Organizers

Dr. Michelle Johnson Jennings

Dr. Michelle Johnson Jennings

Professor; Director, Environmentally based Health & Land-based Healing, IWRI
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison

Dr. Michelle Johnson-Jennings, a Choctaw Nation-enrolled tribal member, serves as a UW full professor and director of the division of environmentally-based health and land-based healing at the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute. She holds joint/affiliate appointments at the University of Colorado’s School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan, and the University of Waikato. As a clinical health psychologist, Her therapeutic expertise lies in working with Indigenous communities and decolonizing healing approaches. She has partnered and received large-scale funding with many international and national Indigenous nations, organizations, and communities. Together they have co-developed health interventions entrenched in ancestral guidelines to encourage a renewed commitment to health and revitalize land-based healing practices.

Dr. Johnson-Jennings recently served as the Canada Research Chair for Indigenous Community-Engaged Research at the University of Saskatchewan, founded and directed the Research for Indigenous Community Health Center at the University of Minnesota, and was awarded a U.S. Fulbright Scholarship to research in Aotearoa/New Zealand. She has been invited to present her research at numerous professional conferences held in the Philippines, Italy, Czech Republic, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. She received a Biomedical Research Excellence postdoctoral fellowship with the University of Montana, her doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a master’s degree from Harvard University, and a BS from the University of Oklahoma.

Dr. Greg Bratman

Dr. Greg Bratman

Assistant Professor, University of Washington

Dr. Gregory Bratman's work takes place at the nexus of psychology, public health and ecology, and is focused on investigating the ways in which the environment is associated with human well-being. He takes both empirical and theoretical approaches to understand how nature experience impacts cognitive function, mood, and emotion regulation, with an emphasis on people living in urban environments. He has also published reviews about the impacts of the environment on mental health, informed methods for integrating these effects into ecosystem service studies, and proposed ways in which this science can be put into practice to address health inequities that are disproportionately experienced by underserved communities. Dr. Bratman is the Doug Walker Endowed Professor at The University of Washington and a JPB Environmental Health Fellow through the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Dr. Doreen E. Martinez

Dr. Doreen E. Martinez

Associate Professor

Dr. Doreen E. Martinez expertise is in Indigenous knowledge systems and sociopolitical land and environment issues. Her work focuses on how knowledge, the theoretical grounding of our lives, is engaged and practiced.

She is Mescalero Apache and Pennsylvania Dutch, born in San Antonio, Texas; yet, raised in Pennsylvania. Her family was the “only Martinez in the phone book.” She is the fourth of five children and was the first in her family to wander, break ground, gain access, and pursue US formal education.

She uses a combination of collective principles, natural reason, and decolonial praxis coupled with her formal background in sociology, personal experiences, and traditional values rooted in Indigeneity in all her efforts. Dr. Martinez contemporary projects address and include mis/understandings of knowledge, collective principles, and kinship responsibilities in various environmental, climate justice, and racial justice pursuits. She is committed to ethically engage and pass along this knowledge and understandings. Thus, she is an avid advocate of alliance building and promoting justice.

Dr. Hector A. Olvera-Alvarez

Dr. Hector A. Olvera-Alvarez

Associate Professor, Oregon Health and Science University

Dr. Hector A. Olvera-Alvarez is an Associate Professor at Oregon Health and Science University School of Nursing. He received a PhD in environmental science from the University of Texas at El Paso and graduate certification in epidemiology from the University of Michigan. Hector is also a Senior Fellow in the JPB Environmental Health Fellowship. At OHSU he directs the Total Environment and Wellness laboratory where he and his team study how social and environmental conditions interact and how they can be leveraged to help vulnerable populations attain health and well-being.

Dr. Carlos Andres Gallegos-Riofrío

Dr. Carlos Andres Gallegos-Riofrío

Faculty Associate, Agroecology Institute in University of Vermont and Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies in Washington University in St. Louis

Dr. Carlos Andres Gallegos-Riofrío is an inter-and-trans-disciplinary researcher that combines behavioral, social and life sciences, arts, and communications with applied and community-based research. Currently, he works with indigenous Andean populations in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia to co-learn the wellbeing and mental health effects of disconnecting from traditional agroecosystems. Carlos Andres is part of the Agroecology Institute in University of Vermont and a faculty associate at the Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies in Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL). He is also the research director of the Caliata Initiative, an international partnership promoting community-based projects in rural Andes.

Dr. Josh Lawler

Dr. Josh Lawler

Director, Nature and Health Professor, University of Washington

Dr. Josh Lawler, Director of Nature and Health, is an ecologist driven by applied conservation questions and their real-world applications, with a focus on climate change and land-use change. His work explores how climate change affects animals and plants as well as the ways that human health, climate, and the environment are connected.

