The following individuals have generously donated their time to Seafood Safe, to advise on Program design, policy and methodology:
Dr. Barbara Knuth
Dr. David Carpenter
Dr. Knuth is Professor of Natural Resource Policy and Management, and Co-leader of the Human Dimensions Research Unit in the Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, and also serves as Department Chair. She has been at Cornell since 1986.
In her work with the Human Dimensions Research Unit, she focuses on a broad range of research related to human behaviors and attitudes associated with the environment and natural resources, including a specific focus on risk management and risk communication issues associated with fisheries affected by chemical contaminants. While on sabbatic leave from Cornell in the mid-1990’s, she authored a major risk communication guidance document still used by the US Environmental Protection Agency in their work assisting states and tribes with fish consumption health advisory programs.
Knuth has served on the Board of Technical Experts of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, the Great Lakes Science Advisory Board of the International Joint Commission, and on several National Research Council committees including those focusing on Implications of Reducing Dioxin in the Food Supply, Improving the Collection and Use of Fisheries Data, and Review of Recreational Fisheries Survey Methods. She currently serves as President of the American Fisheries Society (AFS), and is a Past-president of the AFS Water Quality Section.
Dr. Knuth holds an A.B. in Zoology, B. Phil. in Interdisciplinary Studies, and M.En. in Environmental Science from Miami University in Ohio, and a Ph.D. in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences from Virginia Tech.
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David O. Carpenter received his undergraduate and medical education at Harvard University. He chose a career of research and public health rather than clinical practice. His early research focused on study of the brain, and this has led to much of his current focus on the effects of various environmental agents. He came to Albany, New York in 1980 as the Director of the Wadsworth Center for Laboratories and Research of the New York State Department of Health. In this role he became more familiar with the problems of human health effects of hazardous wastes. In 1985 he played a major role in establishing the School of Public Health at the University at Albany, in collaboration with the New York State Department of Health. At that time he became the founding Dean of the School of Public Health, a position he held until 1998 when he resigned to devote full-time to research. He has served on numerous national and international committees and organizations, including as a member of the National Advisory Council of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the Science Advisory Board of the International (US and Canada) Joint Commission, a committee of the US National Academy of Sciences and as a member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the Pacific Basin Consortium on Hazardous Wastes, Environmental and Health. He has four books and over 260 publications.
Dr. Carpenter’s research activities around human health in relation to environmental exposures dates back some 15 years when he headed a large, interdisciplinary project to study the health of a Native American population who live on the St. Lawrence River just below three aluminum foundries that have contaminated the traditional fishing waters with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The studies he and his collaborators have done have shown that breast milk levels of PCBs were correlated to consumption of contaminated fish, and that even in adolescents without exceptionally elevated levels of serum PCBs, there is an inverse relation between PCBs levels and levels of thyroid hormone. He has utilized New York hospitalization databases to study various diseases in individuals who live near to hazardous waste sites containing persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including dioxins/furans, PCBs and persistent pesticides. Many of these sites are rivers. These include the Buffalo River, the Niagara River and 18 Mile Creek in Western New York State, where he and his colleagues showed that there was a 25% elevation in the hospital diagnosis of thyroid disease in women and female genital disease, especially endometriosis, among women living within 15 miles of these rivers as compared to the rest of the residents of the state other than New York City. These rivers are highly contaminated with POPs and methyl mercury. His most recent work has focused on Alaskan Natives at St. Lawrence Island, Alaska and on the Hudson River in Eastern New York. This river is the largest Superfund (National Priority List) Site in the US, this being a listing of the most severely contaminated hazardous waste sites in the US. The Hudson had two capacitor plants about 200 miles north of New York City, and the releases of PCBs from these plants has contaminated all 200 miles of river. A focus of his current research is to try to understand pathways of exposure to humans beyond just eating contaminated fish.
Dr. Carpenter has extensive international experience, especially in Eastern European countries and Russia. He has also consulted in Hong Kong and Japan. He holds a major grant from the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health for training of professionals in environmental and occupational health in Russia, Romania, Uzbekistan and Mongolia. He currently holds the first grant funded by the NIH for study of health effects of Agent Orange exposure in Vietnamese civilians; a case-control study of birth defects in relation to serum dioxin levels. He is also the Chair of the Board of the Albany-Tula Alliance, a volunteer non-profit group that administers a sister-city program with Tula, Russia.
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As a scientist in Environmental Defense's Oceans Program, Tim Fitzgerald analyzes the sustainability of wild fisheries and aquaculture operations in an effort to promote eco-friendly seafood choices. He also researches the occurrence of mercury, PCBs, and other environmental contaminants in seafood - he then uses this information to educate consumers and policymakers about the health risks associated with the consumption of contaminated fish. This expertise extends to the fish oil supplement industry, where he recently surveyed 75 of the top U.S. supplement manufacturers to determine if they were taking sufficient steps to reduce the level of environmental contaminants in their fish oil products. In addition, Mr. Fitzgerald works with Environmental Defense's Corporate Innovation program to develop sustainable seafood purchasing practices for their business partnerships. He is a frequent speaker on conservation and human health issues concerning the U.S. seafood market, and is often interviewed for both print media and radio.
Tim Fitzgerald holds an M.Sc. in Zoology from the University of Hawaii-Manoa, and a B.S. in Biology from Duke University.
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