La Belle Urbanec
La Belle is the mother of a two and an enrolled member of the Lummi nation.
As a former medical research data manager working in Houston, TX she opted to change careers and left Houston for Washington State. She enrolled in Northwest Indian College (NWIC) where she earned her Transfer Degree in 2006 with High Honors, attended The Evergreen State College in Olympia to study Sustainable Design and was recruited back to NWIC for the new Native Environmental Science program. La Belle earned the first Bachelor of Science, Native Environmental Science in 2009, with High Honors.
Undergraduate internships have expanded her indigenous awareness and the environmental impacts on indigenous culture(s). She has documented toxic waste disposal on St. Lawrence Island, AK; gathered vegetative samples to measure nitrogen on the Elwha River, WA; worked with the Nez Perce Tribe for salmon habitat restoration; and gathered hypoxia data on Bellingham Bay, WA. La Belle believes that our traditional cultural ways of interacting with our surroundings need to be melded with current pro-environmental practices to work toward a healthier environment for all.
Ms. Urbanec is currently employed at NWIC as The Institute for Indigenous Foods and Traditions Coordinator. She was previously employed by NWIC as science faculty, Teaching Assistant for science classes, Science Writing Mentor, Library Technician, Native Scientist Speaker series coordinator, and Discovery intern supervisor.
Institute for Indigenous Foods and Traditions Coordinator