Our team focuses on climate solutions that are ecologically, culturally, and economically just. We search for win-wins that can help solve problems that needed to be addressed regardless of the changing climate. The Tribe is focused on climate-change mitigation and adaptation efforts that will build resiliency into the Nez Perce Lands.

Climate Change Vulnerability

Wildfire is part of healthy ecosystems, but larger, hotter fires during droughts are changing ecosystems in the Nez Perce Homelands.

Climate Change Adaptation Planning

Climate Change staff are working to prepare maps, data, and summaries to assist tribal resource managers who are already coping with the impacts of climate change.

Climate and Culturally Smart Conservation

Climate and Culturally Smart Conservation Projects are culturally focused conservation projects that honor  traditional knowledge, through the study, protection, and restoration of culturally relevant ecosystems, wildlife, plants, and practices. The Restoration Toolkit for Ecological and Cultural Resilience provides a tool to include climate change and culture in wetland and riparian restoration planting design.

Camas to Condors Climate Change Adaptation Project

The Camas to Condors Climate Change Adaptation Project is a Landscape Level Conservation Project designed to increase connectivity, resilience, and resources for tribal members from the Blue Mountains to the Bitterroots.


Climate Smart Agriculture

Tribal Staff are working on a Climate Smart Agriculture Project to try to provide information to producers and the Tribe about ways that agriculture will be impacted and potential solutions that will help farmers and biodiversity.

Photo copyright Greta Rybus

History of Climate Change Planning at the Tribe

The Tribe has been working on climate change for decades, from sequestering carbon in forests to responding to the impacts of changing ocean conditions, stream temperatures, and flow on fish. The current climate change program started after the 2015 drought and fish kill. The climate team is determined to have a meaningful, long-term adaptation program that helps the tribe assess, vision, plan, and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

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Climate Change Education Resources

At the 2018 Idaho Environmental Education Association Conference in Lewiston, we presented information about teaching climate science for educators. The link below will be to the materials presented at that conference (coming soon!). Quality resources for teaching young children about the global climate system, how it relates to our daily weather, and our quality of life abound, but there is misinformation out. Climate change is complicated and can be confusing. We put together a resource list for teachers that provides the best information available. We hope to be able to provide quality resources for any age to learn more.

For Adults and Tribal Members the best easy resource to learn more about future projections is the Tribal Climate Change Toolkit created by the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group Tribal Climate Desk.

For young children here are just a couple of suggestions for outside resources.  Of course, the best local resource is elders and community members who can tell stories about how the weather used to be like, and what the timing of events of nature used to be like. However, there are some good resources.

Tribal Climate Change Guide – University of Oregon

NASA’s Climate Kids

The Young Meteorologist Game


NPTEC Climate Change and Energy Subcommittee

In 2019, the Tribe formed a Climate Change and Energy Subcommittee under NPTEC in order to focus on mitigating the impacts of climate change on the Tribe, Tribal enterprises, and Treaty Reserved Resources. The subcommittee is currently chaired by Casey Mitchell and is working to bring sovereignty, resiliency, and sustainability in relation to energy systems, food systems, and cultural aspects of life. The committee is committed to seeking funds for meaningful projects to support Tribal priorities and tribal members dealing with climate change.

Relevant Projects

Climate Change Team

Stefanie Krantz

Stefanie Krantz

Climate Change Coordinator
Stefanie is the Climate Change Coordinator for the Nez Perce Tribe working to develop tools that will help planners and biologists at the Tribe apply climate science to daily planning. This work includes a Vulnerability Assessment, Adaptation Plan, Climate and Culturally Smart Restoration Toolkit, climate smart agriculture, and a landscape scale adaptation and conservation project.

Stefanie developed a love of nature growing up in the Sandia Mountains of New Mexico.  She received a Master’s degree in Ecology from the University of Michigan in 2005 and traveled the world to learn first-hand about birds, wildlife, ecosystems, and people.  When she is not working, she enjoys fixing up her old house and spending time outdoors with her family.

Thomas Tallbull

Thomas Tall Bull

Climate Change Specialist I
Thomas is currently a Climate Change Specialist and enrolled Tribe member. He has a B.S. in Fish & Wildlife from Salish Kootenai College and is working towards a Hydrology and Water Security Master’s degree at the University of Oklahoma. Previous to joining the Climate Change Program, he was a Fisheries Biologist and Watershed Specialist at the Tribe and served as the Chairman of the Nez Perce Tribe’s Fish and Wildlife Commission.  He enjoys hunting, fishing, and attending native gatherings.

