Photo: Lani Tsinnajinnie

Lani Tsinnajinnie

  • Assistant Professor, School of Architecture & Planning; Community and Regional Planning


Lani Tsinnajinnie is an Assistant Professor in Community and Regional Planning. Lani is Diné and Filipino and was born and raised in New Mexico. Her home community of Na’Neelzhiin lies in the eastern-most area (also known as “Checkerboard area”) of the Navajo Nation. Lani received a B.S. in Environmental Science, a B.A. in Native American Studies, and a Master of Water Resources degree from the University of New Mexico. Following her studies at UNM, she went south to Socorro to receive a PhD in Earth and Environmental Science with a dissertation in Hydrology from New Mexico Tech. Lani’s expertise is on mountain and watershed hydrology. Her doctoral research focuses on groundwater and surface water interactions in semiarid mountainous watersheds and impacts of climate change on mountainous watersheds. She collaborated with the Navajo Nation Water Management Branch for her Master’s and doctoral research. Her doctoral research was primarily funded through a U.S. EPA STAR Fellowship. She also published an article based on her Master’s research on snowpack variability on the Navajo Nation in the Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education. She’s had previous experience collaborating with other tribes and communities in New Mexico in the various environmental work she has done and hopes to further collaborate with more Indigenous communities and New Mexican communities.