Moos Family Speaker Series


Since 2010, Freshwater and the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences have co-hosted a free stimulating lecture series on water and the environment. The lectures, known as the Moos Family Speaker Series on Water Resources, honor the late Malcolm Moos, president of the university from 1967 to 1974. The series brings together influential experts on a broad array of topics and pairs a nationally known speaker with a panel of regional experts. They present the latest research on timely and important issues through an accessible—and often entertaining—presentation.

Our fall 2021 Moos Speaker is Dr. Deborah Mcgregor!

Join us for a virtual lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 17, from 12–1:30 p.m.

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The talk title is, "Indigenous participation in Great Lakes governance: an environmental justice perspective."

Deborah McGregor holds a doctorate in forestry from the University of Toronto, as well as a master's degree in environmental studies from York University and a bachelor of science in psychology from the University of Toronto.

Currently at York University in Ontario, McGregor is joint faculty with the Osgoode Hall Law and Environmental Studies & Urban Change and is associate professor and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Environmental Justice.

Her research has focused on Indigenous knowledge systems and their various applications in diverse contexts including environmental and water governance, environmental justice, health and environment, climate change and Indigenous legal traditions. Prior to her position at York, she worked with Environment Canada with a focus on the Great Lakes.

McGregor is from Whitefish River First Nation (Anishinaabe), Birch Island, Ontario, and has been at the forefront of Indigenous environmental justice and Indigenous research theory and practice.

She serves on the Assembly of First Nations Advisory Committee on Climate Action and the Environment, and is involved in a variety of Indigenous communities as an adviser and researcher for community-based initiatives. These roles helped her to determine how Indigenous people think of the climate change crisis in different ways than others.

Her research interests align well with ongoing work of Freshwater, including Groundwater Governance in the Great Lakes States with Engagement, in which we review existing legal and technical frameworks and are interviewing those who work in groundwater in each state and sovereign nation in that geography. We are interested in learning about the way Canada and its provinces interact with their First Nations.

See McGregor's books and publications.

Be a sponsor!

If you're interested in sponsoring this event, please email Mary Salisbury or call her at 612-619-7136.


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Gene-Hua Crystal Ng, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota's Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. She says, "I'm interested in how different aspects affecting the hydrologic cycle—including the atmosphere, plants, soil, microbial activity, and geochemistry—interact with each other. Understanding the links between these elements helps us explain how the environment will respond to changing conditions, including impacts of climate change, land use, and contamination."

Crystal received a community engagement award in recognition of her collaboration with tribal community partners on the "First We Must Consider Manoomin Project."


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William "Joe" Graveen is a program manager with the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Wild Rice Cultural Enhancement Program and a tribal council member for the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. Joe recently partnered with a team of researchers, including Crystal, to study the decline of wild rice.

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Jennifer Vanator, J.D., is a policy analyst and the Great Lakes program coordinator for the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission. She has provided legal and policy analysis to GLIFWC and its member tribes for almost a decade, specializing in water quantity and quality issues, and working through intergovernmental coordination to support the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes. She has recently focused on working with various Great Lakes bodies to develop guidance to governments on how to support bridging knowledge systems in Great Lakes management.


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