on environmental research, education and outreach issues of common concern.

$4.5 million program to explore agriculture and water management on tribal lands

USDA-funded ‘Native Waters on Arid Lands’ brings together scientists, 1862 and 1994 land-grant institutions and tribal communities of Great Basin and Southwest to address agricultural water challenges

UNR Newsroom, March 24, 2015

A competitive, $4.5 million grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture will integrate research and Extension to help Great Basin and Southwestern tribal communities develop plans, policies and practices for sustainable agriculture and water management.

The five-year program, Native Waters on Arid Lands, brings together faculty and students from three of the West’s 1862 land-grant institutions – University of Nevada, Reno, University of Arizona and Utah State University; First Americans (1994) Land-Grant Consortium (FALCON); Federally Recognized Tribal Extension Program instructors in Nevada and Arizona; Desert Research Institute; U.S. Geological Survey; and Ohio University. The program team includes tribal members from Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.

American Indian farmers and ranchers provide an important economic base for the arid lands of the Great Basin Desert and American Southwest. Declining water supplies, urbanization, ecosystem change and federal Indian policies challenge American Indian agriculture for ceremonial practices, sustenance and trade. (read full story)



NEVADA TODAY: Ancestral voices shape climate-change strategies

USDA Press Release: USDA Awards Grants to Address Water Quality, Availability in Agriculture Communities


The Team

Maureen McCarthy, Project Director - Interim Director, Academy for the Environment

Loretta Singletary, Professor and Interdisciplinary Outreach Liason, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension

Staci Emm, Extension Educator, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension

John Phillips, Executive Director, First Americans Land-Grant Consortium (FALCON)

Michael Dettinger, Senior Research Hydrologist, USGS

Beverly Ramsey, Executive Director, Division of Earth and Ecosytem Sciences, Desert Research Institute

Bonnie Colby, Professor, Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics, University of Arizona

Trent Teegerstrom, Arizona Federally Recognized Tribal Director and Extension (FRTEP) Project Director

Kynda Curtis, Associate Professor, Department of Applied Economics, Utah State University

Eric Edwards, Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Economics, Utah State University

Derek Kauneckis, Associate Professor, Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs

Ron Oden, Graphic Journalist, Visual design artist for the program


Support Team Members

Carol Bishop, Extension Educator UNCE
Malieka Landis, Research Associate, UCED
Vicki Hebb, Tribal Summit Coordinator
Olga Ilchuk, Research Associate, UNCE, Data Analysis and Project Evaluation Support
Jennifer Kintz, Community Based Instructor, UNCE, Outreach Coordination and Support
Gerald Moore, FRTEP, Navajo Nation
Jeannie Benally, FRTEP, Navajo Nation
Grey Wolf, FRTEP, Navajo Nation
Matt Livingston, FRTEP, Hopi Reservation
Randy Emm, FRTEP, Nevada Tribes
Reggie Primo, FRTEP, Nevada Tribes



Maureen McCarthy,


Sponsoring Agencies




Partner Institutions

UNR logo
UA logo
USU logo

Ohio logo

UNCE logo

USGS logo

DRI logo