Kelly Stefanski

Environmental Scientist/Water Engineer

Kelly is a biologist (University of South Florida) and Civil and Environmental Engineer (Cornell University). Her academic work examines the relationship between human and environmental health and the integration of systems engineering, socio-economics, ecology and public policy issues posed by the need to manage water, land, air and human resources, as well as environmental remediation efforts. 

She is a water engineer with experience in the private, public and nonprofit sector. These experiences include flood mitigation and resiliency with FEMA, NYC’s clean drinking water with EPA, implementing gravity fed water treatment plants in international contexts with AguaClara Reach, ecosystem restoration projects, city planning, community engagement and environmental compliance.

Kelly Stefanski approaches engineering through the lens of healing, nurturing and relationship building, softening its rigid tools, where whole ecosystem (human and environment) health is prioritized. Her work examines our relationship with nature, seeing ourselves as part of nature instead of separate from or superior to and viewing the earth as a living system. She has a multidisciplinary approach to teaching that encourages collaboration not just exclusively across academic disciplines, but also involving community members in the design process and working with artists to convey technical messages through visual language that is inclusive. She invites her students to explore the discomfort of the unknown and present reality and to abandon the idea of a solution as part of the process of working toward creating something new.  In addition to her professional work, Kelly is also a photographer and avid forager and cook.


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