Ph.D. Student, Global Health in the Implementation Science
Coco Alarcon is a Peruvian architect, landscape architect, and public health researcher. He is currently working on his Ph.D. in Global Health in the Implementation Science track. For the last twelve years, Coco has worked in low-income and indigenous urban migrant communities in Peru. His work focuses on designing, building, and assessing projects with community-participatory and holistic approaches to understand the relationships between the built environment and human and ecological health.
MA Student, Department of Psychology and Health Studies, University of Saskatchewan
Traci-lee (Traci), she/her, is of white settler ancestry. She received her BA (Honors equivalent) in Applied Psychology from Concordia University of Edmonton in 2019. Subsequently, she worked with women who have experienced intimate partner violence to help them identify, obtain, and maintain meaningful employment. She is now a second-year master’s student studying Applied Social Psychology at the University of Saskatchewan. In addition, she is a research assistant for the Coronavirus Variants Rapid Response Network’s Indigenous Engagement, Development, and Research Pillar 7 (CIEDAR). Traci’s research interests are diverse; however, her research has focused primarily on language and bias.
Dr. Derek Jennings
Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, University of Washington
Dr. Derek Jennings is a Bezruchka Family Endowed Professor within the UW School of Public Health. As a tribal nations member, he works primarily with Indigenous communities as a health educator, addressing the social determinants of health related to food, diet and improving diet.
BSc., MEDes, Research Advisor, Institute for Circumpolar Health Research
Juniper Redvers (she/her) is a member of the Deninu K'ue First Nation, a mom, an academic, Indigenous counselor, and land-based advocate. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Global Resource Systems from the University of British Columbia and a Masters in Environmental Design at the University of Calgary. After growing up in Denendeh Northwest Territories (in what is now known as Canada), she currently lives on Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än territory in the Yukon, northern Canada, where she offers supportive Indigenous based counseling for youth and families, curriculum development, facilitation, training and research around various wellness topics including trauma-informed practice, cultural safety, Indigenous resilience, and land-based healing approaches. She is interested in how the fields of ecology, health, and education are interrelated, and aims to integrate across these disciplines for practical application in northern communities.
Usha Varanasi, Ph.D.
Affiliate Professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences; Distinguished Scholar in Residence, College of the Environment, University of Washington
Usha Varanasi is an affiliate Professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, and a Distinguished Scholar in Residence in the College of the Environment, University of Washington. She is interested in the projects at the boundary of science and policy that define and encourage positive engagement of people with nature. She was the science and research director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Northwest Fisheries Science Center from 1994-2010, and served from 2004-2010 as the director of NOAA’s Westcoast Center of Excellence for Ocean and Human Health which was dedicated to studying and informing policymakers how the degradation of oceans and aquatic ecosystems can affect the health and well-being of people. Currently, she is deeply interested in examining reciprocal healing of Ecological and Human Health.
Varanasi, U. 2020. Focusing Attention on Reciprocity between Nature and Humans Can be the Key to Reinvigorating Planetary Health. Ecopsychology Vol 12:3, pp 188-194
Varanasi, U. 2021. Casting a wide net and making the most of the catch. ICES Journal of Marine Science, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsab023
Varanasi, U., Trainer, V. L., and Schumacker, E.J. 2021. Taking a long view for Oceans and Human Health connection through community driven science. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 18(5),2662; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052662
PhD Student, Wayne State University; Sponsored Graduate Scholar, Kuwait University
Hassan Arab is a second year PhD student at the School of Social Work at Wayne State University. He is currently specialized in policy analysis and planning with a concentration on community organizing and social mobility. He has adverse research interests, but mainly focuseson environmental policies, social work education, welfare policies in Kuwait, and marginalized communities in Kuwait political and social rights. Community organizing has always been a passion as he was one of the founders of the Social Work Society at Kuwait University and the Kuwaiti Student Federation at Wayne State University. He also has an interest in arts as a form of community learning tool and has written and directed a play funded by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Youth that revolves around community polarization, women rights violations, and structural power struggles between society and political actors.
Dr. Katherine A. Collins
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and Health Studies, University of Saskatchewan
Katherine (Katie) Anne Collins, PhD, HBSc, is of mixed-race ancestry: her mother is Cree while her father had white Irish ancestry. Katie received her Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto in 2007 and her Doctorate in Experimental Social Psychology from the University of Ottawa in 2015. She is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Health Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. As a social psychologist, Katie believes it is of vital importance to conduct research that is relevant to, and can inform, socio-cultural issues. In line with this, she is an emerging scholar in the areas of culture, language, and identity. She believes that a strong cultural identity is necessary for individuals and communities to thrive. As Katie knows from her own experience, language is inextricably linked to both culture and identity; it links us to other people, shapes our experience of the world, and defines the way we think about ourselves.
