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Christine Prouty

Strong Coasts Program Coordinator, University of South Florida
Chapter Member: Central Florida SSN
Areas of Expertise:
  • Environment & Energy
  • Science & Technology

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About Christine

Prouty's research employs system dynamics (SD) modeling which is a computational technique where factors and dynamics are reflected by mathematical equations to simulate the behavior of a system over time. This kind of research makes a particularly unique contribution to the field of applied environmental engineering as it employs a mixed method, community-informed approach (i.e. surveys, interviews, and participatory observations, water quality analysis, and process-based mass balance analysis) to populate the SD models and evaluate their simulated behavior.

She uses these methods to perform interdisciplinary work that investigates the complex interactions between human, engineered, and environmental systems, the benefits of stakeholder involvement at all phases of the project's life cycle, the water-energy-food-systems nexus, the environmental impacts of tourist development, and the appropriate context into which environmental engineering technologies should be installed.

Christine's dissertation research and various academic activities have provided her the opportunity to work with communities, universities, utilities, and NGOs in Barbados, Belize, and Uganda.


How Policymakers Can Use Community Engagement to Address Complex Problems

  • Christine Prouty


"Understanding Children's Perspectives on Water Resources in Interdisciplinary Research" (with Paola A. Gonzalez, Rebecca K. Zarger, and C. Ann Vitous). Bodies, Life, Death, & Belonging 41, no. 1 (2019): 32-37.

Discusses the process of integrating children's perspectives into interdisciplinary research on water resources through the use of a method called "picture voice," where children create drawings to share their experiences. Focuses on research conducted in southern Belize and how this approach can be useful for developing educational activities for school settings to share research results of interdisciplinary environmental research projects. Suggests greater attention be given to children's knowledge by anthropologists and their natural and engineering sciences colleagues to expand curricula in a way that shifts attention to local ecology and children's environmental knowledge and practices.

"Socio-technical Strategies and Behavior Change to Increase the Adoption and Sustainability of Wastewater Resource Recovery Systems" (with Shima Mohebbi and Qiong Zhang). Water Research 137 (2018): 107-119.

Aims to understand the relationships between factors that influence the adoption and sustainability of wastewater-based resource recovery systems to inform technology implementation strategies. Presents a theory-informed, community-influenced system dynamics model to provide decision makers with an adaptable tool that simulates system-level responses to the strategies that are developed for the coastal town of Placencia, Belize.

"Rapid Assessment Framework for Modeling Stakeholder Involvement in Infrastructure Development" (with Eric S. Koeing, E. Christian Wells, Rebecca K. Zarger, and Qiong Zhang). Sustainable Cities and Society 29 (2017): 130-138.

Draws on the principles of integrated environmental resources management and sociocultural analyses to develop a framework for rapidly assessing stakeholder involvement in a proposed centralized wastewater project in Placencia, Belize.

"More than Target 6.3: A Systems Approach to Rethinking Sustainable Development Goals in a Resource-Scarce World" (with Qiong Zhang, Julie B. Zimmerman, and James R. Mihelcic). Engineering 2, no. 4 (2016): 481-489.

Uses a systems approach to understand the fundamental dynamics between the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals in order to identify potential synergies, antagonisms, and leverage points for transformational change.

"How Do People's Perceptions of Water Quality Influence the Life Cycle Environmental Impacts of Drinking Water in Uganda?" (with Qiong Zhang). Resources, Conservation, and Recycling 109 (2016): 24-33.

Highlights the need for an alignment in the perceptions of water quality with the actual, measured quality in order (1) to prevent public health outbreaks due to under-treatment, (2) to reduce the consumption of environmental resources as a result of over-treatment, and (3) to conserve household expenditures being used to purchase charcoal for boiling water.