Cara Lynn McHardy
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Only visible to members
Antwerp, Belgium
Member ID 1986
Member since Jul 02, 2019
Status Active


Recent MSc. IE graduate with 10+ years of prior professional experience


The effective communication of ecologically-sound responses to complex environmental issues has been my career-long pursuit. Whether it be in academic research or consulting, I look forward to practicing the technical skills and policy knowledge recently achieved in a 2019 Master of Science in Industrial Ecology.

I am not a typical recent graduate, as I spent years gaining practical experience before pursuing further studies. I have participated in both on-the-ground and administrative work for several environmental NGOs. After working as a sustainability educator and permaculture consultant in the USA, the desire to understand how people create sustainable solutions to local issues in other cultures led me on a journey around the world. Time spent sailing in a small boat through the Pacific islands and Asia afforded me a glimpse of the devastating impacts our consumptive lifestyles are wreaking on even the most remote ocean regions. I was inspired to seek an educational path which would allow me to become an expert in reducing anthropogenic environmental impacts. My MSc. study involved a broad spectrum of courses including environmental politics, climate change mitigation, GIS, biodiversity analysis and ecotoxicology as well as LCA, MFA, EE-IOA, and environmental impact quantification (LCIA, ERA). My thesis is focused on mismanaged plastic waste and its impacts in the marine environment.

Through teaching, volunteering, off-the-beaten-path travel and academic study, I have learned that principled solutions tailored to local contexts are needed in order to support our growing human population while staying within planetary boundaries. I use my skills in precise scientific research and quantitative reasoning to frame issues, while a broad perspective and effective communication contribute to innovative and collaborative output.

Research Interests

Quantifying mismanaged plastic waste in lifecycle impact assessment
GIS spatially-explicit impact assessment
Climate change mitigation and adaptation
Circular economy
Download CV