I have Masters’ degrees in both Industrial Engineering and Operations Research. After working in industry for many years as an engineer, I redefined my role and redirected my focus, energy and time to nature, human-nature relationships, sustainable living, resilient systems and socio-ecological systems.
I am an activist collaborating with several environmental groups in Turkey concerned about nuclear energy and genetically modified organisms. I am also a photographer, having contributed to several photography exhibitions that use images to create awareness about environmental problems. Currently I design and run educational programs for children, youth and adults to create awareness about environmental problems, reconnecting to nature, sustainable living and community building.
In April 2013, Aysen was awarded the Fox Fellowship in 2013 by the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University, supporting one academic year of research. Her research is on the cumulative impact of reduced water flow, which is a product of multiple Run-of-River type hydropower projects located consecutively along a river system, on the sustainability of environment and social-ecological systems. As part of her research, she plans to go back Turkey for fieldwork. After completion of her PhD, she plans to teach and write while continuing her research on political ecology of human-nature systems.
Aysen was also awarded the Prof. Elinor Ostrom International Fellowship on Practice and Policy on Commons in April 2013 which provided her the opportunity to attend the 14th Global Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) held at Mount Fuji, Japan. [Updated December 2013]