The network of people engaged in Rising Voices is comprised of Indigenous and other scientific professionals from all around the world, dedicated to providing opportunity for Indigenous knowledge systems, wisdom, and science to be a valued contributor to climate change research and solutions.

Program Leads

Diamond photo

Diamond K. Tachera is a Project Scientist in the Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Laboratory at the NSF-National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado and serves as the co-director of the NSF-NCAR Rising Voices Center for Indigenous and Earth Sciences. Diamond is a kanaka ‘ōiwi (Native Hawaiian) born and raised on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi. The ʻōlelo noʻeau (Native Hawaiian proverb), “Ola i ka wai a ka ʻōpua: there is life in the water from the clouds” shares the knowledge of kūpuna (elders) who understood that rain gives life. It is with this proverb that Diamond focuses her research, to investigate the rain waters that were observed and understood by kūpuna, such that we can best prepare for the impacts of climate change. She recently completed her Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences from the Department of Earth Sciences in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Diamond’s dissertation research focused on the geochemical changes within the water cycle, focusing on precipitation and groundwater, to better understand the source, flow, and interconnectivity within Hawaiian aquifers. Diamond is currently working on the Rising Voices Changing Coasts Hub project. In addition to her research, Diamond is also the co-director for the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Maile Mentoring Bridge Program. The SOEST Maile Mentoring Bridge fulfills a broad desire to inspire Native Hawaiians, kama‘āina, and individuals of other underrepresented ethnicities into ocean, earth and environmental science professions. The program creates unique mentoring relationships that offer support, encouragement, and the sharing of knowledge by weaving individual student goals with their personal and cultural experiences.

Julie Maldonado

Julie Maldonado is the Associate Director of the Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN), and in this capacity, serves as Rising Voices' co-director. Driven to connect with those focused on a commitment to service, collaboration, and community-centered action to address the climate crisis, in 2015, through relationships, Julie co-founded LiKEN, a non-profit, link-tank for policy-relevant research toward post-carbon livelihoods and communities. Growing through infrastructures of care, LiKEN works with our partners to build resilient systems of support for communities. Dr. Maldonado's disciplinary background is in public anthropology, focusing primarily on collaborations with Tribal communities in coastal Louisiana responding to repeat disasters and climate chaos, including recent collaborative efforts to restore marsh ecosystems, reduce land loss and flood risk, and protect sacred sites; and co-initiated a network for justice-driven disaster recovery. Dr. Maldonado is an Assistant Professor at Future Generations University and is a continuing lecturer for University of California-Santa Barbara’s Environmental Studies Program.  She was an author on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th US National Climate Assessments. Julie/LiKEN is a partner on the Rising Voices, Changing Coasts-Hub project, led by Haskell Indian Nations University.

  • Katie's photo

Katie Jones, enrolled Amskapi Piikani (Blackfeet) and European descent, is a plant ecologist at the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) in Boulder, Colorado. Katie serves Rising Voices through leadership, organization, co-ordination, and research overall, as well as co-leadership of the Indigenous Phenology Network. Her research interests include plant phenology, plant community interactions, climate change impacts on ecosystems, supporting reproducible analysis workflows, and enacting Indigenous data governance practices in open science research. As part of the Rising Voices community, Katie draws on her perspective as an Indigenous woman and a Western trained scientist to merge complimentary knowledge systems to identify novel solutions for emerging environmental challenges and encourage responsible practices in climate change research.  Katie holds an MS in Botany and Plant Pathology from Oregon State University and a BS in Environmental Science from The Evergreen State College. 



Steering Comittee

  • Paulette Blanchard, Haskell Foundation
  • Cam Brinkworth, UCAR's Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Kristen Luna-Aponte, NSF-NCAR's Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Shantel Martinez, UCAR's Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Jean Tanimoto, NOAA Office for Coastal Management
  • Bill Thomas, NOAA Office for Coastal Management
  • Daniel Wildcat, Haskell Indian Nations University

Rising Voices Council

  • Ava Hamilton, Rising Voices
  • Michelle Montgomery, University of Washington-Tacoma
  • Marie Schaefer, Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center
  • Timothy Schneider, NSF-NCAR's Research Applications Lab
  • Eileen Shea, Independent
  • Kyle Whyte, University of Michigan

Community Relocation & Site Expansion Working Group Leads

  • Aranzazu Lascurain, NOAA Office for Coastal Management
  • Bill Thomas, NOAA Office for Coastal Management

Phenology Working Group Leads

  • Maraya Ben-Joseph, Olohana Foundation
  • Katie Jones, National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON)
  • Brian Miller, North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center