R2R Program

R2R Program

Program director: Julie Maldonado

The region-to-region (R2R) program brings people together from diverse communities and disciplines to translate between different kinds of knowledge (local, indigenous, western scientific), and between science, action, and policy.

Many emerging challenges and opportunities can be powerfully engaged at a regional scale. We seek to build the capacity of cross-sectoral teams to communicate across specialized ways of knowing, and to clarify research, action, and policy goals that are shared between regions. Our goal is to bring evidence-based, collaborative science into public deliberation and democratic policy-making.

The R2R program can scale up community-to-community analysis, and, scale down global best practices about participatory planning, cultural and ecological stewardship, regional development, climate change mitigation and adaptation, green economic conversion, healthy communities, open government, and new information technologies.

These knowledge exchange networks are supported with participatory forums, training and educational materials, data platforms, and digital commons.

Just Climate Knowledge Exchange Networks

Project director:  Julie Maldonado

Please contact us to get involved or for more information:




Communities around the globe are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate. Accelerating rates of fossil fuel extraction and production are locking in enough carbon emissions to break international agreements on climate goals (such as the Paris Agreement). Yet, these two parts of a greater whole – the causes and effects of climate change – are often locked into separate discussions and separate solutions. How can we draw from both mitigation and adaptation perspectives?

WORKSHOPS:  Just Environmental and Climate Pathways

We organize forums for conversations among local and regional residents, organizers, activists, scientists, scholars, artists, and others.  These can include participatory mapping exercises about policy gaps, cross-sectoral systems, and the roles of diverse actors. We work together to explore and create the outcomes needed to translate science and knowledge into bottom-up policy making and action projects.  This can weave together research, art, storytelling, media pieces, learning toolkits, and other products that help us build communities of practice to navigate just climate pathways.



  • Society for Applied Anthropology Meeting, Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 28, 2017. Workshop report


Protect Our Public Lands Tour: For a Just and Renewable Energy Future

In July 2016, Indigenous and non-Indigenous community organizers, activists, and scholars caravanned thousands of miles across the United States with a clear message: support our public lands, air, waters, and health! The 24 participants of all ages – from youth to elders – and diverse tribal and community affiliations called for a ‘just and renewable energy future’. They travelled to document the lived experience and learn from the stories of frontline community members working hard to transition from toxic energy industries to clean energy resources.


The action brought Indigenous community organizers and activists to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to speak at the Summit for a Clean Energy Revolution and to participate in the accompanying march, where over 10,000 citizens took to the streets in the largest anti-fracking demonstration in U.S. history. More than the destination, the journey was intended as an opportunity for frontline community members to learn and share their stories. The tour was documented by Paper Rocket Productions, a Navajo/Hopi film crew, whose members grew up in communities affected by fossil fuel extraction, and were raised by families fighting for justice.

This strategy of caravanning and sharing stories and knowledge together is working to build both local and national awareness and embed justice into important energy policy conversations to help frame policy agendas for just transitions to a clean energy economy specifically, and, more broadly, for climate justice.


Some highlights from our journey:

  • the site where Navajo activists stood their ground against the development of yet another coal-fired power plant in their community;
  • Absentee-Shawnee territory in Oklahoma where tribal members are resisting another pipeline running through their sacred land;
  • protesting outside the Bureau of Land Management Office in Santa Fe where Tour participants shared their stories, like Kendra Pinto, a young Navajo community activist on the tour, who had witnessed devastation to her community just days before setting off on the caravan, when an explosion at a fracking site near her home caused 36 storage tanks to catch fire. The raging flames, fumes and heat forced dozens of families to evacuate, leaving many with only 30 minutes to gather whatever they could save.
  • We engaged with and learned from frontline community leaders across this land, such as Casey Camp-Horinek, a long-time Native rights activist and environmentalist who has been a leading voice for people from the Ponca Nation and Indigenous peoples everywhere;
  • Laura Caceres, whose mother Berta was murdered in their home in Honduras for defending her people’s rights against displacement and injustice; and Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, who has been a leader for the youth constitutional climate lawsuit filed against the U.S. government.
  • From this tour, we produced a film Protect: Indigenous Communities at the Frontlines of Climate Change & Fossil Fuel Extraction (see trailer)


Project partners: Kentucky Environmental Foundation; Paper Rocket Productions; Native American Producers Alliance; Food and Water Watch; and Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on the Human Rights Impacts of Fracking

Funding for the Tour provided by Food and Water Watch and many individual donors.


