Chinle Native Selected as Science Fellow for Deep Ocean Exploration by Navajo-Hopi Observer

Kim Etsitty, a teacher from Navajo Pine High School in Gallup, McKinley County Schools, has been selected as a 2024 Science Communication Fellow by the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET). Originally from Chinle, Arizona, Etsitty will be sailing on OET’s Exploration Vessel Nautilus this autumn as part of a deep ocean team involved in a unique STEAM initiative that explores deep-sea biology and geology within Palau National Marine Sanctuary.

Etsitty was chosen from a competitive pool of applicants and will be one of 13 fellows from various schools, science centers, and non-profit organizations throughout the Pacific and North America. She expressed her excitement about the opportunity to engage with classrooms worldwide and share insights about the importance of water. Etsitty believes that Indigenous ecological knowledge can contribute to the restoration of land and waters. She sees her selection as an opportunity to serve as a role model for future Indigenous scientists and to exchange cultural perspectives with leading scientists.

During her time at sea, Etsitty will have access to NautilusLive.org, which allows her to connect with learners globally. She can share her experiences through live broadcasts, educational resources, and interactive activities that inspire students to explore their passions for science and technology.

Kim Etsitty is passionate about using science communication to promote environmental conservation and social justice. Her work has been recognized by numerous awards and honors throughout her career. She holds degrees in education and environmental science from Northern Arizona University. Etsitty is dedicated to creating opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds to engage with scientific research and develop their skills in STEM fields.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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