(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Reinforcing his commitment to taking a scientific approach to environmental protection, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost today announced the formation of a Scientific Advisory Council to serve as a sounding board regarding the best ways to preserve and safeguard Ohio’s natural resources.
“This is not a blue-ribbon committee set up to make people feel good about the environment,” the attorney general said. “I take my duty to protect Ohio’s natural resources seriously, and the scientists we’ve enlisted to share their expertise and counsel will help me accomplish this effectively and smartly.”
Environmental scientists often make incredible discoveries relating to environmental impact, but rarely do those experts join lawyers and policymakers in the same room to discuss these challenges before a crisis or an issue arises. AG Yost wants to flip this narrative by building a team that anticipates problems and proposes solutions before any negative environmental effects play out.
The 12-member council will meet with the attorney general and the leaders of his Environmental Protection Section to discuss the latest environmental issues and to act as a sounding board for AGO decision-making solutions and opportunities.
The subject-matter experts, who represent nine universities across the state, are among the leading professionals in their fields and some of the best scientific and environmentally conscious minds in Ohio.
Co-chairing the group will be Dr. Christopher Winslow, director of Ohio State University’s Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab, and Dr. Jon Sprague, director of science and research for the Attorney General’s Office.
“Many of the members of this council are active in the field, conducting vital research on important environmental issues,” Winslow said. “I applaud Attorney General Yost for bringing these scientists together and for his commitment to using science to inform environmental policy decisions.”
Besides Winslow and Sprague, members of the Scientific Advisory Council are:
- Jonathan Adler, director of and a professor in the Burke Center for Environmental Law at the Case Western University School of Law. Adler teaches courses in environmental, administrative and constitutional law.
- Abinash Agrawal, a professor of earth and environmental sciences at Wright State University. Agrawal’s research focuses on the abiotic and microbial transformations of environmental pollutants mediated by metals, minerals and microbes.
- Christopher Blackwood, a professor of biological sciences at Kent State University and co-director of Kent State’s Environmental Science and Design Research Initiative. Blackwood’s broad expertise includes the areas of ecology, microbiology and soil science.
- Teresa Cutright, a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Akron. The chemical engineering expert specializes in environmental remediation techniques.
- Natalie Kruse-Daniels, an assistant professor of environmental studies at Ohio University. Kruse-Daniels, who directs the university’s Environmental Studies Program, has significant expertise in water quality and watershed analysis, with much of her work focused on acid mine drainage, environmental studies, groundwater modeling, industrial water treatment and water remediation.
- Tim Davis, a professor at Bowling Green State University. Davis has studied the health of freshwaters with a focus on toxic harmful algal blooms in large lakes, rivers and reservoirs worldwide.
- Emanuela Gionfriddo, an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Toledo. Gionfriddo, an environmental analytical chemist, specializes in sample preparation, analytical separations, mass spectrometry, food analysis and environmental analytical chemistry.
- Roman Lanno, an associate professor of environmental health sciences at the Ohio State University (OSU). Lanno primarily focuses on applied and theoretical aspects of determining the bioavailability of chemicals in the environment, particularly in soil systems.
- Linda Weavers, a professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering at OSU. Weavers, co-director of the Ohio Water Resources, is a licensed professional engineer and a board-certified environmental engineer with expertise in developing water and hazardous waste treatment technologies, promoting innovation in the water industry, and determining the fate of emerging contaminants in water systems.
- Julie Wolin, an associate professor of environmental science at Cleveland State University. Wolin’s interests and publications have centered on understanding how human activities alter freshwater ecosystems.