March For Science Speakers Drs. Mary Jo Ondrechen and Robin Wall Kimmerer Join Flagship Event in Washington D.C.


Contact:  Montoya Whiteman 
Tel: 720-552-6123
Cell Phone: 303-829-7501
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LONGMONT, CO, April 21, 2017 – The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) announces former Board of Director Chair, Dr. Mary Jo Ondrechen, and 2016 Ely S. Parker Awardee, Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer as speakers at the March for Science event in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, April 22, 2017.  Dr. Ondrechen is a Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.  Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer is a Professor of Environmental and Forest Biology at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York.

A member of the Mohawk Tribe, Dr. Ondrechen’s speech is titled, “Native and Scientific Wisdom:  Knowledge of Nature for Prosperity and Planet.”  Her message to thousands of participants in Washington, DC, and in satellite marches across the globe is, “The need for science innovation is critical.  We must elect leaders who understand that scientific discovery is vital.  It is vital to national security, health, job growth, and the planet.” She draws connection between traditional knowledge and modern science: “For generations our Native ancestors have been observing nature and gaining knowledge of the natural world for the good of our communities. This is exactly what science does. Indigenous communities across the world believe in and practice science daily for our families and for our communities. Traditional knowledge, Native talent and creativity, combined with modern scientific knowledge and tools, is an exceptionally powerful force for the good of the country, the world, and future generations.” said Ondrechen.

At Northeastern University, Ondrechen is the Principal Investigator of the Computational Biology Research Group. The focus areas of her research group are interpreting the genome, understanding how enzymes work, and discovering new therapeutic approaches.  The goals of her research include finding new ways to prevent and treat disease, developing sustainable energy resources, and protecting the planet.

Dr. Ondrechen is the past President of the Board of Directors of the North American Indian Center of Boston, has recently served on the Board of Advisers of the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council, and was the 2011-2013 Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES).  She is a co-Principal Investigator on the 2014-2019 project, “Lighting the Pathway to Faculty Careers for Natives in STEM,” an initiative to provide guidance and support to Native STEM students who want to become faculty members at colleges, universities and tribal colleges.

Dr. Kimmerer is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation who has authored two award-winning books that weave together indigenous and scientific ways of knowing that expand our understanding of the relationships with the living world.

Dr. Kimmerer has authored numerous scientific papers on plant ecology and has an active research program in the ecology and restoration of plants of cultural significance to Native people. Her current research explores issues of climate change in tribal communities. With the support of the National Science Foundation, she has developed culturally based environmental education programs that emphasize the significance of indigenous wisdom in addressing contemporary environmental problems.

She is the founder and Director of the Center for Native People and the Environment who has pioneered the inclusion of traditional ecological knowledge into University science curricula.  She is a co-founder and past-president of the Traditional Ecological Knowledge section of the Ecological Society of America. 

Earth Day 2017
Earth Day Network and March for Science co-organized the event on the 47th Anniversary of Earth Day.  Earth Day’s 2017 campaign is Environmental and Climate Literacy.  Over 400 marches are planned around the globe to mobilize support for science and it benefits and impact on healthcare, technology and the environment. Earth day is the largest civic observance in the world. 

The Washington D.C. March for Science will begin at the Washington Monument at Constitution Avenue NW between 15th and 17th Street.  Grounds open at 8:00 a.m. The March is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m.  Individuals can register for the March through this link:

Satellite events around the country can be found at this link:

A full list of speakers can be found at this link:

About the American Indian Science and Engineering Society
AISES is a national, Native American nonprofit whose mission is to substantially increase the representation of American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, First Nations and other indigenous peoples of North America in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) studies and careers.  Founded in 1977, with a rapidly expanding membership of more than 4,000 individual members, AISES sustains 190 chartered college and university chapters, 15 professional chapters, and 158 affiliated K-12 schools supporting over 55,000 students.  AISES has awarded over $10.3 million in academic scholarships to over 5,000 American Indian STEM students. Through scholarships and internships, workforce development and career resources, national and regional conferences, science fairs, leadership development and other STEM focused programming, AISES is the leader in STEM opportunities for indigenous people of North America.

If you would like more information about this topic, call Montoya Whiteman at 720-552-6123 or email