Five Days in EPA’s Office of Research and Development
About the Talk:
The Office of Research & Development (ORD) is the scientific research arm of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The employees in ORD provide the foundation for credible decision-making to safeguard human health and ecosystems from pollutants. Working in ORD provides a great opportunity to collaborate with world-class scientists, give technical assistance to state agencies, and explore new fields of research. For this seminar, I’ll take you a through a week of work, showcasing five projects I’m working on right now in the Materials Management Branch where I live, eat, and breathe everything to do with garbage and landfills! On Day 1, I’m in the lab measuring methane and carbon dioxide production from different waste streams, looking at how diverting food waste away from landfills will alter greenhouse gas production and reduce metal mobility in leachates. On Day 2, I am tracking Hot Landfills with USGS satellites, remotely monitoring surface temperatures from low-earth orbit. On Day 3, I am in Washington, DC, supporting EPA’s Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery staff on the development of new rules regarding waste acceptance and landfill design criteria. On Day 4, I am in the field, visiting landfills in Ohio and working with Ohio EPA to improve monitoring and evaluation of sites. And on Day 5, my team and I are combing state agency repositories, developing the largest comprehensive landfill database that will contain tens of thousands of entries regarding pollutants and emissions that will guide future performance analysis and design. Every week is busy with projects in and out of the labs, collaborations with state and federal agencies, and mentoring student interns.
Max Krause graduated with his PhD from the University of Florida with a focus on landfill gas modeling, landfill design, and waste management. His unrivaled interest in landfills landed him an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Post-Doc at EPA and he worked diligently for 3 years in that position. For the past few months he has worked as Environmental Engineer at EPA’s Office of Research & Development. He is currently leading research on subsurface exothermic reactions in landfills (Hot Landfills), measuring greenhouse gases from different waste types, and modeling physical and biological processes in landfills. He thinks the EPA is pretty great so far.