Instructor addresses environmental issues at tribal conference

An instructor of environmental technology at Pennsylvania College of Technology in the forefront of helping American Indians prepare for the so-called "bird flu" or an attack on the nation's food supply was invited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to discuss both topics at the eighth National Tribal Conference on Environmental Management in Billings, Mont.

Steven R. Parker was a presenter at the June 23-27 gathering, "Nurturing Mother Earth … Our People's Destiny," the goal of which was to familiarize participants with tribal and nontribal health and environmental-protection initiatives.

Parker provided training in Avian Influenza Response and AgTerror Counterterrorism Preparedness and Response during the opening day of the conference, which included a variety of sessions and training opportunities to benefit human health and protect the environment in Indian country. The conference was cosponsored by EPA and the Montana/Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council.

Parker said he was visited at day's end by Carol Jorgensen, director of the EPA's American Indian Environmental Office, who told attendees that the Avian Influenza Response training was very important to Indian Country – especially to tribes in the northern United States, Maine and Alaska.

Jorgensen requested the training personally and for her Washington, D.C., staff, although Parker already is heavily booked with tribal assignments.

He said he already is scheduled to perform either or both training sessions for the Aroostook Band of Micmacs, the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Eight Northern Tribes of New Mexico, the Penobscot Nation, the Hopi Tribe and the Gila River Indian Tribe before returning to Penn College for the start of the Fall 2008 semester in August.

Parker also has done presentations on both subjects during public forums at the college's Madigan Library.

For information about the School of Natural Resources Management at Penn College, visit online or call (570) 320-8038.

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Last Updated March 19, 2009