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David Begay, PhD

Research Associate Professor: Pharmaceutical Sciences

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Contact Information

Office Location: Vassar Building
Phone: (505) 272-4808

Academic Career

Dr. Begay has over 30 years of extensive background experiences working with indigenous communities and university scientists nationally and internationally.   He is a member of the Navajo Nation, speaks the language fluently and has ancestral relationship with Jemez Pueblo.  He received his MA from the University of Arizona in 1982 in Political Science/Native American Policy and Law and his Ph.D. from California Institute of Integral Studies in Integral Studies: Leadership in Native American Education with concentration on Indigenous Science. 

Research Interests

Currently, he is Adjunct Professor with NAU, Flagstaff, in the Physic and Astronomy Department.  He is currently Research Associate Professor at UNM, College of Pharmacy, CEP Program and he is working with the Navajo Birth Cohort Study grant and the Native American Environmental Health Equity grant.  Dr. Begay’s intensive background experience will enrich the work with the upcoming Superfund Center with UNM as he will contribute to the research design and engagement that is culturally correct for Native people and one that incorporates protocol, appropriate cross-culturally communication and respect for community cultural characteristic that will be sustainable into the future.


Dr. Begay has been involved with many collaborative science research projects as Co-PI, including the NSF-funded Cosmic Serpent, that focused on personal and professional development experience for informal educators that seeks to increase participants, capacity to enrich their practice by exploring the mutually beneficial relationship between Indigenous knowledge and western science paradigms.  Another collaborative NSF-funded project involved the Native Universe that developed new and innovative strategies for incorporating Indigenous voice with three science centers.  Significant focus centered on increasing visibility within the native community and prestige of partnering in a national effort to incorporate Indigenous perspectives and community based diversity in public informal science education.

Professional Memberships

  • VP for the Indigenous Education Institute, Friday Harbor, Washington
  • Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC)
  • National Indian Education Association (NIEA)
  • World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC)
  • Navajo Nation Human Research Review Board