Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Extramural Research

Presenter Biosketches

James E. Berner James E. Berner

Human and Wildlife Biomonitoring: A Tribally Designed and Operated Program to Assess, Mitigate, and Adapt to the Climate-Related Changing Risks and Benefits of Subsistence Species in Rural Alaska

James E. Berner has practiced medicine in the Alaska Native health system since 1974. He has been in the Human Health Advisory Group of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, since 1999. He was co-lead author of “Human Health”, Chapter 15 in the 2005 Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. He was appointed in 2005-2008 to the National Academy of Sciences Polar Research Board. He is certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, and is the Senior Director for Science in the Division of Community Health, of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.


Tamra Old Coyote Tamra Old Coyote
Coordinator of the Water Quality
the Little Big Horn College

Tamra Old Coyote is the Coordinator of the Water Quality Project at the Little Big Horn College in Crow Agency, Montana. She plays several roles in her community as an educator, researcher and advocate. Her cultural upbringing has taught her the sacredness of the elements and she uses that knowledge to address health concerns in her community.

She received her Associates in Natural Science from Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, KS, and her Baccalaureate in Plant Science/Plant Biology from Montana State University Bozeman, MT.

Tamra continues to collaborate with other Community-Based Participatory Researchers on health disparities and maintains successful partnerships with her community on Environmental Health.


Mari Eggers Mari Eggers
Research Associate
Little Big Horn College

Comprehensive Community-based Risk Assessment of Exposure to Water-borne Contaminants on the Crow Reservation

Margaret (Mari) Eggers moved with her husband, an enrolled Tribal member, to the Crow Reservation in 1993. She has been teaching science and doing environmental health research with students at Little Big Horn College (LBHC), the local Tribal college, since 1996. Currently, she serves as the Project Leader for the Crow Water Quality Project, working with community stakeholders, LBHC staff and students and other academic partners to conduct a comprehensive community-based risk assessment of exposure to contaminants via water sources on the Crow Reservation. The data from this community-based participatory research project have been useful to the local water and wastewater authority in raising some $20 million for infrastructure improvements in Crow Agency. Eggers has an M.A. from Stanford University, an M.S. in ecology from Montana State University Bozeman (MSU) and is currently a doctoral candidate in environmental health at MSU. EPA STAR Fellowships have supported her Masters and Doctoral research.


Dayle “Candy” Felicia Dayle “Candy” Felicia
Graduate Student
Montana State University at Bozeman

Dayle “Candy” Felicia is a graduate student at Montana State University-Bozeman, a member of the Crow, Northern Cheyenne and Black Foot tribes and the married mother of two boys. She began her academic journey at the Crow tribal college called Little Big Horn College, where she double majored in Community Health and Environmental Health. While at Little Big Horn College, she worked with the Water Quality Team.

After graduating from Little Big Horn College, Felicia attended a private college in Billings, MT, called Rocky Mountain College and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. She currently is enrolled in a Master’s degree program in Family and Community Health. Her research is entitled: “How the modern Northern Cheyenne man defines intimacy.” Her academic interests include investigating how water quality affects human health, and more specifically what her tribe should do about it. She looks forward to working with tribes in both the health and environmental fields in the future.


Suzanne Fluharty, Ph.D. Suzanne Fluharty, Ph.D.
Environmental Specialist for the Yurok Tribe Environmental Program

Cumulative Risk and Yurok Tribal Lifeway

Suzanne M. Fluharty received her Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences in 2008 from Oregon State University’s College of Science with dual majors in Applied Anthropology and Botany and Plant Pathology, with a focus on Native American Natural Resources. Honors include being a recipient of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples, Corvallis Oregon Branch Volunteer of the Year Award for 2001 for hercommunity involvement and mediation between the city and regional tribes regarding the removal of a derogatory name for a local creek. She has been an instructor at both the university and community college levels, teaching natural resources, biology, anthropology and speech communication courses.

