The Rising Voices Center for Indigenous and Earth Sciences

The Rising Voices program facilitates intercultural, relational-based approaches for understanding and adapting to extreme weather and climate events, climate variability and climate change. The program brings Indigenous and other scientific professionals, tribal and community leaders, environmental and communication experts, students, educators, and artists from across the United States, including Alaska, Hawai’i, and the Pacific Islands, and around the world, to assess critical community needs and to pursue joint research aimed at developing optimal plans for community action towards sustainability. Rising Voices acknowledges the inherent value of Indigenous knowledge systems and Indigenous science, adaptive practices and processes, honoring them equally with Earth sciences. 

At its core, Rising Voices aims to advance science through collaborations that bring Indigenous and Earth (atmospheric, social, biological, ecological) sciences into partnership, supports adaptive and resilient communities through sharing scientific capacity, and provides opportunities for Indigenous students and early career scientists through scientific and community mentoring. Further, it helps Western-trained scientists expand their observational skills, research paradigms, capacity to apply and translate findings, and ultimately their science. 

The program – through an annual workshop series, knowledge exchanges, trainings, and an active listserv – has facilitated the creation of new and continued intercultural adaptation partnerships based on respect, justice, equality, and reciprocity that address our changing climate.

It is administered by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research / National Center for Atmospheric Research (UCAR/NCAR) and the Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN), in partnership with Haskell Indian Nation University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management.

LiKEN contacts: 

Heather Lazrus –      

Julie Maldonado –

For more information: 

Rising Voices Summer 2020 Update



To adapt to the current context, in partnership with long-time partners the Olohana Foundation and Lomikai Media, Rising Voices (RV) launched a Virtual RV workshop series. The series is possible due to the technological broadcast network capacity developed by Lomikai Media and the Olohana Foundation, who had the foresight to develop this capacity over the last few years to prepare for the very situation we find ourselves in with the pandemic. This type of disaster preparedness has enabled our ability to be socially connected while at a physical distance. 


The kick-off event in April brought the RV community together virtually to share positive actions in and around their communities around climate justice and Earth Day, and to share concerns, questions, and observations around COVID-19 and consider how Indigenous and Earth sciences, knowledges and practices can come together to collaborate and address the emerging questions. From May–October there will be panel sessions and participatory working group sessions each month that reflect the themes from RV in-person workshops: phenology, community relocation/site expansion, energy systems, water systems, health, and food systems. The series culmination will be in November as the annual Bob Gough “Climate Change is Optional, Adaptation is Inevitable” Public Symposium. The recordings of the sessions are posted as they occur on the RV website here


We also fielded a short questionnaire with the RV community about their observations, responses, and questions related to COVID-19. The goal of the questionnaire was to better foreground Indigenous perspectives in defining research questions for potential collaboration between Indigenous and Earth Sciences. With funding support from the Natural Hazards Center and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Coastal Management, a RV COVID-19 working group developed the questionnaire and are compiling it into a short report to be  posted on the RV website and distributed to the RV listserv and to tribes across the United States. The report is intended to catalyze interdisciplinary, intergenerational, and intercultural research collaborations on urgent, culturally appropriate responses to COVID-19. Support has been provided by the Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights and CASE Consultants International to help with these collaborative efforts.