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Jo Ellen Hinck

Jo Ellen is the Disaster Supplemental Science Coordinator and Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) Coordinator for the USGS.


Jo Ellen serves as the science coordinator of the Disaster 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.

Jo Ellen has also served as the USGS science coordinator for the DOI Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) Program since 2014. 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's also has active projects evaluating effective science communication strategies and incorporating indigenous knowledge with western science for decision makers.