Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has created a scientific advisory council to advise his office on current environmental issues and alert him on potential future issues. The 12-member council is made up of researchers from nine Ohio universities, with expertise ranging from harmful algal blooms to environmental law, and co-chaired by Dr. Chris Winslow, Ohio Sea Grant & Stone Lab director, and Dr. Jon Sprague, the Attorney General’s director of science and research.
“This council includes academics that are actively conducting essential research on important environmental questions,” Winslow said. “I applaud Attorney General Dave Yost for convening these scientists to inform environmental policy decisions.”
The scientific advisory council is tasked with anticipating problems and proposing solutions before negative environmental effects can play out, according to a release from the Attorney General’s office. They will also bring the latest scientific knowledge to the table as the Attorney General and his staff discuss environmental issues, regulations and enforcement.
“This is not a blue-ribbon committee set up to make people feel good about the environment,” Yost said in that same release. “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.”
The advisory council also includes a number of researchers Ohio Sea Grant has worked with in the past, either through its own funding opportunities or through the Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative (HABRI).
“Access to clean drinking water is not a privilege but a fundamental human right,” said Dr. Tim Davis, professor of biological sciences at Bowling Green State University. “I am honored to serve on this committee that will help protect Ohio’s fresh waters and other natural resources.”
Dr. Emanuela Gionfriddo, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at The University of Toledo, agreed.
“It’s a great honor to serve on this council and offer my expertise for the preservation and safeguard of Ohio’s natural resources,” Gionfriddo said. “I hope that the research performed by my research team at the Dr. Nina McClelland Laboratory for Water Chemistry and Environmental Analysis on the characterization of complex environmental samples and analysis of environmental pollutants will provide useful insights to share with the Council.”
The full list of advisory council members includes:
- Christopher Winslow, Director, Ohio Sea Grant & Stone Lab
- Jon Sprague, Director of Science and Research, Ohio Attorney General’s Office
- Jonathan Adler, Director, Burke Center for Environmental Law, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
- Lilit Yeghiazarian, Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering, University of Cincinnati
- Abinash Agrawal, Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Wright State University
- Christopher Blackwood, Professor of Biological Sciences, Kent State University
- Teresa Cutright, Professor of Civil Engineering, The University of Akron
- Natalie Kruse-Daniels, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Ohio University
- Tim Davis, Professor of Biological Sciences, Bowling Green State University
- Emanuela Gionfriddo, Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, The University of Toledo
- Roman Lanno, Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, The Ohio State University
- Linda Weavers, Professor of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering, The Ohio State University
- Julie Wolin, Associate Professor of Environmental Science, Cleveland State University
The Ohio State University’s Ohio Sea Grant College Program is part of NOAA Sea Grant, a network of 34 Sea Grant programs dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of marine and Great Lakes resources. For more information, visit ohioseagrant.osu.edu.