Me and Luca Me and Luca

Clarita Lefthand-Begay, MS, PhD


pdf doc

Writing Sample

pdf doc

My Work

I hold a doctorate in Environmental & Occupational Hygiene from the University of Washington's School of Public Health. I’m seeking a post doc position to begin Winter or Spring 2015. In the meantime, I will be applying for grants, fellowships or advanced training opportunities that will allow me to strengthen and expand on my interdisciplinary research skills, and examine environmental health disparities, climate change (e.g., disaster risk and adaptation strategies), water security, sustainability science and policy factors important to vulnerable groups. Please contact me if there is an opportunity to work with your lab or group.

In 2005, as a MS student in environmental health, I conducted a microbial source tracking project in partnership with a Washington Tribal Nation. In this work we were able to get a better understanding about the sources of microbial pollution in a local bay and in Possession Sound. In the first two years as a doctoral student in Environmental & Occupational Hygiene I worked on a project that aimed to develop a PCR-based assay to detect viable bacteria in water samples.

My doctoral dissertation (abstract) explored disconnections between goals and values of EPA’s Clean Water Act and tribal water security values. In this work, I examined the advantages and challenges experienced by tribal nations who sought to develop water quality standards, and to understand water security values held by communities. A Bullitt Fellowship and EPA Star Grant funded my research that explored how tribal perceptions, knowledge and values can inform environmental management and policies. In addition, in my doctoral dissertation I propose a modified definition for water security that includes tribal water security values. I’m in the process of publishing two papers from this work, and I will work on publishing additional papers over the next few months.

Presently, I’m the Director of Hózhó Research and Consulting. Hózhó Research and Consulting helps clients to:

  • incorporate protocols that honor government-to-government relationships and promote self-determination among tribal nations including carrying out Tribal IRB procedures;
  • incorporate the principles of environmental, climate justice and sustainability;
  • conduct climate change adaptation assessments and/or
  • develop and implement surveys and interview (i.e., in-depth and focus group).

I’m currently the PI of a collaborative research project that examines factors that inhibit indigenous peoples from effectively developing adaptation and mitigation strategies. This work will be conducted during the upcoming academic year (2014-2015) in collaboration with international indigenous leaders who represent their communities. I'm also collaborating on a study that examines the impact that environmental degradation, perceived environmental harm and environmental injustices have on the health of tribal communities in the United States. This study will be in progress during 2014-2015.

If you have questions, please contact Clarita at

Other Activities




Contact Information

Updated: September 2014