“I am a scientist because of running… often, as you’re running, you’re on the land making observations. That’s the first step of the scientific process.”
Dr. Lydia Jennings is a Wixáritari (Huichol) and Yoeme (Pascua Yaqui) environmental microbiologist and trail runner. She is originally from Santa Fe, NM but currently resides in Tucson, AZ– where she recently completed her PhD in Environmental Science from the University of Arizona. Lydia’s dissertation and research interests include soil health, environmental remediation, Indigenous science, mining policy, and environmental data ownership by tribal nations. In March 2021, as a way to celebrate her academic journey and doctoral degree, Lydia completed a solo 50-mile Honor Run for 50 Indigenous Scientists, where she dedicated each mile of run to a scientist who inspires her. She was able to raise over $8,000 on behalf of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) to support their T3 Fund, which provides Indigenous students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic college scholarship funds. In this conversation, we learn about what questions Lydia is asking in her research, what her favorite soils/lands to run on are, and how being an Indigenous runner-scientist shapes the way she connects with the land.
In this Episode:
- Wings of America
- “Send a Runner: A Navajo Honors the Long Walk,” Book by Edison Eskeets
- Lydia’s 50-mile Honor Run Twitter Thread
- American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)
- Will Run for Soil Documentary Project
- Will Run for Soil Instagram
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Music by Jacob Shije (Santa Clara Pueblo, NM).
This podcast was made possible through the Tracksmith Fellowship Program.