She has more than a decade’s experience working with various Native American tribes whose ancestral territories include the coastal region of the Pacific Northwest, including the Confederated Tribes of Siletz and the Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde. Professionally, she has been an environmental scientist and botanist for the Coquille Indian Tribe, completing botanical surveys for tribal and federal environmental inventories and Environmental Protection Impact documentation. In addition, she has assisted tribal land use planning for cultural properties, including recommendations for maintenance, reintroduction and restoration of important traditional plant species and habitats.

Currently, Suzanne is an environmental specialist for the Yurok Tribe Environmental Program, co-Principal Investigator and Project Field Manager of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Center for Environmental Research Science to Achieve Results Grant # RD-83370801-0. Recent papers and presentations include: Cumulative Assessments and Tribal Subsistence (2010), co-authored with Dr. Kathleen Sloan and presented at the National Tribal Science Forum, National EPA-Tribal Science Council and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians; Practical Applications for Botanical Education in Native American Traditional Ecological Knowledge (2007),presented at the Society of Economic Botany 49th Annual Meeting, Duke University, Durham, NC; Native American Estuarine Resources (2006), with Dr. Roberta Hall, Mark Hatfield Marine Science Center, Newport, OR; and One Tribe and Its Environment: What can an investigation of culture add to resource planning? (2006), presented at Crossing Boundaries: The 9th Annual Environmental Joint Campus Conference, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR.


Timothy Ford, Ph.D. Timothy Ford, Ph.D.
Dean of Graduate Studies
Interim Dean of the Westbrook College of Health Professions
University of New England

Comprehensive Community-based Risk Assessment of Exposure to Water-borne Contaminants on the Crow Reservation

Ford has both directed and participated in water quality related projects in the US, Canada, the UK, Mexico, India, Russia and the Philippines, and am currently building collaborations with colleagues in Hong Kong and China. In terms of scholarship, he has more than 150 papers, chapters and review articles published and in press and has received funding from the NIH, NSF, EPA, NASA, the Office of Naval Research and the US Air Force.

As a faculty member at the Harvard School of Public Health, he both founded and directed the School’s Program in Water and Health. He was also supported through the NIEHS Superfund program to examine marine microbial communities in sediments from an EPA-designated superfund site, New Bedford Harbor, MA, as potential ecological biomarkers of exposure to high levels of contaminant chemicals. After moving to Montana State University as head of Microbiology in 2002, Ford served as Principal Investigator for the NIH-funded Montana Idea Networks for Biomedical Research Excellence Program (MT-INBRE). This five year, $17 million program was designed to build research infrastructure in infectious disease and environmental health research throughout the state of Montana.

Current Research or Scholarship
Ford is currently PI on an EPA-funded grant to conduct a "Community Based Risk Assessment of Exposure to Contaminants via Water Sources on the Crow Reservation in Montana." This CBPR project has involved developing a strong working relationship with the Crow Tribe through the Crow Environmental health Steering Committee to design a sampling and analysis program to capture the major routes of exposure to environmental contaminants in water and aquatic food resources, unique to the Reservation’s culture. Data on contaminant concentrations, exposure pathways and exposure duration are being used to develop a comprehensive exposure assessment.

Two initiatives at UNE include 1) working with MSC & CLSI director, Dr Phil Yund, to develop Oceans and Human health initiatives, including source tracking of marine pathogens, and 2) working with CHPPR & CCPH director Ron Deprez, to develop CBPR projects in Maine, and research programs in water and health.


