Heather Tanana

Monday, July 31, 2023


5:30 pm MDT

Colorado River in Crisis: Learning from the Past to Protect the Future

head shot of Seminars at Steamboat speaker William Galston

Heather Tanana is highly trained in environmental law and public health, and as a member of the Navajo Nation is dedicated to promoting indigenous rights.  She has been asked to contribute to the water chapter for the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5), which will analyze the effects of global change on the world’s natural environment, resources and social systems. The assessment, due in 2023, will be submitted to the President and Congress.

She is currently an Assistant Research Professor and Wallace Stegner Center Fellow at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah and has become a nationally recognized researcher and educator specializing in the vexing questions at the junction of law, health and water policies.  In 2021 she received an award from the American Bar Association for “distinguished achievement in environmental law and policy” for her work including the 2021 report Universal Access to Clean Water for Tribes in the Colorado River Basin, for which she served as lead author.

She is also an associate faculty member focusing on health policy at the Johns Hopkins Center for Indigenous Health.  She holds a B.A. in Biology from Dartmouth College, a J.D. from the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law with a Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law, and a Master’s of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health with a Certificate in American Indian Health.

Introductory remarks will be provided by Luke Runyon, KUNC Managing Editor and Reporter on the Colorado River Basin

To learn more about western water issues: