Cassandra E. Kuyvenhoven – Feature Profile

We introduce you to:

Cassandra E. Kuyvenhoven, Masters Candidate, Department of Sociology, Queen’s University

I was born and raised in Canada. I earned my HBA at McGill University. I am currently completing my Masters degree in Sociology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. More information can be found at: https://ckuyvenhoven.wordpress.com.

Dissertation: Overflow: Exploring University Waste Management Best Practices

How did you become interested in environmental sociology?

Waste management practices have been studied in a number of settings; for example, primary schools, municipalities, construction sites, and hospitals. Universities, as waste producers and managers, have been under-researched.

Walking in the student village on an evening before municipal waste collection, I was overwhelmed by the massive amount of waste being produced by students. Bags upon bags of garbage, recycling bins overflowing and unsorted, and waste debris strewn along the sidewalks. Once you start thinking critically about trash, its all you see.

What are your research interests?

I am interested in science and technology studies, critical and feminist pedagogies, transdisciplinary methods, waste management best practices, citizen science, and knowledge controversies.

What research are you currently working on?

I am currently exploring university waste management practices to: (1) identify and explore different stakeholders’ interests and participation in waste management; (2) explore the diversity of best practices currently employed by universities in Canada; and (3) engage these university stakeholders in discussions about the possibilities and limitations of waste diversion (i.e. the diversion of waste from landfills to recycling and other practices).

What are some of your more interesting findings that you would like to share with us?

My project is still in its early stages, having only begun in the Fall of 2011. I look forward to sharing my research as it evolves. I hope to present at the 2012 CSA conference on university waste practices.

What would you like to pursue with your research in the future?

My dissertation research will focus on municipal solid waste (MSW) best practices in a university setting, but I am keenly interested in organic waste diversion and the implementation of composting facilities on-campus.

What is your favourite place in Canada to spend time?

Back-country Alberta has always had a special place in my heart, having spent many Summers back-packing, canoeing, and horseback riding in the Kananaskis Valley. There is nothing quite like the Rocky Mountains to put things in perspective.

What are your professional affiliations?

I am affiliated with the genera Research Group (gRG), the American Association of Geographers (AAG), and the Canadian Sociological Association (CSA).

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