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Stephanie Kelly

Graduate Student | Departments of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning and Marine, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences | North Carolina State University

2021 – 2022 Global Change Fellow

Statement of purpose:

Growing up in North Carolina I was introduced to the wonders of nature through play and the exploration of its diverse ecoregions. As I grew, I watched as the land, its resources and culture were rapidly transformed. Bearing witness to this rapid urbanization, coupled with my love of art and the environment, fueled my decision to become a landscape architect. It ignited my passion for conservation and sustainability in the built environment, and volunteerism to promote those ideals.

In 2014, I married and moved to Wilmington. Every year since moving to the coast, I have experienced extreme weather associated with climate change. This has included severe rain events, nuisance flooding attributed to sea level rise, and slow tracking wet hurricanes like Matthew, Florence, and Dorian. Living with the impacts of climate change and watching the continued pace of urbanization throughout the state, sparked an urgency to take greater action in my personal and professional domains. A few years ago, I learned about new program opportunities at NC State and decided the time was ripe to return school and reorient my career path. Currently, I am pursuing a Post-Professional Master of Landscape Architecture, a Master of Climate Change and Society, and a graduate certificate in Disaster Resilient Policy, Engineering and Design.

Description of research:

My research focuses on an interdisciplinary approach to ecosystem service and resilient site design strategies, alongside broader planning and policy initiatives. This is rooted in a high-level understanding of climate change dynamics and literacy. I am especially interested in how site design and policy inform one another, along rapidly developing coastlines. I am in the process of planning an exploratory research case study tour abroad in Europe for the summer of 2022, where I will be looking at innovative sustainable development projects, policy initiatives, and partnerships within the EU. To gain applied experience, I will be taking the interdisciplinary Coastal Dynamics Design studio offered through the Department of Landscape Architecture, and I will identify and carry out a NC coastal community resilience capstone project.

Contact Information:


Faculty Advisor:

Dr. Gavin Smith (Department of Landscape Architecture, NCSU)

Meet Stephanie:

Listen to a podcast episode developed by Stephanie: