Carolyn Fonyo is Director of the Environmental Science Graduate Program and coordinator of the Professional Science Masters program (PSM@ENSC) at Oregon State University (OSU). She is a member of the Humanitarian Engineering, Science and Technology (HEST) leadership committee and teaches one of the core HEST classes, Case Studies in Humanitarian Engineering, Science and Technology. Her training in environmental engineering, resource economics, embodied energy analysis, and systems ecology has provided her with a holistic perspective to build bridges across social and natural sciences and technology. She fosters a stewardship approach in her work as teacher and graduate student mentor, with the overarching goal for us all to become better global citizens. She is also a self-employed licensed massage therapist, which provides an alternative opportunity to work with, and give back to, members of the local community.
With an interdisciplinary background in environmental sciences, economics, and engineering, Dr. Fonyo adopts a systems approach in all aspects of her work. This holistic approach includes humanity within the ecosystem, rather than as an external “receiver” of services from a donor economy. This viewpoint fosters a stewardship approach in her work as teacher and graduate student mentor, with the overarching goal for us all to become better global citizens. One of her favorite paradigms attributed to her mentor, Dr. H.T. Odum, is: “In order to understand the way a system works, one must take the view at the next level”. Such a hierarchical approach allows one to bridge the gap between humanity and nature in projects at any scale, creating solutions that consider all place-based resources, interactions and effects. Previous work in the Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility group at Hewlett Packard and with the federal government at the EPA and NOAA, in addition to an MBA degree from OSU, has given Dr. Fonyo an appreciation of the need for public-private partnerships to create workable and sustainable humanitarian solutions. It is evidenced that community building, public participation, education and training are key elements for the successful implementation of scientific and engineering solutions.
Learn more about the On Sustainability Advisory Board here.