Valentina "Tina" Andrew

Saguaro National Park Environmental Education, Arizona

  • Saguaro National Park Environmental Education, Arizona

Valentina “Tina” Andrew is a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation, indigenous to the Southern Arizona region. Her background experience spans various STEM disciplines including scientific study and research, outdoor environmental restoration projects, laboratory data analysis, environmental education and outreach, citizen science, and developing tribal relations with outside entities. Throughout the years she has delved into radio/podcasting where she hosts and produces a monthly podcast and sub-DJs for Tucson’s Community Radio 91.3 KXCI Studios. Her focus with podcasting is sharing indigenous history, topics, and community stories throughout Tucson. Her experience working with SBAR has kept her engaged within the tribal community and its schools, while participating in a STEM-based setting. The impacts that have been made in the classroom have been new experiences for most of the students. Each student is engaged through hands-on activities and in class lessons where they have shown progress in their understanding of the scientific method and data collecting. Also, focusing on the students’ native language has been a part of the partnership with the school, which is a way to reduce language loss while keeping cultural traditions alive. Tina believes that native people have always been natural scientists to the land and its various animal and plant species, water sources, etc. She feels that making the indigenous and western science connections is an important component to students’ success.