This is the episode where we discuss Indigenous Science with Binnizá & Maya Ch’orti’ scholar Dr. Jessica Hernandez. Dr. Hernandez is a transnational Indigenous scholar, scientist, and community advocate based in the Pacific Northwest. Her work is grounded in her Indigenous cultures and ways of knowing with a background that ranges from marine sciences, land restoration, environmental physics and justice.
Currently, one can find her completing a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Washington Bothell, a Climate Justice Policy Strategist at the International Mayan League and the Environmental Justice Representative on the City of Seattle’s Urban Forestry Commission.
Dr. Hernandez has been finding her way in academia and academy hasn’t always embraced her ways of knowing and engaging with Western science. She has published some inspiring articles and is recent author of Fresh Banana Leaves: Healing Indigenous Landscapes with Indigenous Science. She weaves powerful personal stories and family histories that expand our conception of Indigeneity while centering ecofeminist voices of women, non-binary relationships and protectors of lands and waters. It also blends sharp and cogent critiques of western conservationism while also offering Indigenous models informed by case studies and a framework that elevates Indigenous leadership. Working at the nexus of climate science and justice Jessica tells us she is in the process of writing her second book, Growing Papaya Trees: Nurturing Indigenous Roots of Climate.
Our conversation wanders from talking about her journey to becoming a scientist, supporting Indigenous-led movements that seek self-determination and autonomy, her current research at the intersection of energy and equity, specifically climate science to climate refugees. We also look back at efforts of hers in Seattle that informed her dissertation about Indigenizing Restoration in urban parks.
Doctora Nature Website, Instagram and Twitter
Native Land is an app to help map Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages https://native-land.ca
Hernandez, J. (2022) Fresh Banana Leaves - Healing Indigenous Landscapes through Indigenous Science- North Atlantic Books.
Hernandez, J., Meisner, J., Bardosh, K., & Rabinowitz, P. (2022). Prevent pandemics and halt climate change? Strengthen land rights for Indigenous peoples. The Lancet Planetary Health, 6(5), e381-e382.
Hernandez, J., & Vogt, K. A. (2020). Indigenizing Restoration: Indigenous Lands before Urban Parks. Human biology, 92(1), 37-44.
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