Toxicology and Societies Speaker Series - Tommy Rock

Tommy Rock

Event Location


Event Description

Title: Puerco River Water Quality Project: How Grassroots Organization and Community Members Obtained a Potable Water Supply for Sanders, Arizona

Dr. Rock will talk about how he worked with a grassroots organization and community members from Sanders, Arizona in Northern Arizona on water quality along the Puerco River.  Sanders is downstream from Church Rock, New Mexico where there has past uranium mining and milling activities for over 20 years. They also had a nuclear related accident back in July of 1979 that spilled radioactive waste into the Puerco River.  Working with grassroots, community leaders, and elected community members they were able to get new potable water to the Sanders community and their elementary and middle school.  This was a citizen science collaboration that made positive changes. 

About the Speaker: Dr. Tommy Rock, Inclusive Community

My name is Tommy Rock; I am a member of the Navajo Nation from Monument Valley, Utah.  Currently, I am the first one from my family to get a doctoral degree.  I got my Bachelor degree from Arizona State University in Environmental Geography and Recreational Management in 2002.  I received my Master’s degree from Northern Arizona University in 2008.  I went to the University of New Mexico for two years as a Research Scientist I under Johnnye Lewis, PhD.  I was involved in the DiNEH Project until my funding ran out.  I was funded under the National Institute of Environmental Health Supplement Grant.  Afterwards, I worked at Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency- Public Water Systems Supervision Program.  I was there for two years that is when I realized I need to get my doctoral degree.  That is when I went back to Northern Arizona University where I received my Ph.D. in Earth Science and Environmental Sustainability in December of 2017.

This event has ended, but you can view the recorded presentation at the WWU Alumni website.

January 28, 2021; 11 -12 pm (PST).

Back to the Toxicology and Societies home page.