Media coverage:


Protect Film

Protect Film Logo

Indigenous Communities at the Frontlines of

Climate Change & Fossil Fuel Extraction

Film by Paper Rocket Productions

Produced by the Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network

In July 2016, Indigenous and other community organizers and advocates caravanned across the United States to gather stories from Indigenous communities at the forefront of work for a just transition from toxic to clean energy. Participants of all ages traveled thousands of miles to learn from front-line struggles to protect lands, air, waters, and health. This film is a living document of their journey.


Please support the final production of this film & our work to hold forums and film screenings


“We have to be able to save everything we possibly can that we have left”

- Krystal Two Bulls, Oglala Lakota/Northern Cheyenne, Protect Caravan Participant

“We want Washington to acknowledge our Mother Earth and realize she is currently suffering.”

– John Benally, Diné/Navajo, Big Mountain, AZ

“The liver and the heart of the mountain are what they’re digging out by coal mining.”

– Glenna Begay, Diné/Navajo

“Our lands are still being treated like a business. They’re still being treated like nothing. Take, take, take is that mindset.”

- Kendra Pinto, Diné/Navajo, Twin Pines, NM

“Having these stories shared between Nations was something major, something huge. And creating that outreach, creating that awareness and bringing people to see what they go through every day, the fights that they have every day. It was a reminder for a lot of us, but it’s going to be a huge eye-opener to a lot of people out there.”

- Sheldon “MCRhetorik” Tenorio, Pueblo of Kewa, Albuquerque, NM

“To hear those stories from across the country, that was amazing. And it also formed great friendships and I still talk to people who were on that caravan and they’re still fighting, doing the good fight. It was great to get that opportunity.”

- Kendra Pinto, Diné/Navajo, Twin Pines, NM

Past screenings

May 17, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA — Flyer (pdf)
May 18, University of California, Santa Barbara —  Flyer (pdf)
May 19, La Casa de la Raza, Santa Barbara  Flyer  (pdf)
June 14-17, Audience Awards Film Festival (AudFest), Los Angeles, CA
February 25Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Missoula, MT
April, VisionMaker Film Festival, Lincoln, NE
May 14, Ethnic Studies Film Festival, California State University-Stanislaus


Upcoming Screenings

News and update

The Protect film will be available to order in December 2018.

Protect film at Big Sky Film Festival

Native American Documentary Challenge films at the 15th annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival 

Funding for the Film provided by

  • The Solutions Project—Fighter Fund,
  • University of California, Santa Barbara, Critical Issues in America:Climate Futures -This Changes Everything,
  • Individual donors.

For more information, contact Julie Maldonado, research@likenknowledge.org


Join us to take action to protect our lands, air, waters, and health!

Rising Voices

Rising Voices:  Collaborative Science with Indigenous Knowledge for Climate Solutions

mmm_spiral-LIKENRising Voices facilitates cross-cultural approaches for adaptation solutions to extreme weather and climate events, climate variability, and climate change.

Rising Voices brings together Indigenous and Western social and physical scientists, community members, scholars, practitioners, students, and government representatives to:

  • Support a growing network of collaborators with diverse intellectual and cultural backgrounds;
  • Assess critical community needs in relation to the impact of climate and weather extremes;
  • Encourage young Indigenous people to pursue a career in atmospheric sciences and at the science-Indigenous knowledge interface; and
  • Pursue joint research aimed at developing culturally, socially, and economically optimal plans for community action towards sustainability.


LiKEN is a joint partner and co-convener of Rising Voices, which was founded at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The Rising Voices program leverages several existing programs at NCAR in support of Indigenous/scientific collaboration. As a national center, NCAR has the capacity and international standing to facilitate the Rising Voices program with specific focus on both research and supporting young Indigenous people to develop careers in weather and climate science of relevance to their communities. 

For more information on Rising Voices and to access Rising Voices reports, outcomes, presentations, and videos: https://risingvoices.ucar.edu/


Contact:  Julie Maldonado – research@likenknowledge.org; Heather Lazrus – hlazrus@ucar.edu.  

Co-founded and inspired by Bob Gough. Rising Voices continues based on his teachings.  


