The Jessica Mae Orozco Scholarship

Jessica Orozco wearing cap and gown standing with her nephew James Kitchens

Jessica Mae Orozco

B.S. Plant Biology/AIS Minor (2012)

M.S. Plant Botany, Claremont Graduate University (2016)

Range Specialist with the Hualapai Tribe’s Natural Resources Department

Jessica was a recipient of the Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholarship, the Ford Foundation Fellowship, the Society of Ethnobiology Indigenous Ethnobiologist Fellowship (which was renamed in her honor), completed two National Science Foundation Research Experiences as an undergrad, and secured a $100,000 grant for the Hualapai Tribe to… She was a member of the Student Kouncil of Intertribal Nations at SF STATE, as well as the Society for Ethnobiology, the Society of Rangeland Management, and a partner of the Native American Rangeland Management Training Initiative.

As a Range Specialist with the Hualapai Tribe, Jessica specialized in plant identification, floristics, herbarium curation, rangeland monitoring techniques, environmental assessments, range field techniques, and rangeland management. She worked with tribal livestock associations to develop written management plans for the grazing association: incorporate range survey information into stocking rates, season of use, which class of livestock, and any needed range improvements by permittees. She held workshops and seminars to bring more plant knowledge to the community, and was ‘DJ Bloom’ for KWLP in Peach Springs, AZ.

She was also a devoted Aunt-Mom to her nephew, James, whom she took guardianship of while she was finishing her Master’s degree in Plant Botany from Claremont Graduate University. She was the brightest, most exuberant botanist anyone could ever hope to meet. She pollinated the minds of all those who were lucky enough to cross paths with her; she had a fierce dedication to absorbing and sharing as much plant knowledge as she could. Jessica was a true inspiration and a powerhouse of a Native woman, actively encouraging future generations to look to plants for the answers of life.

Details about the scholarship forthcoming.