Meet ORAU employee Ethan DeVillez. Ethan is an ORAU National Student Services Contractor working at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Cincinnati, OH. He is working in the Safety, Health and Environmental Management (SHEM) department.
Ethan has a variety of responsibilities. A typical week could include hazardous waste pickups and management, battery recycling, or updates to the ozone depleting substances inventory. He maintains an inventory of safety data sheets. Every week, he inspects every eyewash station in the building. He has helped create online safety training for their intranet. He even assists with internal audits and laboratory safety inspections. “I feel like I’m making a legitimate difference by stressing safety in the workplace, and by creating meaningful trainings that keep our researchers informed. Providing great training is the best way to avoiding workplace accidents.”
Ethan not only keeps the laboratory safe, he is also responsible for the reuse center. The lab has a wide range of new and used scientific equipment left over from previous work. The reuse center gives their researchers a chance to acquire supplies without wasting money, time, or energy on ordering duplicates of what may already be available in the building.
Once a week, Ethan assists the researchers at the Experimental Streams Facility in Milford, Ohio. There, his duties are not limited to his SHEM tasks. He helps out with mesocosm maintenance, habitat creation, and more. Sometimes they need help with data sorting and specific, time-consuming procedures as well.
Ethan graduated from Miami University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He is currently pursing his master’s degree in biology through Miami University’s Project Dragonfly Advanced Inquiry Program. His schoolwork is conducted partially online and partially in person at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens!