Dr. Julie Thorstenson (Lakota) is the Executive Director for the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society. She grew up on a cattle ranch on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in Northcentral SD, where a love for the land and the environment was instilled in her. Dr. Thorstenson earned a B.S., M.S. and PhD in biological sciences from South Dakota State University. Her research focused on cottonwood site selection using GIS for riparian restoration and incorporating culture into ethics education for scientists and engineers. Dr. Thorstenson has worked in Indian Country her entire career in various positions, including Wildlife Habitat Biologist and Health Department CEO for her tribe. She currently lives on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota with her husband and three children.
Karen is our Public Information Officer. Her job is disseminating and sharing information with tribes, general public and the NAFWS membership, these include but are not limited to the quarterly online newsletter, NAFWS website, and social media.Her educational background is in Journalism/Public Relations.
Membership Coordinator, Office Manager
Heidi is an enrolled citizen of the Yavapai-Apache Nation. She graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) with a B.A. degree in American studies and a minor in History. She also earned a Master’s in Museum and Field Studies. Prior to joining the staff, she was a Research Faculty member, Associate Scientist II at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) where she conducted research on the Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Arctic (ELOKA). Her published research includes articles and a book chapter on stewarding Arctic Indigenous Knowledge data. She has worked diligently on Indigenous culture and language preservation projects with her tribe and conducted research in partnership and collaboration with Arctic Indigenous People. She is a strong advocate for co-production of Indigenous knowledge and the decolonization of Indigenous Knowledge research.
Her love of the outdoors brought her to Colorado and has steered her career into the environmental field. She is currently working on an administrative and photo collection archiving project at the Native American Fish & Wildlife Society, while also working on increasing and engaging membership.
Diné (Navajo) from Tohatchi, NM. Alumni from Colorado State University-B.S. in Fish, Wildlife & Conservation Biology (2017). M.S. in Conservation Leadership (2019) Ashley joined the NAFWS in 2019 and is responsible for Youth programming, Summer Youth Practicum (high school), Mentoring Program (college), Scholarships (college), Internship (college), and Resources (high school & college)
Fish & Wildlife Biologist
Sean was born and raised on the Flathead Reservation. He attended University of Montana after leaving the Army and has worked for many organizations like , USFS-Powell RD Wildlife, Fisheries and Hydrology, Nez Perce Fisheries Program in Orofino, Idaho, Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribe Fisheries Program. Sean was the NWRS-Refuge Manager at Medicine Lake Refuge MT, Modoc Refuge CA.
Fish & Wildlife Biologist
Corey Lucero is an enrolled member of the Sac & Fox Nation of north central Oklahoma, she is also of Kickapoo and Wichita descent and resides in Isleta Pueblo. She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University-Stillwater Campus, with her Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife & Fisheries Ecology Management.
Before coming back to the Native American Fish & Wildlife Society, she has worked as a Field Biologist collecting biological data for Environmental documents, data for Forestry and roads documents. And has also worked in the fields of Aquatic Invasive Species and as a Wildlife Disease Biologist doing sampling and educating in both Chronic Wasting Disease and the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).
She has been with the Native American Fish & Wildlife Society as a Fish & Wildlife Biologist since May of 2020.
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In Recognition of Their Support
Native American Fish and Wildlife Society would like to thank those organizations that provided us with support over the years. With them we grew an effective national communications network for the exchange of information and management techniques related to self-determined tribal fish and wildlife management.