Visiting Research Scholar
Sharon A. Jones (Sharon) is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Lafayette College in Easton, PA, and the former chair of Lafayette’s Bachelor of Arts in Engineering Program. She has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Columbia University and a M.E. from the University of Florida. She is also a licensed professional engineer in several states. Sharon received her Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon’s Engineering and Public Policy Program in 1996. Her doctoral work focused on methods to evaluate the value of climate change information for decision makers, in particular salmon managers in the Pacific Northwest. Sharon teaches courses on environmental management systems, sustainable engineering, engineering and public policy, and geographical information systems. She is also actively involved with community based learning and research activities, and conducts pedagogical research related to engineering diversity. Sharon’s current research focuses on the development and application of decision-making methods to macro-level environmental and infrastructure issues. Topics have ranged from industrial manufacturing facilities to water infrastructure for developing economies. Her main STEP project in 07-08 involves using LCA to evaluate the sustainability of existing rural water and sanitation infrastructure within a geographical information systems framework that can be communicated across a broad audience. This STEP project is part of a larger effort to develop ways to use the sustainability of critical infrastructure systems as an indicator of a community’s overall sustainability. She is also working on a recently funded NSF project titled Integrating Agent-based Modeling (ABM) and Life Cycle Analyses (LCA) to Enhance Environmental Policy Making. This collaborative project builds on a previous effort to integrate game theory and LCA to better capture a full range of dynamic, sustainability factors when setting environmental policy. Sharon hopes to spend part of the STEP year further developing these methods in terms of the water infrastructure sector.