Dr. Janet Stephenson – Energy and Agriculture – a New Zealand perspective
Janet has been Director of the Centre for Sustainability since February 2011. Her academic background is in sociology, planning and human geography. She first joined the Centre as a Senior Research Fellow at the end of 2008, having previously taught in the Geography Department at Otago University from 2001-2008. Prior to this, she worked as a professional planner, mainly in the Far North of New Zealand. Her research interests include indigenous resource management; the interconnections between people and their local environments; and the role of individuals and communities in the transition to a sustainable energy future. She is the Principal Investigator in the Energy Cultures research programme. Energy Cultures is a 4 year research project to develop the knowledge and tools to improve energy savings and increase competitiveness through energy efficiency. It looks at where our technologies, practices and norms lock us in to certain patterns of (often inefficient) energy use and how we can ‘unlock’ these patterns. Janet is a trustee of the National Energy Research Institute and on the steering committee of the Otago Energy Research Centre.