Tommy RockAssistant Research Professor

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Environmental exposure, Environmental justice, Traditional ecological knowledge

Rock’s research takes a multidisciplinary approach to tackle complex issues, such as sustainability in the Southwest, from a Native American point of view. One of the main objectives is to merge health, environmental, and cultural aspects, specifically related to uranium mining (environmental exposure), to make better-informed decisions about tribal lands. As a member of the Navajo Nation, Rock believes that addressing uranium contamination must reflect Navajo culture. He recommends using Navajo Fundamental Laws to guide policy development, making it more effective. Furthermore, Traditional Ecological Knowledge can assist the tribe in improving their quality of life, particularly around uranium contamination, which is a subject of particular interest in Rock’s research. 

Selected Publications 
  1. Zak R. Webber, Kei G. Webber, Tommy Rock, Isaac St. Clair, Carson Thompson, Sarah Groenwald, Zach Aanderud, Gregory T. Carling, Rebecca J. Frei, and Benjamin W. Abbot. “Dine’ Citizen Science: Phytoremediation of Uranium and Arsenic in the Navajo Nation.” Science of the Total Environment (November 10, 2021) volume 794, 1-11.
  2. Tommy Rock, Jani C. Ingram, “Traditional Ecological Knowledge Policy Considerations for Abandoned Uranium Mines on Navajo Nation Human  Biology (July 7, 2020), volume 92, issue 1, 1-8.
  3. Tommy Rock, Ricky Camplain, Nicolette Teufel-Shone, and Jani C. Ingram, “Traditional Sheep Consumption by Navajo People in Cameron, Arizona.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (October 2019), volume 16, number 21, 4195
  4. Jani C. Ingram, Lindsey Jones, Jonathon Credo, and Tommy Rock, “Uranium and arsenic unregulated water issues on Navajo lands” Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology (March 20, 2020), volume 38, issue 3, 031003.
  5. Laura Corlin, Tommy Rock, Jamie Cordova, Mark Woodin, John L. Durant, David M. Gute, Jani Ingram, and Doug Brugge, “Health effects and environmental justice concerns of exposure to uranium in drinking water” Current Environmental Health Report,(2016) December, volume 3 issue 4,  434-442.