Atherton Phleger

Assistant Sustainability Scientist

University of Oklahoma

Responsibilities at SC CSC:

Atherton Phleger is responsible for managing the South Central CSC’s tribal engagement projects in New Mexico. Atherton collaborates with tribal stakeholders to develop and deliver capacity-building trainings and other educational workshops, leverages the resources of the University to provide technical assistance and relevant data to tribes in their pursuit of climate vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning, and serves as a representative of the CSC at workshops, conferences, and meetings.


Prior to joining the South Central CSC, Atherton worked for a native-owned consultancy and nonprofit, where typical projects included creating culturally responsive science curriculum, using collaborative approaches to design tribal hydraulic fracturing regulations, determining new methods for leveraging tribal resources and legislation, and finding funding opportunities for tribal projects. In this role, Atherton successfully submitted grants to fund a number of community-led projects in New Mexico tribal communities. He also laid the research groundwork for intertribal organizations concerned with water rights, climate change, and energy resources. Atherton graduated as Valedictorian of the English department at the University of Colorado, a member of the honors society Phi Beta Kappa, and has won awards in Western American Writing, Poetry, and Creative Nonfiction.