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Jo Ellen Hinck

Jo Ellen is the USGS NRDAR Coordinator and Supplemental Science Coordinator.

Jo Ellen's research interests revolve around evaluating and effectively communicating the biological effects of chemical contaminants in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Jo Ellen's research has ranged from fish health evaluations in the Yukon River of Alaska to ecological risk assessments at uranium mines in the Grand Canyon region.  A recent passion is exploring ways to translate scientific data into consumable products for non-technical audiences. We cannot rely on journal publications alone to tell the story of USGS science.

Since 2014, Jo Ellen has served as the USGS science coordinator for the DOI Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) Program.  She assists natural resource managers from federal, state, and tribal agencies in scientific problem formulation related to contamination from mining sites, industrial areas, and oil spills.  Every NRDAR case is unique in terms of geographic setting, type of release, and natural resource injured; therefore, the science required is also unique.  Jo Ellen helps to design experiments, recruit USGS expertise to conduct research studies, and interpret the results for the natural resource managers.    

Jo Ellen also serves as the science coordinator of the Supplemental Oversight Team (SOT), under the Natural Hazards Mission Area. The SOT oversees USGS activities related to supplemental appropriations for disaster recovery, which includes hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. Jo Ellen ensures accountability of supplemental activities and provides scientific knowledge, information, and tools to decision makers to increase USGS capability and capacity to respond to future disaster events.

Professional Experience

  • 2018-present Supplemental Oversight Team Science Coordinator, U.S. Geological Survey, Natural Hazards Mission Area

  • 2014-present USGS NRDAR Coordinator, U.S. Geological Survey Columbia Environmental Research Center, Columbia, MO

  • 2002-2014 Biologist, U.S. Geological Survey Columbia Environmental Research Center, Columbia, MO

  • 2001-2002 Ecological Risk Assessor, Tetra Tech NUS, Pittsburgh, PA

  • 1999-2001 Research and Teaching Assistant, Miami University, Department of Zoology, Oxford, OH

  • 1998-1999 Research Assistant, University of Central Missouri, Department of Biology and Department of Earth Sciences, Warrensburg, MO

Education and Certifications

  • M.S. Zoology, Department of Zoology, Miami University, 2001

  • B.S. Biology, Department of Biology and Department of Earth Sciences, University of Central Missouri, 1999

Science and Products