- By Native News Online Staff
CROWNPOINT, N.M. — Navajo Technical University (NTU) has received a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support STEM instruction and research.
The grant was awarded under the NSF’s Tribal Colleges and Universities Program that promotes STEM instruction and research.
NTU will use the grant to expand its engineering department by establishing a baccalaureate degree program in Environmental Engineering. The NTU’s will focus on uranium mine remediation and mitigation with the new program.
NTU professor Harry S. Whiting II, who teaches industrial engineering, plans to partner with outside organizations to assist in researching environmental issues on the Navajo Nation. Partners will include higher education institutions, such as the University of Idaho and the University of Arizona, and private companies, such as Tetra Tech, an environmental service company based in California.
“It’s a daunting task,” said Whiting, noting the amount of data collection and analysis that needs to take place. “Our first priority is to update the maps we are currently using to locate problematic areas.”
The Navajo Nation has numerous uranium mines that have yet to be remediated, most notably the Church Rock uranium mill spill in 1979. The university and its partners will begin locating and mapping locations across the Navajo Nation prior to initiating the remediation process. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there are over 500 abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation.
Currently, NTU offers an Associate of Applied Science Degree and a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Science and Natural Resources. NTU also offers engineering focused programs in Pre-Engineering, Engineering Technology, and Chemical Engineering Technology. The university’s Industrial Engineering and Electrical Engineering programs are ABET accredited.
Support Independent Indigenous Journalism
Native News Online is an independent, Indigenous-led newsroom with a crucial mission: We want to change the narrative about Indian Country. We do this by producing intelligent, fact-based journalism that tells the full story from all corners of Indian Country. We pride ourselves on covering the tribes you may have never heard of before and by respecting and listening to the communities we serve through our reporting. As newsrooms across the country continue to shrink, coverage of Indian Country is more important than ever, and we are committed to filling this ever-present hole in journalism.
Because we believe everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities, the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. But we hope it inspires you to make a gift to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount, big or small, gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.