Keynote Speakers

Opening Keynote Speaker • Dan Wildcat

Sunday, August 13

Daniel Wildcat, Ph.D., is a professor at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas, and an accomplished scholar who writes on Indigenous knowledge, technology, environment, and education. He is also director of the Haskell Environmental Research Studies Center, which he founded with colleagues from the Center for Hazardous Substance Research at Kansas State University. Wildcat helped design a four-part video series entitled All Things Are Connected: The Circle of Life (1997), which dealt with the land, air, water, biological, and policy issues facing Native nations. A Yuchi member of the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma, Wildcat recently formed the American Indian and Alaska Native Climate Change Working Group, a tribal-college-centered network of individuals and organizations working on climate change issues. In 2008, he helped organize the Planning for Seven Generations climate change conference sponsored by the National Center for Atmospheric Research. He is the author, most recently, of Red Alert! Saving the Planet with Indigenous Knowledge (2009).

Monday Keynote Speaker • Corinne Valdivia​

Monday, August 14

Dr. Corinne Valdivia is D. Howard Doane Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics in the Division of Applied Social Sciences, College of Agricultural Food and Natural Resources at the University of Missouri. She is Director of the Interdisciplinary Minor in International Development of the University of Missouri Graduate School, and a founding fellow and former director of the Cambio Center at MU, which leads research and outreach on Latines, immigrant integration, and communities undergoing demographic change. Her research uses participatory and collaborative processes to understand factors that enable individuals, households, and communities in rural landscapes to respond to a changing climate, globalization, and technological innovations, and seeks to support the design institutions, innovations and policies that inform  transitions to food security and economic growth in a sustainable manner.  Dr. Valdivia has published on topics including women and climate change in Andean communities of Peru and Bolivia; translational research on climate adaptation and innovations; GMO crops and food security in rural Kenyan communities; and Latines and their integration process in rural communities in the Midwest. Her work has been supported by the NSF, NASA, NOAA, USAID, and the International Potato Center (CIP), among others, and she has been recognized for her research in International Development. She continues her work on translational research in the Midwest and the Andean region of Bolivia and Peru.

Closing Keynote Speaker • Amanda Black​

Wednesday, August 16

Professor Amanda Black is an Indigenous researcher (Māori) and scientist based in Aotearoa New Zealand. She is the current Director of Bioprotection Aotearoa, a national centre of research excellence (CoRE) that collaborates across 11 partner organisations across New Zealand. It conducts innovative research framed by Indigenous Māori values, to develop approaches that make our productive and valued ecosystems resistant and resilient in the face of increasing threats from pathogens, pests, and weeds, which are exacerbated by climate change. Her research area and interests are understanding the drivers that maintain resilient soil and forest ecosystems, specifically understanding the relationship between, microbial ecology, gene expression and function such as carbon storage; with a focus on biosecurity and climate change issues that are of concern to Māori and indigenous communities.​