Karin Wadsack

Karin Wadsack

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, including Arizona Wind for Schools. The project, which is supported by the United States Department of Energy, allows states to support K-12 schools and community colleges with installing wind turbines and implementing wind energy curriculum. She is also a project director for Northern Arizona University’s Tribal Clean Energy Resource Center. 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, Karin works as a consulting scientist on energy projects for engineering firm Pinyon Environmental. She also serves on the board of the regional Sustainable Economic Development Initiative and is 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; and 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 and publications (Selection)

Awards and recognitions

  • U.S. Department of Energy WindPowering America – Outstanding Young Wind Advocate

Special groups and committees

  • Arizona Wind for Schools
  • Tribal Clean Energy Research Center
  • Pinyon Environmental
  • Sustainable Economic Development Initiative
  • City of Flagstaff Water Commission


  • 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

Web pages