Benyus graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers University with degrees in natural resource management and English literature/writing. Benyus teaches interpretive writing, lectures at the University of Montana, and works towards restoring and protecting wild lands. She serves on a number of land use committees in her rural county, and is president of Living Education, a nonprofit dedicated to place-based living and learning. Benyus lives in Stevensville, Montana.
Work in biomimicry
Benyus has authored six books on biomimicry, including Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. In this book she develops the basic thesis that human beings should consciously emulate nature's genius in their designs.
In 1998, Benyus co-founded the Biomimicry Guild with Dr. Dayna Baumeister, the Innovation Consultancy, which helps innovators learn from and emulate natural models in order to design sustainable products, processes, and policies that create conditions conducive to life. She is also President of The Biomimicry Institute, a non-profit organization whose mission is to naturalize biomimicry in the culture by promoting the transfer of ideas, designs, and strategies from biology to sustainable human systems design.
In 2006, Benyus co-founded a non-profit organization which launched AskNature.org in 2008. In 2010, Benyus, Dayna Baumeister, Chris Allen, Bryony Schwan and their team combined the non-profit and profit parts into Biomimicry 3.8.
- Biomimicry : Innovation Inspired by Nature by Janine M. Benyus, Sept. 1, 1997, (ISBN 0-06-053322-6)
- Beastly Behaviors: A Zoo Lover's Companion by Janine M. Benyus and Juan Carlos Barbery (1990-now WL VA) (Oct 1993) (ISBN 0-201-62482-6)
- Northwoods Wildlife: A Watcher's Guide to Habitats by Janine M. Benyus (Jul 1989) (ISBN 1-55971-003-9)
- The Secret Language & Remarkable Behavior of Animals by Janine M. Benyus and Juan Carlos Barberis (Jan 10, 1998) (ISBN 1-57912-036-9)
- The Field Guide to Wildlife Habitats of the Eastern United States by Janine M. Benyus (Jun 15, 1989) (ISBN 0-671-65908-1)
- Wildlife in the upper Great Lakes Region a Community Profile (SuDoc A 13.78:NC-301) by Janine M. Benyus (1992)
- Christmas Tree Pest Manual by Janine M Benyus (Jan 1, 1983)
Awards and honors
- Women of Discovery Award (2006), WINGS WorldQuest
- Rachel Carson Environmental Ethics Award
- Lud Browman Award for Science Writing
- Science Writing in Society Journalism Award
- Barrows and Heinz Distinguished Lectureships
- Design Futures Council Senior Fellow
- The 17th Annual Heinz Award with special focus on the environment 
- Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired By Nature - Biomimicry 3.8 Retrieved 2017-07-27.
- "Founders :: Biomimicry 3.8". janinebenyus.com. Archived from the original on 2012-02-09. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
- "The Heinz Awards: Janine Benyus". The Heinz Awards. The Heinz Awards. Retrieved August 26, 2016.