Sustainability Series

The Sustainability 360 Series was created to highlight Northern Arizona University’s sustainability research, experts, and programs. With a focus on wildfires, Native American cultural sustainability, climate science, and drought / water issues, the series emphasizes the university’s commitment to and expertise in environmental science and sustainability.

Native American Cultural Sustainability

Northern Arizona University is committed to providing Native American communities with the resources and training necessary to maintain their traditions and economic vitality in the 21st century.

Native Americans Confronting Climate Change

This series explores how tribes and nations across the U.S. are preparing for the impacts of climate change on their communities. Northern Arizona University's Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) is a leading voice in research on climate impacts, as well as on practical steps that Native Americans can take to confront a changing climate.


Each year, wildfire season is trending longer, larger and more extreme. NAU’s wildfire series is designed to provide education on critical issues related to wildfires through expert commentary from the University’s leading fire and forest ecology experts. 

Part I: When Wildfires Don't Make Headlines

The first part of the series explores how critical treatments and prevention methods helped contain fires in Arizona before they reached catastrophic levels.

Blacklining operations during an Arizona wildfire. Credit: Erik Patel, CC BY-SA (Provided by Ecological Restoration Institute, NAU)

Part II: The Economic Impact of Wildfires

The second part of the series highlights the cost of wildfire prevention methods and compares them to the suppression costs of historic fires, using the Wallow, Rodeo-Chediski and Shultz fires as prime examples.


Part III: Creating Resilient Forests

The third part of the series explores the proper adaptations that can help forests become more resilient in the face of disturbances such as climate change and wildfires.

Drought and Water Issues

As a result of the effects of climate change, drought has increasingly become a critical issue across the U.S., particularly in the West and Southwest. This part of the series examines how researchers are working to mitigate water issues in the West, the relationship between drought and wildfires and how forest restoration treatments may have a positive impact on groundwater sources. 

Climate Science

As the changing climate continues to garner more widespread attention, strong climate science and research is vital. Climate science is a focus or part of the work for many scientists, as well as academic programs, at Northern Arizona University.