Kerry Schwartz

Director, Arizona Project WET

Kerry Schwartz Portrait Photo

My passion for the wonders of this earth began at an early age. On my first trip west, as an 11 year old camper from Maryland, I was awestruck by the wide open western landscape, so full of colors other than green!
It’s no wonder then that I wound up here at the University of Arizona (UA) for a Master’s degree focused on Geohydrology after receiving a BS in Geology from James Madison University in Virginia. Eight years as an environmental consultant in both Arizona and Washington States provided me with a chance to apply my knowledge to solving real-world environmental problems like cleaning up pollution sites, monitoring surface water during prolonged well pumping, establishing base conditions for an aquifer protection permit and finding groundwater for people from dairymen to miners.
With a desire to proactively address societal needs, I took the opportunity to teach environmental education in the Tucson afterschool program. Those kids at Old Pasqua taught me so much! After one year, the Arizona Project WET (APW) Coordinator position opened up at the UA’s Water Resources Research Center (WRRC). It was my dream job! And since 2000, I’ve been fulfilling my dream! I was given the freedom by the UA to build a statewide, nationally recognized program. I’ve been rewarded by promotion to a faculty position with Arizona Cooperative Extension, the Soil, Water & Environmental Science Department and the WRRC as the APW Director. My motivation to grow APW to meet evolving needs in education is derived from the people across the state that I have the privilege to work with.