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Air Researchers

Sarah Davis, Ph.D. (Biology, West Virginia University)


Davis, an ecosystem ecologist with expertise in energy bioscience, biogeochemistry and eco-physiology, is an assistant professor of environmental studies. Her research analyzes greenhouse gas fluxes of managed landscapes, the potential for sustainable bioenergy development, and carbon sequestration. Active research projects include (i) an experiment testing Agave spp., a group of obligate CAM plants, as bioenergy feedstocks in semi-arid regions, (ii) a study of the environmental and economic viability of advanced cellulosic bioenergy on abandoned agricultural land, (iii) development of a model for long-term carbon sequestration in forests that incorporate age-related physiological changes and responses to climate change, and (iv) a global analysis of bioenergy resources. Davis teaches graduate courses in ecology and environmental issues and bioenergy systems.

Areas of Research: Energy, Land, Policy, Air, Data

Valerie Young, Ph.D. (Chemical Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University)


Young is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. She is the faculty advisor for the Ohio University chapter of Omega Chi Epsilon (the chemical engineering honor society) and for the Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Organization. Young’s research interests include finding a better understanding of the chemistry of the troposphere in North America; the way human activities affect this chemistry; and the effects of atmospheric chemistry on human endeavors. She has been involved in major regional ozone investigations such as the Southern Oxidant Study, as well as studying chemistry in remote areas such as northern Michigan, Saskatchewan and the Arctic.

Areas of Research: Air, Data

Michael Zimmer, J.D. (University of Baltimore School of Law)


In his more than 35 years of legal service, Michael Zimmer has advised domestic and international energy companies, utilities, manufacturing companies and state and local governments regarding a range of energy issues related to fuels, financing, efficiency, corporate sustainability, product analysis, renewable energy project development , microgrids, and more. Mr. Zimmer also has extensive experience working with business groups on understanding changes in energy and environmental policies and regulations, capital formation and project financing, rate design and incentives,  and advanced energy technology issues. He is regularly invited to testify before congressional committees, federal departments and agencies, and state commissions and agencies on electric energy, renewable energy, natural gas and energy tax proposals. He has served on prestigious committees, advisory boards or Boards of Directors for several energy and clean tech companies and national trade groups. His recent work has focused on energy and environmental issues in Ohio, Michigan, California, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Rhode Island for the manufacturing, buildings and commercial sectors. He holds a J.D. from University of Baltimore School of Law. For additional detail, click here.

Areas of Research: Air, Water, Energy, Policy, Advanced Energy Technologies, Microgrids, Industrial Energy

Kevin Crist, Ph.D. (Chemical Engineering, University of Iowa)


Crist is a professor of chemical engineering and a faculty fellow at the Voinovich School. He is also director of the Air Quality Center at the Institute for Sustainable Energy & the Environment, which supports and coordinates research, educational programs and community outreach in order to meet the challenges of protecting environmental quality and jobs in the Ohio River Valley Region. Crist’s research interests include: urban- and regional-scale air-quality monitoring; emission inventory assessments; and photochemical, dispersion, and pesticide emission modeling.

Areas of Research: Air, Energy, Data, Shale, Pesticides

Scott Miller, M.S. (Environmental Studies, Ohio University)


Miller is associate dean of industry partnerships at the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. Previously with the Voinovich School, he worked with many stakeholders to shape and implement programs to elevate and enhance Ohio University’s research. Miller was named a 2010 National Energy Executive with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado; was board chair for the University Clean Energy Alliance of Ohio; and is the principle program manager for the State of Ohio’s Climate Change Action Plan in partnership with The Ohio State University.

Areas of Research: Energy, Land, Water, Policy, Air, Data, Shale