Projects & Programs


The Student Water Symposium is an annual student organized event established spring 2018. At the SWS:

  • Undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines have the opportunity to share their research and collaborate on water resources issues.
  • Our publicly accessible venue enables the campus and greater Flagstaff community to engage in important discussions about water.
  • Keynote speakers and panel discussions cover topics of current concern in the water world.
  • Students gain feedback on presentation techniques and content from community and campus professional evaluators who volunteer their expertise and time.

The Student Water Symposium Committee is tasked with organizing, scheduling, and seeking funding opportunities for the event in collaboration with the organization’s faculty advisor, Dr. Denielle Perry.

Would you like to get involved? Have questions? Email SWS at:


RMS 4-C logo  Rivers Studies and Leadership Certificate

Are you passionate about rivers? Want to turn that passion into a career in river management or advocacy? Northern Arizona University has partnered with the River Management Society to offer the River Studies and Leadership Certificate (RSLC). This certificate is designed to offer students who are inspired to join the next generation of river professionals a foundation of knowledge, skills and experience in river-based science, policy, conservation, education, and recreation.

RSLC coursework is focused specifically on river systems, yet it is interdisciplinary in nature; students explore and study river systems in ways that integrate the life and earth sciences, policy and conservation, socio-cultural and economic factors, as well as education and recreation. Ultimately, the RSLC adds valued focus to a student’s degree and presents employment advantages through networking with the River Management Society. For complete details visit the River Management Society’s website: RMS RSLC and contact  NAU’s RSLC faculty advisor, Denielle Perry.



The National Center for Science and Civic Engagement (NCSCE) at Stony Brook University has received a grant to establish and advance robust partnerships between indigenous peoples and local formal and informal educators to improve educational outcomes for all students, promote cultural understanding, and foster long-term collaborations on issues of common concern. Local environmental and health issues will provide context for inquiry-based learning that transcends perceived conflicts between indigenous, local, and “Western” knowledge systems.

Transcending Barriers to Success: Connecting Indigenous and Western Knowledge at NAU

Dr. Denielle Perry, Assistant Professor, School of Earth Sciences & Environmental Sustainability,  and Dr. PennElys Droz, Ecological Designer/Builder, Sustainable Nations Development Project

To build a sustainable future, we must integrate Indigenous and Western Knowledge.  Our project centers on integrating Indigenous building and ethnobotanical knowledge with permaculture methods, in the construction of a permanent sustainable building demonstration structure and teaching garden on the Northern Arizona University (NAU) campus for healthy and resilient communities. These experiential learning exhibits will be incorporated into the curriculum of classes in the School of Earth Sciences & Environmental Sustainability. In the Sustainable Shand Garden,  students, faculty, staff, and community partners will get hands-on training in construction and gardening techniques. We partner with tribal experts and the Sustainable Nations Development Project to leverage and integrate indigenous knowledge into sustainable design.

Cultural collaboration is not merely the awareness of traditions other than one’s own. It requires a deep understanding of and appreciation for the strengths that multiple perspectives bring to solving the complex, contested issues facing all communities. This includes recognizing the impact of past injustices and conflicts that indigenous people have experienced as well as a grounding in the cultural connections of relationships with the environment, traditions, and sacred spaces. More about Sustainable Nations here: Sustainable Nations