CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. (April 25, 2023) — A focus on sustainability and the recent regional water quality issues and toxic chemical concerns have served to shine a spotlight on the crucial work carried out at the Thomas More University Biology Field Station. Faculty and students at the Field Station perform ongoing monitoring and research of the Ohio River and its tributaries which helps to protect the ecosystem and ensure the safety of those using the river’s resources. This work not only advances scientific knowledge, but also helps to improve the quality of life in the region. The Field Station’s efforts have been recognized recently through the awarding of grant dollars, invited academic presentations, and inclusion in non-profit endeavors.
The Field Station was named as an award recipient for Duke Energy’s new 2023 Climate Resiliency grant program which funds scientific research in the areas of climate change. The Field Station’s grant project focuses on the assessment and monitoring of water quality in the Ohio River and on the conservation of threatened and endangered aquatic species that have been and will continue to be impacted by climate change. “The project will also support workforce development as my research assistants are the undergraduate interns living at the Station throughout the summer,” explains Christopher Lorentz, Ph. D., director of the Biology Field Station. The 2023 intern cohort includes four students from Thomas More and seven from other universities, including four from Universidad del Sagrado Corazón, Thomas More’s sister school in Puerto Rico.
Lorentz recently shared some of this research presenting a lecture about the water quality of the Ohio River at Shawnee State University. The Jane M. G. Foster Distinguished Lecture Series hosted by Shawnee State brings world renowned authors, leaders, and experts in a variety of academic fields to their Portsmouth, Ohio campus each year. Lorentz’s lecture comes on the heels of the East Palestine train derailment, which caused concern about drinking water quality and public health for many residents along the Ohio River.
On April 18, 2023, American Rivers 2023 Endangered Rivers Report named the Ohio River as the second most endangered river in the United States. “The Ohio River unifies 30 million people across 15 states, from New York to Mississippi,” states the report. “The upper river is threatened by industrialization and pollution, recently exemplified by the East Palestine train derailment. This ongoing chemical disaster underscores the vulnerability of the Ohio River and the need for increased safeguards and durable funding for additional and continuous monitoring.” Utilizing his research on the Ohio River, Lorentz serves as Vice Chair of the Ohio River Basin Alliance, a non-profit organization working to create an ecosystem restoration for the Basin. The Alliance, on the heels of the American Rivers designation, is urging Congress to designate the river as a federally protected water system and commit to significantly fund both the Ohio River Restoration Plan and Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission’s technical upgrades.
For more information about America’s Most Endangered Rivers, visit https://mostendangeredrivers.org/.
For more information about Thomas More University, visit www.thomasmore.edu.
About Thomas More University
For 100 years, Thomas More has created a university for the student who wants to Be More, Do More, Seek More, Win More, Achieve More, and Create More. Since its founding in 1921, Thomas More has provided a mission-driven, liberal arts education that is based in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. Students learn to harness the power of human reason to solve problems and discover truth, which allows them to begin the journey to become the person they were created to be. Entering into the second century, it’s time for More. Serving more than 2,000 students, Thomas More aspires to be the premier Catholic university in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region, build upon its excellent return on investment (ranked #1 among private universities/colleges in Kentucky by MSN Money in 2021 and ranked #2 for long term gain in Kentucky by a 2022 Georgetown University study) and share with this generation the transformative power of the Thomas More experience. To find out more, visit thomasmore.edu.
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