Dr. Natalie Kruse Daniels, professor of environmental studies and director of the Master of Science in Environmental Studies program at Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, has been appointed to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s Scientific Advisory Council where she will help advise Yost on how to best safeguard Ohio’s natural resources.
Kruse Daniels was nominated to the council by Joseph Shields, Ohio University’s Vice President for Research and Creative Activity, and will serve through at least 2022.
The new council comprises 12 faculty from universities across the state, primarily in environmental fields. It will advise Yost’s office on environmental litigation, regulation and policy making.
“This is not a blue-ribbon committee set up to make people feel good about the environment,” Yost said in a press 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.”
Yost created the council to help anticipate environmental problems and create solutions before those problems arise. Rarely do environmental scientists meet with lawyers and policymakers before a crisis occurs, and Yost hopes to flip that narrative by bringing together experts preemptively, his office noted in the release.
“It’s a really neat mix of people,” Kruse Daniels said. “Right now, we're working together to decide what are the key issues to address. Our role is to answer questions and to guide the issues Attorney General Yost should have on his radar.”
Some of those issues include harmful algal blooms, PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl substances, or man-made industrial chemicals), C8 contamination in drinking water and the impacts of mining on Ohio waterways.
“The intersection between science and policy is an exciting place to be,” Kruse Daniels said. “So much of what the Voinovich School is about is how data and science and information influence smart policy, so it’s really exciting to work with an attorney general who is curious and who cares about the information.”