About Daniel Oerther

Daniel Oerther

Professor
Civil, Arch & Environ Engr
211 Civil Engineering

573-341-6072 | oertherd@mst.edu | Personal site

Biography

Daniel Barton Oerther (born October 11, 1972) is an American social entrepreneur, science diplomat, and Professor of Environmental Health Engineering who advocates for the use of Boyer's four models of scholarship, namely: discovery; integration; engagement; and teaching and learning. He is best known for the use of 16S ribosomal RNA-targeted techniques for fundamental studies of the ecology of bacteria in engineered and natural systems; adapting healthcare's approach to structured reviews to support evidence-base engineering practice; using community-based participatory research to create and evaluate programs and policies to improve access to clean water, nutritious food, and energy efficiency in developing communities; and for innovation within and beyond the classroom including blended, flipped, and mastery pedagogy to increase the time for active learning with students.

Professor Oerther earned his BA in biology, and his BS, MS, and PhD in environmental health engineering. His postgraduate studies include microbial ecology, environmental health, public health, and public administration. From 2000 through 2009, he was a member of the faculty of the University of Cincinnati. He joined the Missouri University of Science and Technology in 2010 as the John A. and Susan Mathes Chair, and he joined the US Department of State in 2014 as a senior science advisor to the Secretary's Office of Global Food Security.

Professor Oerther's credentials include: Professional Engineer (PE) in DC, MO, OH; Board Certified Environmental Engineer (BCEE) and Board Certified Environmental Scientist (BCES) of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists; Chartered Engineer (CEng) in the United Kingdom; Certified Environmental Health Specialist in MO; Diplomate of the American Academy of Sanitarians; Certified Environmental Professional (via eminence) of the Academy of Board Certified Environmental Professionals; and Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) in the United Kingdom.

Professor Oerther's leadership experiences include: Head, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Cincinnati; Founding Co-Director, Ohio Center of Excellence in Sustaining the Urban Environment; Director, Environmental Research Center, Missouri S&T; Founding Director, Science Diplomacy Lab, Missouri S&T; Director and Chief Information Officer, Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors; Trustee and Treasurer, American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists; Chair, Engineering and Public Policy Division, American Society for Engineering Education; Program Evaluator, Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology; Associate Editor, Journal of Environmental Engineering; Associate Editor, Water Environment Research journal; Trustee, Sigma Theta Tau Building Corporation; Trustee, Welfare Fund, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health; Member, Missouri Board of Certification for Environmental Health Professionals; Vice Chair, Phelps County Extension Council, Missouri; Member, Climate Protection Steering Committee, City of Cincinnati, Ohio; and Member, Green Practices Commission, City of University City, Missouri.

Research

Expertise areas

Environmental biotechnology, Urban sustainability, Global development, Interprofessional environmental health, Scholarship of teaching and learning, (SoTL), Social entrepreneurship, Science diplomacy, Environmental engineering, Water, Sanitation, Hygiene, (WaSH), Water quality, Food security, Nutrition, Human computation, Poverty alleviation, Energy efficiency, Public health

Current research projects

  • COAST - Caribbean Ocean and Aquaculture Sustainability faciliTy - parametric insurance to promote food security and livelihoods for sustainable fisheries
  • Raising public awareness about the threat of the spread of antibiotic resistance in the environment
  • Adapting the integrative review approach to improve evidence-based environmental engineering practice and policy recommendations

Professor Oerther visiting an elementary school in Tanzania where his team deployed technology for drinking water treatment.

Research interests

Professor Oerther's scholarship in environmental biotechnology integrates ecological theory, modeling approaches from bioprocess engineering, and genome-enabled molecular biology tools to identify, enumerate, and determine the spatial organization and metabolic activity of phylogenetically-defined microbial populations in natural, built, and clinical environments.

Professor Oerther's scholarship in sustainable development integrates professional leadership - to local, regional, and (inter)national political bodies and non-government organizations - with stochastic-based decision support systems to identify culturally appropriate, cost effective, technology-driven solutions to emerging challenges of ((resistant + resilient) + (urban environments + rural communities))

Awards and recognition

Course information