Betsy Wilkening, Tucson Water Education Coordinator, Arizona Project WET
(520) 621-8673

Betsy Wilkening

Tucson Water Education Coordinator, Arizona Project WET

Meet Betsy:

Betsy Wilkening in Antarctica"As a 5th-generation Arizonan, who has lived in Tucson for most of my life, I realize how precious water is to us. I am attracted to water. I’ll seek out a desert-hiking trail that has the promise of water, ride my bike through puddles, swim laps in a community pool, and surf in California. Recently, I ventured into the world of frozen water in the Arctic, and experienced my first polar plunge above the Arctic Circle off the coast of Greenland.

Besides my affinity for water, I bring a variety of work experience to Arizona Project WET (APW). I received a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arizona, and worked in industry for 13 years. I love sharing my excitement for science so much that I earned a M.Ed. from Northern Arizona University, and taught middle school science and engineering/robotics for 8 years. In Spring 2009, I participated in the PolarTREC program and assisted a group of international researchers during their field campaign in Barrow, Alaska. I experienced where the temperature scales meet up at -40°, for Celsius and Fahrenheit. This expedition hooked me on field research, polar science, and the Polar Regions. I presented in two International Polar Year Science Conferences in Oslo and Montreal, and am a council member of the newly formed Polar Educators International. I explored Nunavut and Greenland as a Grosvenor Teacher Fellow, and experienced Arctic wildlife, culture, and incredible ice.

As an educator, I believe that when students are given the right tools and opportunities, they can accomplish anything. At APW I will bring those tools and opportunities to students, teachers, and community members. We can work together to ensure Arizona continues to use our precious water wisely."

Interviewed June 2015

New! So what do you do when you're not doing Project WET?

I volunteer as a council member and website manager for Polar Educators International (PEI). We formed this organization in 2012 after the Montreal International Polar Year Conference. PEI is a vital international network of educators and researchers aiming to provide a deeper understanding of current polar science. We have over 1,000 members worldwide. To find out more find us on Facebook, and join us at

Interviewed June 2016

Works with:

Become a partner in the Project WET Network:  USA  INTERNATIONAL