Amber Hughes

Instructional Specialist

Aqua STEM

Photo of Amber Hughes
  • UA Maricopa Cooperative Extension
    4341 E. Broadway Rd.
    Phoenix, Arizona 85041

I fell in love with nature and the environment pretty much as early as I can recall. Growing up near the shores of Lake Michigan, it is hard not to. We had farming, wetlands, creeks, and lakes at are fingertips to run and play in. Moving to Phoenix Arizona from Chicago Illinois was an enormous change. A change in culture, environment and weather. It was a shock that took me a long time to appreciate. When I was a master’s student at ASU in the Plant Biology and Environmental Resources program, I got the opportunity to do field research in Superior Arizona. Here is where my love and appreciation for the Sonoran Desert began! I now love the desert and all it has to offer. It was this appreciation that drove me into teaching Biology and Environmental Science for many years in elementary school, middle school and high school. I wanted to teach children to be “stewards of the planet” and to understand the Sonoran Desert!

Throughout my years as a teacher, I became involved in recycling programs, urban organic gardening, and running a student club called “Students for a Sustainable Planet” or “SoS Planet” for short. We connected with the organic gardening club and healthy choices program with Dr. Art Mullen and even sent Sustainability Officers to the Mayors office to work with city recycling, Phoenix’s Complete Streets and outreach and education programs for kids and schools!

Throughout my years of teaching, I became interested in Water Education and AZ Project WET. I took their professional development courses and used their curriculum to help me teach my students about water in Arizona so when I saw an open position, I took the opportunity to apply and was delighted to be offered the position as Educational Outreach Coordinator for their newest Groundwater Education program. I am pleased and delighted to be here and am excited for the next chapter!