Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Advancing Climate Justice through Transdisciplinary Research: Developing STRONG Relationships

Date and Time
Friday, November 18, 2022 - 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
The Generator, 100C Gross Hall


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Students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend the second presentation of the Nicholas Institute and UPEP Environmental Institutions Seminar Series for the 2022-2023 school year. Our speaker will be Duke alumna Kimberly Marion Suiseeya Ph.D. ‘14, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and the Environmental Policy and Culture program at Northwestern University.

Co-developed with tribal partners, Strengthening Resilience of Ojibwe Nations across Generations (STRONG) aims to enhance disaster anticipation, preparation, mitigation, and response in Indigenous communities by expanding the availability, integration, utility, and usability of Indigenous knowledge and socio-ecological data. STRONG’s planning efforts established clear links between Ojibwe sovereignty and resilience, and a need to collect and integrate new environmental data within a culturally appropriate resilience framework. Tribal leaders made clear that their ability to effectively implement resilience strategies requires recognition of their sovereignty and respect for their authority, legitimacy, and credibility to govern and to exercise treaty rights with the US. Consequently, the STRONG team adopted two central concepts for Ojibwe resilience: Anishinaabeg minwendamoog noondawindwaa (The Anishinaabeg, they are happy that they are heard) as a governance principle, and the Ojibwe Four Orders (physical, plant, animal, and human worlds) as a socio-ecological framework for integrating resilience information. 
In this presentation, Dr. Marion Suiseeya will share experiences cultivating relationships with tribal Nations and organizations in the Upper Great Lakes of the United States. Such relationships are the foundation of their collaborative work and are critical for ensuring that this research is useful, useable, and contributes to advancing climate justice. She will also discuss how these relationships led to the development of an innovative, transdisciplinary convergent research initiative that synthesizes traditional knowledge and scientific knowledge with new data collected through advanced sensing technology to inform tribal governance for resilience to climate change. Ultimately, this work aims to illuminate the critical links between how climate science and climate knowledge is produced and what the possibilities for climate justice are.

Part of the UPEP Environmental Institutions Seminar Series, organized by the Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability and the University Program in Environmental Policy (UPEP), a doctoral degree program jointly offered by the Nicholas School of the Environment and Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University.

This is an in-person event with no virtual viewing option.


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Kimberly R. Marion Suiseeya is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and the Environmental Policy and Culture program at Northwestern University. She is also a faculty affiliate with the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research, the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy, the Northwestern-Argonne Institute for Science and Engineering, and the Institute for Policy Research, and she is a fellow with the Earth Systems Governance Project. Trained as an interdisciplinary environmental social scientist, Dr. Marion Suiseeya works collaboratively with diverse communities including scholars, Indigenous communities, policy makers, advocates, and government agencies to examine and address the justice dynamics generated through different forest, climate, and biodiversity conservation initiatives. She is also an experienced policy analyst and practitioner with expertise in Southeast Asian, US, and international environmental policy. Dr. Marion Suiseeya's areas of expertise include: global environmental politics, environmental justice, international development, political ecology, Indigenous politics, and interdisciplinary, community-driven environmental research. Dr. Marion Suiseeya holds a Ph.D. in Environment from Duke University, an M.A. in International Environmental Policy from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and a B.A. in International Relations/Politics and German Studies from Scripps College. She grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah.

In addition to her scholarly pursuits, Dr. Marion Suiseeya has extensive experience as a practitioner, having first served in the US Peace Corps in Guyana and later working for conservation and development organizations in the United States (New Hampshire and Vermont) and in Southeast Asia. She has worked on World Bank-funded projects in Laos and is a member of the IUCN’s expert Commission on Economic, Environmental, and Social Policy, Theme on Governance, Equity, and Rights. Her current funded research projects include Presence to Influence (since 2015); CIVIC-STRONG: Strengthening Resilience in Ojibwe Nations across Generations (NSF Award 2044053, $50,000, 01/15/2021 - 12/31/2022; NSF Award No. 2209226, $5,000,000, 09/01/2022 - 08/31/2027); and Disproportionate Impacts of Environmental Change through Northwestern University’s Buffett Institute (2020-2022).

This gathering is in compliance with our understanding of the requirements and restrictions of the North Carolina Ethics Act and Lobbying Law, NCGS §138A-32(e).