Mary Ann Lila Mary Ann Lila
Director of the Plants for Human Health Institute
North Carolina State University

BioXploration: A Bridge Between Cultures and Generations

Mary Ann Lila is Director of the Plants for Human Health Institute, North Carolina State University, North Carolina Research Campus. She holds the endowed David H. Murdock Chair, and is a Professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Sciences. Through ground-breaking, transdisciplinary discovery and outreach, the team of faculty at the Plants for Human Health Institute (PHHI) pioneers a dramatic shift in the way the American public views and uses plant food crops – not merely as a source of nutrients and flavorful calories, but as a powerful resource for components that protect and enhance human health. Integrated research in metabolomics, biochemistry, pharmacogenomics, breeding and postharvest attributes are aimed at development and promotion of mainstream fruit and vegetable produce with enhanced health benefits, and introduction of new or underappreciated crops and products from various sites throughout the globe, allowing consumers to make proactive, responsible dietary choices that benefit their own, and their family’s, health. Dr. Lila’s own laboratory team focuses on both wild and domesticated berries and their wide-ranging health and unique human health benefits, including alleviation of the symptoms of diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Current projects in the LilaLab include a Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Exploration Challenges project in Zambia, an NIH NIDDKD project on functional food innovations, the Medicines for Malaria Venture which (in collaboration with University of Cape Town and Rutgers University) examines promising plant-derived chemicals with potent anti-malarial efficacy; resurrecting and validating early leads from a WWII-era antimalarial screening program; a major blueberry genome sequencing initiative using state-of-the-art NextGen sequencing capacity, which focuses on the transcriptomes relevant to health-protective properties in the fruits; an NIH-funded probe of the hypoglycemic and anti-Parkinson’s disease properties of blueberries, and an EPA STAR program on tribal resources in American Indian/Alaska Native communities, the health protective properties of traditionally-used wild berries, and the threats imposed by climate change.

Lila was formerly Director (2006-2008) of ACES Global Connect (the international arm of the College of ACES, University of Illinois) and Associate Director of the nationally acclaimed Functional Foods for Health Program (1997-2000) at the University of Illinois. Dr. Lila has been honored with the Paul A. Funk Scholarship Recognition Award (the premier research award in the College of ACES, University of Illinois), the Spitze Professorial Career Excellence Award, the Faculty Award for Excellence in Research, the University Scholar Award, the Amoco Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Instruction, and the Lilly Endowment Teaching Fellowship. Dr. Lila has large ongoing research projects in Egypt, Central Asia, Oceania, Mexico Ecuador, Chile, and subSaharan Africa, and is Vice President of the Global Institute for BioExploration (GIBEX). In 1999, Dr. Lila won a Fulbright Senior Scholarship to conduct research and outreach in New Zealand, and returns to Australasia at least once/year.


Brandon Good Luck Brandon Good Luck
Crow Tribal Environmental Director

Brandon Good Luck is the Crow Tribal Environmental Director. Mr. Good Luck currently is working toward a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies and has been working with the Crow EPA Program for 4 years as the Non-Point Source Coordinator. He has completed the First Crow Tribe Non-Point Source Mini Grant, which consisted of riparian fencing and off-river watering for livestock. In his spare time, Mr. Good Luck enjoys spending time with his son, family and hunting in the Wolf, Big Horn Mountains and fishing in Upper Little Horn, Big Horn River and the Black Canyon Creek.


Kathleen Sloan
Environmental Director of the Yurok Tribe

Cumulative Risk and Yurok Tribal Lifeway

Dr. Kathleen Sloan has worked for the Yurok Tribe for over 9 years serving as Environmental Director since 2008 and Assistant Director of the Environmental Program’s Cultural Resources Division from 2003 thru 2008. As Environmental Director for the Yurok Tribe, Dr. Sloan oversees 3 Divisions and 12 full-time staff working in 10 environmental program areas. She serves as a Principal Investigator on a range of environmental grants and research projects for the Tribe in Water Quality, Wetlands, Environmental Health, Environmental Justice and Climate Change, including the Cumulative Risk Assessment study currently funded by US EPA National Center for Environmental Research, Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Program. Dr. Sloan holds a PhD in Environmental Sciences from Oregon State University (2007), a Masters of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (2003) from Oregon State University and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from the University of Notre Dame (1990). Her areas of academic research include: Environmental and Cultural Resources Management, Anthropology and Native American Studies.


Top of page

Jump to main content.