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Nikki Cooley

Nikki Cooley
In August 2010, the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP), at Northern Arizona University, and the USDA Forest Service (USFS) Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) began collaborating on a project focused on tribal climate change issues in the Southwest. Goals of the project include identifying work being done by tribes in Arizona and New Mexico on climate change, assessing their climate change research and information needs, making tribes aware of resources and opportunities that might assist them in their work, and sharing research results of the project with tribes, the USFS and

Nikki joins ITEP as a senior program coordinator for the Tribal Climate Change Program. She is of the Diné Nation by way of Shonto and Blue Gap, AZ, and is of the Towering House Clan, born for the Reed People Clan, maternal grandfathers are of the Water that Flows Together Clan, and paternal grandfathers are of the Manygoats Clan. Nikki attended Flagstaff High School, and received her Bachelors and Masters of Forestry from Northern Arizona University (NAU). For her undergraduate and Masters studies she has worked extensively with the Cherokee Tribe of North Carolina, and has worked with various tribes including the Kaibab Paiute tribe. Prior to ITEP, Nikki has worked with the Merriam Powell Center for Environmental Research on a Climate Change Education Program, and at NAU Talent Search working with underrepresented, low-income, potential first generation college students at 10 middle and high schools in Northern Arizona.

In addition, as a river guide and cultural interpreter working on the Colorado River-Grand Canyon and San Juan River, Nikki is the co-founder of the Native American River Guide Training Program and Fifth World Discoveries, was the first Native American President and Vice-President of the Grand Canyon River Guides Association (GCRG), and is a former associate director of the Native Voices Program. She currently is ending her six year term as the first Native American to serve on the board of the Grand Canyon Association (GCA). She is very passionate about advocating for and education about the protection and preservation of the environment and its resources. Nikki thoroughly enjoys gardening, speaking her Navajo language and culture, and spending time with her large extended family in the southwest and Iowa.other agencies.