PhD Student, Sociology, University of British Columbia
Mary is a PhD student in the University of British Columbia's sociology department. Interested in relationships and how they shape our lives, Mary's own research focuses on mating and dating practices among different equity-deserving groups. Most recently, this involved conducting oral and written interviews to understand how people living with chronic pain understand and experience intimacy. Mary's interest in equity-deserving groups is informed by their four years working for the Department Canadian Heritage, where they had the opportunity to complete policy research for Canadians with disabilities, gender and sexual minorities, racialized Canadians, and Indigenous Peoples. Leaving the federal government to be closer to community, Mary now acts as the Research Manager for the Coronavirus Rapid Response Network's Indigenous Engagement, Development, and Research Pillar 7 (CIEDAR).
MA Student, Department of Indigenous Studies, University of Saskatchewan
Jacqueline (Swampy Cree) is a band member of Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Northern Manitoba. She completed her BA in History with a minor in Canadian Studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2016. She is currently a MA student in the Department of Indigenous Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. Her research focuses on accessibility to mental health services for Indigenous women in urban centres and her research interests include Indigenous health and healing. She is also a Research Assistant for Coronavirus Variants Rapid Response Network's Indigenous Engagement, Development, and Research Pillar 7 (CIEDAR).
PhD Student, Epidemiology, University of Washington
Hiwot Zewdie is a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology and pre-doctoral trainee on the Biostatistics, Epidemiologic, and Bioinformatic Training in Environmental Health training grant at the University of Washington. She previously received an MSc in Global Health and certificate in Geospatial Analysis from Duke University. Hiwot’s research interests include exploring social and built environment determinants of chronic disease outcomes, particularly in rapidly urbanizing contexts globally.
Amaya Carrasco Torrontegui
PhD Student, Food Systems Program, Agroecology and Livelihoods Collaborative, & Gund Institute for the Environment, University of Vermont; The Caliata Initiative
Amaya is a PhD student in the Food Systems Program with a Specialization in Agroecology at the University of Vermont. For her dissertation, she is working on two case studies (Ecuador and Bolivia) to understand collective action in the context of agroecological transition. Amaya also has worked for several years with NGOs, grassroots, governments, and academia at the intersection of agroecology, climate change, food justice, and well-being. She has training as a well-being coach and is the Operations Director of the Caliata Initiative, which aims to reimagine the rural sector in the Andes. Amaya collaborated on different research projects and co-authored several articles. For more information, please visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/amaya-carrasco-483410129/ Twitter: AmayaCarrascoT1
Herbalist, Ethnobotanist, Healer, Naturopathic Medical Student
Mariah Emerson is a Black, queer woman navigating life through the lens of healing, connection, and communal care. Her mission is to “bring wellness back home” by teaching, initiating, and participating in the sacred return of her communities to their roots. She places collective power, dreambuilding, and health equity at the foundation of her work and passion. Mariah is currently studying to become a naturopathic medical doctor where she intends to blend her love for culture, wellness, and liberation into her practice and care model.
Dr. Ian Munanura
Assistant Professor, College of Forestry, Oregon State University
Dr. Ian Munanura is an Assistant Professor in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University. His research in Africa focuses on understanding ecotourism-based solutions to human-wildlife conflict. In the United States, Dr. Munanura's research aims to understand forest-based recreation constraints for people of color. Previously, for over 15 years, Dr. Munanura served in senior-level management for integrated conservation programs in Africa:
• He led a multi-million dollars US government-funded program integrating ecotourism, biodiversity conservation, and human development at Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda.
• He also served as country director for the Wildlife Conservation Society in Rwanda.
• He served as a director for IUCN's (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Forest Landscape Restoration Program for the East and Southern Africa region.
Phd Candidate, Interdisciplinary Studies, University of British Columbia
Kelsey Timler is a settler scholar and fourth-year doctoral candidate at the University of British Columbia. She works on a number of Participatory Action Research projects in partnership with currently and formerly incarcerated peoples, with the ultimate goal of supporting the health, wellbeing and dignity of those unjustly burdened by the colonial carceral state. In previous life she was a professional cook for many years, and her doctoral work is focused on co-developing a food justice project with women on parole, seeing food as an entryway to community building, healing, and resurgence. She believes in the power of food to bring people together, the strength of art and storytelling to empower, disrupt, and dream, and the obligation of academic researchers to acknowledge and confront the ongoing harms of extractive research. She is grateful to work alongside a vibrant network experts who’ve survived incarceration, artists and activists, and of Indigenous Elders and teachers. Kelsey lives on the unceded and occupied territories of the Stό:lō Nation in British Columbia, Canada.