Karin Wadsack

Karin Wadsack Project Director, ISES
Northern Arizona University
Energy Policy; Energy Education; Renewable Energy Grid Integration

Karin Wadsack
Project Director, Institute for Sustainable Energy Solutions and technical expert, Tribal Clean Energy Resource Center
Institute for Sustainable Energy Solutions

Subject-Matter Expertise:

• Utility-scale renewable energy grid integration
• Energy education – public, K-12, and policymaker
• State, tribal and federal energy policy


Karin Wadsack serves as project director for NAU’s Institute of Sustainable Energy Solutions, managing a number of research and outreach initiatives. Her primary focus is on renewable energy policy analysis and development. She leads NAU’s engagement in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Four Corners Wind Deployment Resource Center, and she is also a technical expert for Northern Arizona University’s Tribal Clean Energy Resource Center. Previous projects she led include the NAU Collegiate Wind Competition Team and the Arizona Wind for Schools initiative. For that project, she was recognized in 2012 by the U.S. Department of Energy as Young Wind Advocate of the Year. She has more than 10 years of experience in renewable energy, climate change and environmental policy as well as international development, business and project management.

Outside the university, she serves as a volunteer Spanish language translator (verbal and written) for the City of Flagstaff’s environmental program, served on the board of the regional Sustainable Economic Development Initiative, and was a water commissioner for the city of Flagstaff. She has also served her community as: a member of the Technical Advisory Committee on wildlife monitoring for Perrin Ranch wind energy facility; a member of the stakeholder group that drafted the Energy Element for the Coconino County Comprehensive Plan; the chair of the Energy Project Team for SEDI; a member of the stakeholder group that drafted the Rainwater Harvesting ordinance for the City of Flagstaff; an organizer for the Water Braiding Conference on the convergence of western and Hopi science on water issues in 2009; an organizer for the Landscape Conservation Lecture Series at NAU in 2008.

Previously, Karin taught construction and managed rainwater harvesting projects as a United States Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia and also worked in system design for a solar and wind installation company in Ohio.

Research / Publications (Selection):

Wadsack, K, A. Kipple, A. Hoseyni, T. Acker, 2013. Valuation of Distributed Wind Systems.

Wadsack, K., K. Ordean, and C. Corbinmeyer. 2012. Arizona Wind and Solar Development Status Report.

Wadsack, K. and W. Auberle. 2011. Wind for Schools: A Cornerstone for Sustainable Energy Education.

Wadsack, K., W. Auberle, and C. Schlinger, 2011. Ground Zero for Wind Energy Development Policy: The Navajo County, Arizona Experience.

Wadsack, K. and T. Acker. 2010. Modeling Economic and Environmental Impacts of Wind Development in Arizona.

Wadsack, K. and T. Acker. 2010. Policy Solutions for Increasing Economic Impacts of Wind Development in Arizona.

Wadsack, K, 2009. Arizona Wind Development Status Report.

Awards / Recognitions:
• U.S. Department of Energy WindPowering America – Outstanding Young Wind Advocate


B.A. Government, College of William and Mary
M.M.C.. Mass Communications, Arizona State University
M.S. Environmental Sciences and Policy, Northern Arizona University