December 12, 2017
David Klein, an associate professor of environmental, clinical and analytical chemistry in the Department of Environmental Toxicology at Texas Tech University, has been appointed to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Board of Scientific Counselors.
The board is a federal advisory committee that provides advice, information and recommendations to the EPA’s Office of Research and Development on the research programs the office is completing.
Klein, who received his doctorate in organic chemistry at the University of Hawai’i, said he was contacted by the EPA for the position. Klein has had a long association with the EPA because his lab with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department was the only state government lab that provided data for the National Coastal Condition Assessment.
Through the years, Klein said he also has been trained by the EPA in quality assurance, data quality objectives and radioactivity. Klein also applied for numerous grants and have served on review boards at the EPA.
“I believe the EPA has seen my work with them for many years as a positive,” Klein said.
Through his position, he hopes to see how the EPA decides to prioritize its funding and learn more about the projects the EPA is funding in Texas.
Steve Presley, chair and professor in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, said Klein’s appointment to the board is an honor that recognizes his technical and scientific expertise. It also recognizes his reputation as a leader in his field.
“Klein’s appointment to the board is a meaningful recognition at the national level that the Department of Environmental Toxicology at Texas Tech has faculty members that are outstanding in their specific fields of expertise and are highly valued for their scientific contributions,” Presley said.
Klein said he believes the EPA should be a non-partisan group of scientists. His goal as a member of this board is to provide a clear and fair review of science and the research that is being done.
“I am a scientist, not a politician,” Klein said. “I do not see a glass as half-empty or half-full, but one that contains approximately 250 mL.”
The Institute of Environmental and Human Health was created in 1997 as a joint venture between Texas Tech and the Texas Tech University
Health Sciences Center to assess the impact of toxic chemicals and diseases on the
physical and human environments, including air, water, soil and animal life.
Researchers investigate elements in the environment, both those that are naturally occurring such as disease and those caused by humans, such as nuclear activity, pollution or chemical or bioterrorism, which negatively impact the environment. It is one of the few labs in the country dedicated to environmental toxicology.