Melissa Kenney

Melissa Kenney - Associate Director for Knowledge Initiatives
Associate Director of Knowledge Initiatives, Institute on the Environment, Twin Cities
  • Agriculture and Environment
  • COVID-19
  • Sustainability


Melissa A. Kenney, Ph.D., is the associate director of knowledge initiatives at the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment.

Kenney directs efforts to build synergy across the Institute on the Environment’s broad scientific research portfolio. To achieve this goal, she collaborates with faculty, community partners, the University of Minnesota’s systemwide campuses, and the Institute on the Environment management team to launch new research efforts in support of the strategic plan.

Kenney is an environmental decision scientist with expertise in multidisciplinary, team-based science approaches to solving sustainability challenges. Her research program broadly addresses how to integrate both scientific knowledge and societal values into policy decision-making under uncertainty. Her research expertise includes conceptual modeling and decision structuring, indicators, systems analysis, multi-attribute methods, and evaluation of decision support to address environmental policy decisions. 

In addition to Kenney’s multidisciplinary scientific research, she has extensive experience in high-level science policy coordination and relationship building between federal and academic institutions.

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Expert Alert

Next-generation Earth systems science report

Melissa Kenney with the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment is available to provide expert comment on the Next Generation Earth Systems Science at the National Science Foundation report.