Faculty Bios


Dr. George “Wolf” Gumerman 

Wolf Gumerman, Founding Dean of the  Honors College and Professor of Anthropology at Northern Arizona University, is an archaeologist who applies his research to broader societal concerns, including collaborating with the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office to promote cultural preservation. Using archaeology and elder knowledge he connects Hopi youth with their past. The collaboration has produced four films and a museum exhibit that present the youth’s perspective on Hopi culture and history. Wolf also has a strong interest in food and culture stemming from his 20 years of research on the north coast of Peru and from his interest in sustainable food systems. He is Co-founder and past Co-editor for the Journal Heritage Management and publishes primarily on topics related to prehistoric foodways. Wolf teaches a range of interactive courses on composition and literature, archaeology, theory, human evolution, and food and culture.

Ted Martinez

Ted Martinez 

Ted Martinez holds degrees in botany and environmental science and policy from Northern Arizona University. In 2005 he moved to Yuma AZ to what is essentially the “end of the line” for the Colorado River before the US and Mexico take their allocations of water. In Yuma, Ted has been able to utilize his education in botany and environmental science to perform conservation, education and restoration in the Lower Colorado River (LCR) Valley between the US and Mexico. There Ted has received grants from the Sonoran Joint Venture, Xerces Society and Arizona Game and Fish to perform wetland restoration, Monarch conservation and Bighorn Sheep education and outreach respectively.  Ted has also worked with Mexican partners, ProNatura, to perform bi-national wetland restoration along the Colorado River region dividing the US and Mexico. His recent experiences in the LCR have made him interested in the ability of humans to both negatively and positively impact the environment.  If humans can negatively impact their environment, then through massive effort can they also positively impact the environment? He also wonders if we can reconcile our role with the environment by changing our perception of nature as separate from humanity. Ted is happy to be in the NAU Honors Program teaching classes on plants, water and the environment. 



Dr. Thomas D. Sisk 

Tom Sisk, the Charles Olajos and Ted Goslow Endowed Chair of Environmental Science and Policy for the Southwest is an ecologist whose work focuses on three interrelated goals: improving our understanding of ongoing environmental change; engaging others in the challenges, societal relevance, and rewards of conservation; and helping to provide solutions to emerging problems facing policy makers and land managers. Tom has worked around the world developing a broad perspective on science, government, and the environment. His experiences provide insight into the relationship between science and management, as well as the challenges associated with translating sound science and progressive policy into on-the-ground action. Sisk’s laboratory group researches a broad range of topics related to the restoration and conservation of biodiversity and sensitive habitats, combining field study, geographic analysis, and spatial modeling. Tom’s courses in conservation biology, landscape ecology, and environmental policy and leadership emphasize theory in the natural and social sciences, and grounds student experience in field study and real-world applications. Tom serves on numerous advisory and editorial boards and is a certified Senior Ecologist of the Ecological Society of America and an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow.


Annette McGivney, MLS

Annette McGivney teaches writing, editing and environmental communication courses at NAU and is a Senior Lecturer in Journalism. Her areas of focus are creative non-fiction writing and exploring the connections between humans and nature. She is the author of Resurrection: Glen Canyon and a New Vision for the American West (Braided River Books; 2009) and Leave No Trace: A Guide to the New Wilderness Etiquette (The Mountaineers; 2003). McGivney has been the Southwest Editor for Backpacker magazine since 1996 and has extensively covered Grand Canyon and other Southwest public lands-related topics for the magazine. She is also the past editor of Grand Canyon Journal and, in addition to Backpacker, her stories on outdoor destinations and environmental issues have appeared in Outside, Arizona Highways, and The New York Times.  Through her work as a writer and an educator, McGivney seeks to inspire others to connect with the natural environment and protect wild places. 

Sasha Stortz, NAU GCS Faculty

Sasha Stortz, MS

Sasha Stortz is a Senior Research Specialist at the Northern Arizona University (NAU) Landscape Conservation Initiative (LCI), where her work focuses on collaborative planning for land management issues in the western United States. She specializes in a variety of conservation planning issues, including management of parks and other public lands, forest restoration, climate adaptation planning, and conflict resolution. Recent projects include working with stakeholder groups to develop a landscape assessment for the greater Grand Canyon watershed and with federal partners developing a strategic agreement for co-management of Canyon de Chelly national monument. Sasha was raised in Sitka, Alaska, where the controversies of fisheries and forest management shaped her interest in conservation and community. She has studied endangered species on the Oregon Coast and in arctic Alaska. At the Udall Foundation’s U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, she became certified in mediation and aided planning and dispute resolution processes for their public lands, water, and native nations programs. Sasha is an instructor for NAU’s Grand Canyon Semester, and has led groups of high school and college students across East Africa and the western U.S. for Lewis & Clark College and National Geographic Student Expeditions. She holds a B.A. in Biology from Lewis & Clark College and an M.S. in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Northern Arizona University, and is a Wilburforce Fellow for Conservation Leadership. When she’s not at work, Sasha makes time for backpacking in the Grand Canyon, playing violin with a local Flagstaff band, and fishing for salmon in Alaska.