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Meadow Wheaton

AmeriCorps VISTA
Meadow is a descendant of the Nez Perce Tribe who grew up in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and developed a passion for environmental conservation through Corps service. She is currently serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA for the Climate Change Program assisting with climate adaptation, policy, and resilience planning efforts. One day she hopes to continue her higher education at the University of Idaho.

Whiteplume-Twomoons family pic

Andrea (AJ) Whiteplume

Climate Change Technician I
Andrea (AJ) Whiteplume (Hin-mah-toe-we-nun-my), is of the Niimiipuu, Warm Springs, Wasco, Yakama, Colville, Umatilla and Northern Arapaho Tribes.  She is a full time college student attending at The Northwest Indian College in the Bachelor’s of Native Environmental Science program. While working for The Nez Perce Tribes Water Resources Department as a Wetland Tech and a member of the Climate Change adaption team. Her most important and prized work comes from caring for her four children.  With her Husband she takes pride in their family by living the Niimiipuu way of life by gathering traditional foods, fishing, hunting, tanning buckskin. By doing so they are teaching their children through traditional ecological knowledge systems that have been passed down for generations.


Eric Walsh

Dr. Eric Walsh

Research Assistant Professor-University of Idaho
Eric is a Research Assistant Professor at the Univ. of Idaho that collaborates with the Tribe as a Climate Change Specialist. He started working for the Climate Change Program in 2017 and has successfully collaborated on two grants in an effort to aid the Tribe in addressing climate change and agriculture vulnerabilities and opportunities.

CNR - Lapwai High School

Dr. Karla Eitel

Director of University of Idaho McCall Field Campus and MOSS
Dr. Karla Eitel is a wife and a mother to two rascals. She is of Irish and Swedish descent. She lives and works on the ancestral lands of the Nez Perce and is grateful to have had Nimiipuu friends and colleagues who have helped to form her sense of connection and responsibility to this Land. Professionally, she is Director of the University of Idaho McCall Field Campus and McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS), and a Research Associate Professor of Place-based Environmental Education in the College of Natural Resources. Her work focuses on the ways that place-based and land-based education can connect students to the land and to their communities. She is also interested in students’ conceptions of science: who does science, how science is done, and what knowledges “count” in those conceptions.

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Chantel Greene

Natural Resources Planner
Chantel holds a Masters of Legal Studies, Indigenous Peoples Law from the University of Oklahoma, Bachelor of Arts, Indigenous American Indian Studies with an emphasis in Environmental Justice from Haskell Indian Nations University, and Associate of Science, Health, Sport, and Exercise Science degree also from Haskell Indian Nations University. She is now the Nez Perce Tribes Department of Natural Resources Planner.

alison crowley

Alison Crowley

Alison Crowley was born in Michigan, created in Hawaii, and discovered a foundation in Idaho. She has experienced a lot of life by honoring the land through conservation. Alison obtained a BS in Environmental Studies at Michigan State University. After school, she spent 6 years in Hawaii working in conservation actively entwining the culture of the land through restoration. Alison is currently finishing her Masters in Natural Resources through the University of Idaho at McCall’s Outdoor School of Science. Alison has been working on The Restoration Toolkit for Ecological and Cultural Resilience. Her main contribution is the Upland species toolkit. Alison is very grateful and excited to be working on a project that approaches restoration in a culturally smart way.

Previous Staff

Amber Ziegler

Amber is a former employee who made invaluable contributions to the Climate Change Program. She co-authored the vulnerability assessment, was instrumental in conducting research related to socioeconomic vulnerability measures, developed an assessment tool for cultural resources, successfully wrote grants, and built lasting relationships among the many stakeholders involved in the project.

Dr. Becky Witinok-Huber

Becky is a former employee that made invaluable contributions to the community survey and vulnerability assessment.


The Climate Change Program at the Tribe has formal partnerships with Point Blue Conservation Science, Greater Hell’s Canyon Council, Yellowstone to Yukon, University of Idaho, Dr. Tara Hudiburg, and Dr. David Mildrexler.

Thank you!

The Tribe’s Resilience Program would not be possible without the support of the BIA, EPA, USDA NIFA, and the Network for Landscape Conservation.

In addition, many partners, scientists, and friends have helped us along the way. The University of Idaho, the UW Climate Impacts Group, the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals, the BIA Tribal Resilience Support, and many staff and tribal members have helped this project. Thank you!