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Carli Flynn, Rochester Institute of Technology GIS

Dr. Carli Flynn

Future Faculty Fellow
Food Energy Water Nexus
Sustainable Built Environment


Dr. Carli Flynn conducts research on environmental planning and decision making for urban infrastructure systems, and student conceptualizations of fundamental math and science principles. She teaches courses in sustainability practice, qualitative research methods, and sustainable water systems for both the M.S. and Ph.D. programs. When Dr. Flynn is not busy working at GIS, she enjoys running, biking, weightlifting, and exploring Upstate NY.

Dr. Flynn received her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Syracuse University, her MS degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, and her BS in Biological and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University.


My goal as an instructor is to help my students build the problem solving skills necessary to become lifelong learners. Active learning methods are central to my teaching philosophy. In particular, I have found that problem-based learning methods have the power to craft lasting learning skills. I also use pedagogical elements such as case-based simulation activities and ethical dilemmas to encourage students to view social responsibility as a critical component of their work.


My research investigates social, ecological, and technological factors that influence environmental planning and decision making processes. My research methods have included case studies, surveys, decision making frameworks, and econometric models to investigate how and why U.S. communities adopt green stormwater infrastructure programs. I am also interested in understanding how students understand fundamental elements of sustainable systems design. My work has led to the development of a concept inventory that aims to assess student understanding of fundamental math and science principles related to rate and accumulation processes.