Scott Miller is the Director of the Consortium for Energy, Economics, and the Environment (CE3) at the George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs and oversees the Appalachian Watershed Research Group and applied research projects for the Environmental Studies program.
Miller works with stakeholders to shape and implement programs that elevate and enhance Ohio University's research, serves on numerous local and statewide public and private boards to improve the natural environment of the region and accelerate the deployment of energy technology and acts as a liaison to connect state and federal agencies and local stakeholders to the University's resources to improve the quality of life of all Ohioans.
Formed in 2005, CE3 is a hallmark of the Voinovich School, putting the energy and environmental expertise at Ohio University to work through projects, research, teaching and learning. The first consortium of its kind in Ohio, CE3 is a unique partnership between the Voinovich School, the Russ College of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences and works with numerous other entities at the University. Using a multidisciplinary approach, CE3 bridges the gap between scientists and policymakers, helping to explain the real-world impacts of proposed policies on future energy availability and the environment. A trusted resource within the region, CE3 provides nonpartisan research and analysis to support decision-making related to energy independence, economic growth, and environmental sustainability on the regional, state, and national levels.
As the director, Miller acts as a facilitator and collaborator between all three dimensions of the consortium.
“The thing that makes my work unique is that it is very applied, so I don’t do fundamental research. I don’t work in a laboratory and mix chemicals on a bench, or dream new dreams. As a team we try to take proven science and apply it and put it to work in the real world, so that we get to see how those ideas and that work change people’s lives,” he says. “Every day is something a little bit different and we are constantly looking for projects that blend a lot of different interests and foci. We are interested in researching the big, hairy, audacious things that everyone wants to know the answer to - like climate change, ecosystem restoration, brownfield remediation and shale, for example.”
One such hot topic in Ohio is shale development and mining. In 2013, Miller worked with the Voinovich School to create and distribute the Ohio Shale Development Community Impact Survey. Together, they distributed more than 500 surveys to local elected officials across 17 counties experiencing the majority of shale activity and development in Ohio. This survey received a 42 percent response rate and focused on population, housing, public safety, infrastructure, environment, local employment, area business activity and economic development.
“Shale is transforming eastern Ohio in large and subtle ways,” Miller says. “Large-scale, major industrial activity is coming into eastern Ohio and dropping billions, literally billions of dollars into these communities.”
Currently, Miller is working with the Sugar Bush Foundation on the Appalachian Zero Waste Initiative, a collaborative project with area communities to build local wealth and environmental health by increasing waste diversion and supporting the development of a zero waste economy.
He is also focusing on revitalizing recycling rates in Appalachian regions in Ohio, starting with Athens County, which was the first county in the state to develop a recycling program, although it has since languished to one of the lowest rates in the state.
In addition, Miller and his team are collaborating to educate students, faculty and staff at the University on how to hold “green events” and “zero waste events.” As part of this effort, Miller and his team developed a “Zero Waste Commencement” for the 2014 ceremonies –- one of the first zero waste commencements in the nation. The effort also involved utilizing the University’s in-vessel composting facility – the largest one on any U.S. college campus.