OEC Celebrates Scientists: Kim Anderson, Environmental Forensics

“Wondering about our world can be the catalyst for innovative learning, and for creative minds to create the solutions for our times.”

Kim Anderson, PhD., Chemistry
Director, Food Safety and Environmental Stewardship, College of Agricultural Sciences, Oregon State University

Dr. Anderson’s laboratory is dedicated to environmental forensics; that is, using science to understand how chemicals move through the environment and how people and animals are exposed. Dr. Anderson and her students have worked along the Willamette River, in day care centers, and at other locations across Oregon. Dr. Anderson and her lab developed a “passive sampling device”—a way to use a simple wristband to monitor chemicals that people come in contact with in daily life, from personal care products to pesticides to air pollutants from fossil fuels.  


As a scientist, I am trying to acquire knowledge and further our understanding, to provide accurate information to people so they may make informed decisions.

I work on understanding chemicals in our environment and individual exposure to chemicals.  I hope that my data and research information will empowered citizen advocates for themselves, their family, and their community to get the best possible environment, safety and health. Putting a concrete number on what you are or (importantly) are not exposed to—and at what concentration—could provide incentive for communities to change their environment, their interaction with their environment and inspire social action.

To celebrate science: visit a science center, or museum, or take a walk in nature—anything that inspires and nurtures your curiosity!  Wondering about our world can be the catalyst for innovative learning, and creative minds to meet the solutions of our times.

More: Celebrating Oregon Scientists

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2 Replies to "OEC Celebrates Scientists: Kim Anderson, Environmental Forensics"

  • Donald Perman
    April 18, 2017 (6:30 pm)

    Hi Kim, I am a dentist that stopped using Mercury filled Amalgam over twenty years ago. Researchers like you have warned to us the danger of any level of mercury in our bodies that receive mercury vapor from Amalgam and other sources like fish. It is known that the level of mercury from Amalgam is actually much more then from fish. Please do some of your own research and speak from the words from your field to speak about this issue.
    We know that mercury has been found to contribute to many neurological conditions in the human body. This is one reason Europe has now banned the use of this material in the mouth. It is time to ban the use in this country and we need scientists like you to speak out about the danger of the mercury filled restorative material. Thanks Don