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Arizona

Q&A: Candice Rupprecht


Meet Candice

Learn how she's working with the Conservancy to bring water education into Arizona classrooms.

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Candice Rupprecht is a program director for the University of Arizona, which encompasses Arizona Project WET, a water education program that helps students connect the dots from our natural resources to the faucet. Her primary role is strengthening the partnership between Arizona Project WET and The Nature Conservancy. She also manages in-class support for the teachers through two community coordinators and the nature preserve water investigations, a scientific element of the program that challenges students to do their own, real science!

Nature.org sat down with Candice to find out how Arizona Project WET motivated her to change her career path and why she thinks the program is so successful.
“The most important thing people should know about their water is where it comes from because when you know you care.

-Candice Rupprecht, Arizona Project WET

Nature.org:

Your career path changed after doing a Project WET fellowship at the University of Arizona. Fill us in.

Candice Rupprecht:

That’s right. A Project WET fellowship helped me change my career path. I quickly realized after moving to Arizona what a big issue water resources are here. My experience with my Project WET fellowship helped me to realize what a powerful impact water resources education can have on students so I changed from studying earth sciences to hydrology.

Nature.org:

What’s the most important thing people should know about their water?

Candice Rupprecht:

The most important thing people should know about their water is where it comes from because when you know you care.

Nature.org:

Why do you think the water education program is so successful?

Candice Rupprecht:

Our water resources education program is so successful because we integrate STEM learning – science, technology, engineering and math – with hands-on tools that connect students in a real way to their water.

Nature.org:

What do you love most about your job with Arizona Project WET?

Candice Rupprecht:

What I love about my job is connecting kids with nature. Seeing students out at the rivers doing their investigations is inspiring because I know from that day forward they’re going to care about where their water comes from.

Nature.org:

Arizona Project WET students are taking their lessons home and helping their families save water and money too. How does that make you feel?

Candice Rupprecht:

Every day we hear about Arizona Project WET students helping their families save water and money. Education can and should have a real world connection. I can’t think of anything better than helping families and the environment at the same time.

Nature.org:

How would you describe the partnership with the Conservancy?

Candice Rupprecht:

The partnership between Arizona Project WET and The Nature Conservancy is providing our students with the unique opportunity to conduct investigations at beautiful nature preserves. By working together, we are reaching more people. We are building a conservation ethic across the state. And, we are protecting our rivers – a precious commodity.

Nature.org:

What is the biggest misconception about water?

Candice Rupprecht:

The biggest misconception about water is that people don’t understand its true value and what it takes to get that water to our faucets. If we don’t convey the critical importance of this resource to our livelihoods people won’t see the need to conserve.

We’re hearing about success stories every day. Students at one of our schools recently made a presentation to city officials after doing a water audit and they requested money to improve their school. The city officials gave the money and recently they installed low-flow devices in all of the science sinks not only saving the school water, but money as well.


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