Jon Waterhouse

Text by Jon Waterhouse | Photos by Mary Marshall National Geographic Explorers Traditional community on the Giraffe River (Bahr-el-Zaraf) in South Sudan, 2011 This article first appeared in Langscape Magazine 6:2, Winter 2017, available from the magazine’s website.  The article can also be read on Langscape Magazine’s Medium site. Langscape Magazine is a Terralingua publication.  We are now living...

In an exciting collaboration to better understand the world’s most complicated watersheds, the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC) and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have joined forces to create the Global Rivers Observatory (GRO)—an ambitious effort committed to the continuous study of watershed health around the world. So how cool that they recently invited us...

On Monday, August 21, 2017, Mary and I joined the University of Washington-based Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium and the Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline (NWESSP), and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs on the Warm Strings Reservation in central Oregon. This impressive trio would unite to co-host a once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse event combining...

Recently, Mary and I had the privilege of returning to Shepherdstown, West Virginia to join over a hundred Native youth at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) located on the banks of the Potomac River. The event, the Native Youth Community Adaptation and Leadership Congress (NYCALC), occurs each summer on this...

By Jon Waterhouse with Mary Marshall So. We come to the close of Native American Heritage Month. In 1990, President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution of Congress designating November “National American Indian Heritage Month,” and it has been so designated by every President and Congress since. And yet, look at where we...

By Jon Waterhouse and Mary Marshall Examine the protests over construction of the Dakota Access pipeline with an objective mind (links below, basic facts here) and you’ll arrive at the conclusion that the Native Americans gathered at Standing Rock care—and shouldn’t we all. The threat at Standing Rock is not lack of oil or loss of jobs....

By Jon Waterhouse with Mary Marshall Every summer, U.S. Tribes and Canadian First Nations of the Pacific Northwest hold an extraordinary canoe event which takes them far from their home waters to gather on the traditional lands of other PNW host communities. As paddlers make their way toward their destination in magnificent traditional dugout canoes, they...

Our trip to Yakutia in eastern Russia is finished, and we now head back to Moscow on our way home. Truly, Russia surprised and delighted us. We were continually amazed at the warm welcome, the accommodating people, and the focus on learning and sharing that greeted us in Russia. Wherever we went, we encountered nothing but...

After all of our official business was concluded—teaching the indigenous people of Russia’s Sakha Republic about our water-testing methods—we were invited to a feast and traditional dance exposé. The people of the Sakha Republic are fabulous. The opportunity to see friends again and to introduce them to Mary and the team, to share our knowledge...

Having hitchhiked our way down the Lena River (or up it, if one looks at a map and sees it flowing north), we at last reached the Sakha communities we had traveled so far to visit in eastern Siberia. Everywhere we had gone, we were consistently impressed with the focus on education and the arts. Nowhere in...

Our journey from the staging area of Zhigansk out to the Sakha Republic communities of Yaktuia, Siberia would not be a routine venture. After all, the Lena River was the only “highway” for us to travel down, and it wasn’t exactly common to see tour boats and cruise liners on its remote, wild waters. On our...

As our journey to bring the Network of Indigenous Knowledge into Yakutia in eastern Russia continued, we came face-to-face with the mighty Lena River. Departing Zhigansk, we made plans (such that we could) to travel down the extraordinary river, which would be much faster than by land in this rugged, remote countryside. Reminders that we weren’t...

Our journey to bring the Network of Indigenous Knowledge and cleaner water to Yakutia in Russia continues! After our visits in Yakutsk, we took a stout old Antonov 120 aircraft north to Zhigansk. Upon our arrival in the last airport before shifting to river travel, we laughed at seeing a giant wall map reminding us that,...

Jon Waterhouse and Mary Marshall take the Network of Indigenous Knowledge (NIK) and its citizen-science effort to monitor water health deep into Russia. Along the way, amid sanctions and tension between the U.S. and Russia, they find a more peaceful journey and more friends than they ever imagined. We’ve worked with Valentine and the Permafrost Institute...

Jon Waterhouse and Mary Marshall take the Network of Indigenous Knowledge (NIK) and its citizen-science effort to monitor water health deep into Russia. Along the way, amid sanctions and tension between the U.S. and Russia, they find a more peaceful journey and more friends than they ever imagined. After an eight-hour plane ride from our last...