Clarke receives inaugural environmental scientist certification


Jim Clarke, professor of the practice of civil and environmental engineering, has been approved for membership in American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES) and for Certification by Eminence as a Board Certified Environmental Scientist (BCES) in the April 2012 inaugural class.

In December 2011, the American Academy of Environmental Engineers approved the separate and new environmental scientist certification and voted to change the Academy’s name to AAEES.

“The Academy has been certifying environmental engineers since 1955. We are truly excited to offer this parallel certification for environmental scientists,” said past President Brian P. Flynn. “Most significant environmental projects involve interdisciplinary teams of environmental engineers and environmental scientists. The certification of environmental scientists provides assurance to employers and the public that those professionals have demonstrated a high level of competency in their practice, just like certified environmental engineers.”

“This new certification program effectively aligns the Academy with its members and their employers. Our name change underscores the critical dependencies between environmental engineers and environmental scientists,” Flynn added.

The BCES will have the same time in service, responsible charge and examination requirements as the Academy’s other certifications. The BCES will confer a specialty certification, and possible specialties include groundwater, ecology, water and wastewater, sustainability, environmental toxicology and environmental chemistry.

“It is indeed an honor to join the AAEES inaugural class of certified environmental scientists. I am extremely fortunate and privileged to have been given the opportunity to serve both the private sector and the university and to be given this recognition,” Clarke said.

Clarke was nominated for the Certification by Eminence by James Patterson, an internationally recognized expert on industrial pollution control. Patterson previously served as professor and chairman of the Pritzker Department of Environmental Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago for 20 years, and as Director of the EPA-sponsored Industrial Waste Elimination Research Center of Excellence at IIT for eight years.

“Jim’s qualifications are self evident,” said Patterson. “He has successfully bridged professional practice and academia and his students are richer for it.”

Clarke, also a professor of earth and environmental sciences at Vanderbilt, focuses his research activities on chemical and nuclear waste management, sustainable approaches to the remediation of contaminated sites, environmental policy and environmental forensics.

Prior to joining the school of engineering in 2000, he was chairman, president and CEO of Eckenfelder, Inc, an environmental engineering and consulting firm focusing on services to the private sector in the areas of hazardous waste management, contaminated site investigation and remediation and wastewater treatment. Clarke has 40 years of professional experience with approximately 175 publications and presentations.

He has been a member of the former Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste and Materials and advised the Commission and the Office of Nuclear Materials Safety and Safeguards on issues concerning the Yucca Mountain project, risk-informed performance-based approaches to site decommissioning and remediation (lead committee member) and the overall nuclear waste regulatory program.

Clarke is a consultant to the NRC Advisory Committee for Reactor Safeguards and its subcommittee on Radiation Protection and Nuclear Materials. He has served on committees of the National Academies (the Committee on Remediation of Buried and Tank Waste) and is a peer reviewer for the National Academy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy and several journals and book publishers.