Gabe Minthorn

Gabe Minthorn

Tribal Liaison, University of Washington Tacoma

My name is Gabe Minthorn (Yakama, Umatilla, and Nez Perce) I work for the Center of Equity and Inclusion as the Tribal Liaison at the University of Washington Tacoma. I enjoy serving students and the communities they represent. I graduated from Blue Mountain Community College with an Associates of Arts Degree, Haskell Indian Nations University with a Bachelor’s Degree in American Indian Studies, and Lewis & Clark College with a Master of Arts in Teaching.

I have worked in Pre-Kindergarten as an elementary Special Education Teacher assistant, taught middle school Personal Wellness, 7th grade English/Social Studies, I was high school Literacy Coach and Social Studies teacher. I enjoy spending my free time traveling with my wife Dr. Robin Minthorn and our daughter Roxie.

Dr. Star Berry

Dr. Star Berry

Assistant Director of Equitable Partnerships and Initiatives, Nature and Health

Star Berry, Ed.D., brings over 20 years of program leadership to higher education and public service. Her dissertation, focused on university staff at similar research universities, evaluated institutional websites for staff visibility and group recognition. She identified how university staff offer cultural expertise through individual and group actions that contribute to institutional diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategies. Despite the lack of symbolic presence through institutional websites, collective grassroots work within organizations can make a major difference for organizational transformation and for the staff themselves.

Dr. Jennifer D. Roberts

Dr. Jennifer D. Roberts

Associate Professor, University of Maryland College Park

Dr. Jennifer D. Roberts is an Associate Professor with tenure in the Department of Kinesiology, School of Public Health at the University of Maryland College Park (UMD). Dr. Roberts is also the Founder and Director of the Public Health Outcomes and Effects of the Built Environment (PHOEBE) Laboratory as well as the Co-Founder and Co-Director of NatureRx@UMD, an initiative that emphasizes the natural environmental benefits interspersed throughout and around the UMD campus. Her scholarship focuses on the impact of built, social, and natural environments, including the institutional and structural inequities of these environments, on the public health outcomes of marginalized communities. More specifically, much of her research has explored the dynamic relationship between environmental, social, and cultural determinants of physical activity and using empirical evidence of this relationship to infer complex health outcome patterns and disparities as well as instigate a powerful shift that recognizes, breaks, and transforms these conditions and determinants of health.

Martin LeBlanc

Martin LeBlanc

Principal, LBC Action

Martin LeBlanc (he/him/his) is currently the Principal of LBC Action, a strategic advisory firm at the nexus of philanthropy and public policy with core partners in the Indigenous, Outdoor Industry and Youth Development sectors. Martin has two decades of experience helping organizations expand their impact through collaborative partnerships. Most recently, LeBlanc served as the Managing Director of Innovation at Sixkiller Consulting, a Washington, DC based strategic advisory firm. Previously Martin was Senior Vice President of External Affairs at Islandwood an Outdoor Education Center in Washington State and was the National Outings Director for the Sierra Club. Martin a Co-Founder of the Children and Network serves on the Boards of the National Recreation Foundation and the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition. Martin lives in Seattle on the ancestral lands of the Coast Salish and Duwamish with his wife Mandy, daughter Amelie and Wonder Dog Hope.

Ulises Charles Rodriguez

Ulises Charles Rodriguez

Ph.D. candidate in Population Studies in Health

Ulises Charles Rodriguez is a Ph.D. candidate in Population Studies in Health with a concentration in diversity, disparities, inequalities and social determinants of health. He has a graduate degree in Mental health, cultural processes and psychological interventions with immigrants, minorities and the socially excluded. His current work focuses on the social integration and health benefits of immigrants' exposure to natural environments. In 2021 he led a community action and a participatory evaluation to increase newcomers' access to community gardens. Ulises is a health promotion and population health instructor and a planetary health advocate.

Rev. Dr. Robert Charles Butler

Rev. Dr. Robert Charles Butler

Independent Scholar

Robert Charles Butler is an independent Postdoctoral researcher, practitioner, and advocate studying Refugee settlement experiences, urban ecology, and missional ecclesiology. Engaged in refugee field work in Hong Kong, Western Africa, and India since 1982, his current research focus is the development of Place for refugees and immigrants. He has concurrently held the position of International Director of King of Kings Fellowship (Lethbridge) since 2003, and was recently recognized as Pastor Emeritus. He is in the process of co-founding King of Kings International Development Agency Inc., a Canadian NGO committed to increase individual, community, and regional capacities to care for their communities.