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SLU Biologist Tapped for EPA Council Role


SLU biologist Jason Knouft, Ph.D., has been appointed to a two-year term on a national advisory board that assists the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a broad range of environmental policy, technology and management issues.

Jason Knouft, Ph.D.

Jason Knouft, Ph.D., will help advise the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on issues related to policy and technology. Photo by Ellen Hutti

Knouft, professor of biology, joins a select group of scientists and experts, who will sit on the EPA’s National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT). Knouft was nominated by the University to serve on the council. The EPA selects roughly 20 members nationwide for the two-year terms.

Knouft will bring his expertise as a water quality researcher to bear as a council member. Knouft and his lab have received multiple grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), USDA and The Nature Conservancy for his work, including a $1.63 million grant from the NSF to inform aquatic ecology research using high-resolution streamflow and water temperature GIS modeling.

In addition to his research, Knouft also teaches courses focused on GIS in biology, advanced ecology and biogeography. He is teaching a new aquatic ecology course this term.

Jason Knouft in the field
Knouft has received a number of grants for his water quality research. Submitted photo

“I think my research on water quality issues and climate change will give me a solid foundation from which to contribute to the council,” Knouft said. “I also expect the experience I gain serving on the council will provide me with new insights I can convey to the students in my courses and my graduate students.”

As part of the appointment, Knouft will travel to Washington, D.C., for council meetings. EPA chief Andrew Wheeler has yet to set the list of topics the 2019 council members will review. Their task will be to provide the EPA with scientifically-based assessments of issues under the EPA’s watch.

Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of more than 13,000 students on campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of nearly 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good.

Story by Amelia Flood, University Marketing and Communications