Sandra Hurlbut

Program Coordinator

Aqua STEM

Photo of Sandra Hurlbut

I worked my way through college as a chemist for an “old school” metal finishing plant. At the time, the EPA was just developing regulations to manage hazardous waste and the plant wasn’t close to meeting any of the new requirements. Past practices of illegally diluting and dumping toxic wastes down the sewer were still common.

After a scary acid spill incident in the neighborhood, I realized that if this was happening in my backyard, it was probably happening in backyards all across the country. At that moment, I knew that part of my life purpose was taking care of the environment. I stepped up and brought the plant into compliance and formalized their waste management program. After finishing my degree in Biology-Chemistry, I went on to get a Master’s in Energy & Environmental Studies from Boston University and another Master’s in Public Affairs from UMass – Boston. I put my education to work as a medical researcher for the Tufts - New England Medical Center; as an Environmental Analyst at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection; and, more recently, as an interpretive Park Ranger for City, County, State and National Parks.

My passion for water conservation was reawakened while working for the Water Wise program at the University of Arizona in Cochise County. It felt great to make a difference every day for several communities in the area.

Degrees

  • B.S. Biology & Chemistry, Elmira College
  • M.A. Energy & Environmental Studies, Boston University
  • M.S. Public Affairs, University of Massachusetts-Boston