Meet the Speakers

Vicki Olmstead

Senior Environmental Specialist – Wildlife Management, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Environmental Protection and Natural Resources

Certified Wildlife Biologist, The Wildlife Society

Vicki Olmstead is the Community wildlife biologist for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. She has been in her position for over two years, and before that she was a wildlife biologist for USDA – Wildlife Services in New York City. She has held a variety of wildlife positions in 11 different states, focusing on population demography and conservation management of T & E species as well as habitat management and restoration. She has a BS in Wildlife Conservation from University of Delaware and an MS in Wildlife Biology from Arkansas Tech University. She originates from Delaware, but loves and feels at home in the desert southwest and has enjoyed exploring Arizona.


Roman Orona

Environmental Programs Manager, Ak-Chin Indian Community

Roman has extensive practical experience and expertise in short-and long-range environmental and natural resources conservation planning, development and implementation. He has been involved in designing and conducting a wide range of activities, including impact studies, policy reviews, and mitigation processes and providing services in fiscal management, conflict management and dispute resolution. Roman has also traveled nationally and internationally as a Native performer, musician, singer, and craftsman. In 2016, Roman won the Native American Music Award (NAMMY) for Best Male Vocalist. He also runs a small national non-profit called iamHUMAN Media.

Roman, currently is the Environmental Programs Manager for the Ak-Chin Indian Community in Maricopa, AZ. Prior to that, he served as the Environmental Engineer with the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community-Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Department in Scottsdale AZ and as the Deputy Director and Director of Operations of Earth Conservation Corps-Salmon Corps in Portland, Oregon. Roman has a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology, Civil Engineering and a Master’s in Arts, Culture, and Technology.



Brandy Nelson

Environmental Protection, Ak-Chin Indian Community

Brandy Nelson is an Environmental Specialist for the Ak-Chin Indian Community. She is currently working towards her B.A. in Global Health at Arizona State University. 



Ashton Lynch

Environmental Program Manager, Gila River Indian Community

Ashton Lynch, currently is the Environmental Program Manager for the Wildlife and Ecosystems Program on the Gila River Indian Community. Receiving a B.S. in Forestry with a certificate in Fire Ecology and management from Northern Arizona University. Ashton has used both her degree and experience as a wildland fire fighter to help the Community in restoring and managing riparian areas along the Gila River.




Register for Partnering with Local Indigenous Communities!

Join us for the CAZCA Speaker Series event, Partnering with Local Indigenous Communities: Strategies for Effective Tribal Collaboration and Partnerships! Esteemed speakers Vicki Olmstead from Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community and Roman Orona and Brandy Nelson from Ak-Chin Indian Community will share their insights and expertise on best practices for collaborating with local tribes!

CAZCA Sticker_Print (3)

CAZCA is an initiative of Desert Botanical Garden. Any donations made to CAZCA must be made through Desert Botanical Garden. You will now be taken to their website to complete this transaction. Thank you!