I cannot state enough the commitment and dedication of the Rising Voices staff and partners to the imperative of addressing climate change inclusive of Indigenous ways of knowing and Indigenous science. These convening’s are prime examples of the recognition of diversity and inclusion of Indigenous Peoples voices who are able to tell their stories, share their understandings, and engage a praxis of self-determination and collaboration that rightfully gives them a seat at the table.” — Suzanne Benally, Executive Director, Cultural Survival, reflection on Rising Voices 5


Media coverage:

  • Video:  “Storytelling for Solutions” from Rising Voices 4 (the 2016 annual gathering)
  • Video:  Julie Maldonado speaking on human rights and climate change” at the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition meeting on collaboration with affected communities, August 2, 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Washington DC.



Community Resilience and Extraction Data (CRED) Portal

Project director: Julie Maldonado

A digital and mapping platform that helps citizens assess, monitor, and compare community resilience over time and space:

  • Provides data from credible government and scholarly sources using the LiKEN resiliency framework suite of indicators from official datasets
  • Provides interactive maps, infographics, data tools, issue briefings, and educational videos and materials in a usable and useful format for citizens to explore questions in the public interest
  • brings together siloed data sets so citizens can see the full spectrum of impacts from extraction and opportunities for transitions
  • allows communities to aggregate and share data about successful projects in agroforestry, textiles, foodsheds, soil conservation, tourism, entrepreneurship, energy, land reform, and planning
  • supports critical reflection to assess if the information accessible on the impacts of extraction is usable and useful, and if there are data gaps
  • supports citizen-science field-testing of the data that emerges from this platform
  • brings together quantitative information with qualitative story and knowledge exchange to support bottom-up policymaking and public deliberation



website in beta mode, under construction


Please contact us if you want to partner on this:



Our core partners for the Energy Collaboratory are the Kentucky Environmental Foundation, First People’s Worldwide, and Appalachian Studies, Virginia Tech.  The Bay & Paul Foundation provided initial funding.

Resilience Framework Collaboratory

Project director: Betsy Taylor

A community of learning and practice for community-based monitoring and evaluation of community resilience.  The focus will be to develop a suite of indicators for a) assessing community assets within a ‘community capitals’ or ‘community wealth’ framework. This collaboratory will combine the best insights from community, expert, practitioner, and government perspectives.  It will conduct ongoing systematic review of scholarly findings about community resilience.  It will integrate best science into community-based deliberation and inquiry to align scholarly datasets and tools with the needs of communities in real-life settings.  We will field-test Indicator sets and data toolkits.  This will allow for multisectoral teams to develop knowledge resources that are useful and usable in low-resource settings and that provide accurate assessment according to best science and relevant mandates of policy and law. In this model, community resilience arises when communities can steward and grow seven types of wealth:

  1. Natural
  2. Cultural
  3. Human
  4. Social
  5. Political
  6. Financial
  7. Built

Projects Under Development

  • Water / gardens / soil / forests/ biodiversity/ energy knowledge exchange between the Ikarian Research and Documentation Center in the island of Ikaria, Greece and the C2C Collaboratory/ Appalachia. Project director:  Betsy Taylor
  • Exchange programs between high school students involved in our Energy Collaboratory mapping projects, in Native American and Appalachian communities with historic dependence on mining, oil, and gas extraction.  Project director: Julie Maldonado
  • Just Climate Knowledge Exchange Network: Protect What Matters to You
    • In conjunction with the release of the Protect: Indigenous Communities at the Frontlines of Climate Change & Fossil Fuel Extraction film, LiKEN will provide a curriculum guide for educational institutions and conversation guide/discussion questions for communities hosting screenings of the film to consider the following issues in their own communities related to climate justice: What are your key concerns? If and how are you already experiencing the impacts of climate change? Are these concerns related to issues of extraction in or around your communities? How are you organizing around these changes and preparing through either adaptation or mitigation actions? What barriers have you experienced (e.g., politically, financially, socially) to achieving results? What successes have you achieved and how? And what resources do you need to advance you efforts?
    • Compiling all of this information, a virtual map will be created from these diverse discussions for participants to access and learn about other’s concerns, barriers, successes, and actions. A network will be created among those who would like to further engage and share their stories to learn from each other. From follow-up interviews with and notes from individuals hosting screenings and an online survey, LiKEN will compile the identified key concerns and next steps for actions and solidarity building shared through this process, to disseminate to community, organization, agency, policy, and academic networks.