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Laura Frye-Levine

Research Scientist

Laura Frye-Levine, a social scientist with a multidisciplinary background, holds PhDs in Sociology and Environmental Studies from University of Wisconsin-Madison. She brings expertise from working in the areas of sustainable urban metabolism, rural development, and environmental media to her role as MCSC Impact Fellow.

Most recently, Laura has been serving as a Postdoctoral Associate in the Program in Science, Technology and Society (STS) at MIT, where she worked on a monograph investigating the translation of ecological values into the policy process. Her academic research explores the tensions and opportunities presented by interdisciplinary approaches to environmental sustainability.

Laura holds degrees in geoscience, environmental science, environmental studies, and sociology. Prior to entering academia, she spent several years in sustainable community development, building skills in cross-cultural communication, stakeholder engagement, and on-the-ground conservation in projects in Southeast Alaska and Honduras. At the conclusion of her master’s degree in environmental science at the Yale School of the Environment, Laura fundraised to create a documentary film, which allowed peasant Honduran coffee growers to communicate their conservation story directly to an international audience. She then served for three years as Director of Research for a small, architecturally-driven urban sustainability organization engaged in solar energy, net-zero architecture, and sustainable urbanism. With a multi-disciplinary and multi-national team, the Center for Sustainable Cities (CSC) developed “multiple-alternative scenario building,” an innovative tool for facilitating equitable engagement among community stakeholders. As a capstone to her work at the CSC, she published a manuscript outlining design science as a framework for environmental policy that could supersede policy mechanisms relying on efficiency criteria alone.

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