La Canoa Legacy Talks - At the Intersection of Cultural Heritage and Climate Change: A Call to Action


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This lecture was part of the La Canoa lecture series presented by UNM's Center for Regional Studies and the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

Theresa Cárdenas discusses climate change and how it has become one of the most significant and fastest growing threats to people and their cultural heritage worldwide. In particular, Cárdenas talks about the historic impact of climate change on cultural heritage in New Mexico. The impacts of climate change are damaging infrastructure, ecosystems, and social systems that provide essential benefits and quality of life to communities. What does this mean for our lands and peoples of New Mexico? Is New Mexico prepared to face the unprecedented, systemic threat to people and their cultural heritage? Creating bridges and cooperation between experts and decision makers involved in the sectors of heritage, culture, and climate science is important to inspire and stimulate new approaches to taking climate action.


Theresa Cárdenas is a sustainability practitioner working as a consultant at the intersection of public policy, environmental and social justice challenges. She is the founder of Noble Renewables Group of the West, a social enterprise advocating for environmental and social change by providing strategic guidance to organizations. She worked in partnership with the Union of Concerned Scientists to help advance clean energy policies in a legislative, regulatory and advisory setting and is the current Chair of the Middle Rio Grande Water Advocates. Ms. Cárdenas holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico and is a graduate of Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Executive Education in Leadership, Organizing and Action. She is a fellow of the National Hispana Leadership Institute and is currently in the Masters of Sustainability degree program at Arizona State University.

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