My name is Daniel Oerther and I am Professor of Environmental Health Engineering; Missouri University of Science and Technology. I joined RSPH as a Fellow member 3 years ago because I believe we need global engagement in public health.
I wanted to return to the origin of the, "Great Sanitary Awakening," where lawyers, nurses, physicians, engineers, and others worked together to understand challenges to public health, and to develop cost-effective, science-based policy and technology to improve public health.
I have been in my role for 18 years and my work uses science and technology to promote human health and to protect the environment for future generations. I work primarily in providing WaSH services (access to clean drinking water, safe sanitation, and adequate hygiene) as well as food and nutrition security and safety (defined by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization as, "all people at all times have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life").
In terms of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, I'm promoting the interface of SDG 2, zero hunger; SDG 3, good health and well-being; and SDG 6, clean water and sanitation.
University faculty in the United States balance their time among four activities, namely: research, teaching, service, and extension. Research creates knowledge. Teaching shares knowledge. Service advances the institution and profession. And extension brings the benefits of the university to the local community.
As a Professor of Environmental Health Engineering, my area of professional practice is engineering, which the dictionary often defines as, "the branch of science and technology concerned with the design, building, and use of engines, machines, and structures." I am especially interested in learning more about the global spread of antimicrobial resistance, and the role that public health professionals must play in preventing further spread.
RSPH membership has absolutely impacted my career! I brag to my colleagues about my RSPH credential, and it has played a role in my annual evaluations and raises. I think the membership is important to build relationships. I often joke that the US and the UK are two great nations separated by a common language, English! But seriously, the similarities and unique differences in approaches to health in the US and UK provide a tremendous opportunity to explore best practices and policies.
I immensely enjoy RSPH's regular updates via email as well as access to journals. These are invaluable sources of up-to-date information that I use in my research and teaching on a daily basis.