Nancy Kinner

Nancy Kinner


Research Group: Environmental Engineering


  • Ph.D.   Engineering, University of New Hampshire, 1983
  • M.S.     Civil Engineering, University of New Hampshire, 1980
  • A.B.      Ecology and Systematics, Cornell University, 1976

Research Interests

  • Arctic Issues in Oil Spill Response and Restoration
  • Dispersant Response to Oil Spills
  • Oil Spill Response and Restoration
  • Petroleum/Oil Spill Bioremediation
  • Bioremediation of Organically Contaminated Subsurface and Bedrock Environments
  • Role of Protists in Bioremediation
  • Hazardous Waste/Environmental Sampling and Analysis
  • Biological Wastewater Treatment

Honors and Awards

  • University of New Hampshire, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award, 2016
  • University of New Hampshire Distinguished Professor Award, 2011
  • University of New Hampshire Alumni Achievement Award, 2011
  • University of New Hampshire Public Service Award, 2008
  • Fulbright Scholar and American-Scandinavian Foundation Thord-Gray Memorial Fellow, 1997
  • University of New Hampshire Brierley Award for Excellence in College Teaching, 1996
  • University of New Hampshire College of Engineering and Physical Science Teaching Award, 1988


  • Druschel, S.J. and Kinner, N.E. 2009. Rock Fragments in Trichloroethene Microcosms for Bedrock Aquifers. Bioremediation Journal, Volume 13(3):107-120.
  • Cunningham, Joseph J., Kinner, N.E., Lewis, M. 2009. Protistan Predation Affects Trichloroethene Biodegradation in a Bedrock Aquifer. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 75(24):7588-7593.
  • Kinner, N.E., Harvey, R.W., Shay, D.M., Metge, D.W., and Warren, A.  Field evidence for a protisan role in an organically-contaminated aquifer.  Environmental Science and  Technology.  36:4312-4318 (2002).
  • Kinner, N.E.  Protistan communities in groundwater.  In. G. Bitton et al., eds., Encyclopedia of Environmental Microbiology. 6:2594-2604.  John Wiley & Sons, Inc.  NY  (2002).
  • Druschel, S.J. and Kinner, N.E. 2012. Improvements to Trichloroethene Microcosm Protocols for Biostimulation in Bedrock Aquifers. Remediation Journal. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Classes Taught

  • ENE 400 - Environmental Engineering Lectures I
  • ENE 520 - Environmental Pollution and Protection: A Global Context
  • ENE 645 - Fundamental Aspects of Environmental Engineering
  • ENE 743/943 - Environmental Sampling and Analysis
  • ENE 747/847 - Introduction to Marine Pollution and Control
  • ENE 756/856 - Environmental Engineering Microbiology 

Professional Affiliations

  • 1/98 - Present     Member, Editorial Board of Microbial Ecology.
  • 4/96 - Present     State of New Hampshire Waste Management Council.  Academic Representative.
  • American Petroleum Institute (API) Spill Advisory Group (SAG)



Dr. Kinner's main areas of research interest are oil spill response and restoration, bioremediation of contaminated subsurface environments and more generally, environmental microbiology. She is a member of the Environmental Research Group (ERG) at UNH and has conducted research on wastewater biofilm microbiology, the role of protists in subsurface and sea ice contaminant degradation, and petroleum and chlorinated solvent bioremediation.

Currently, she is conducting research on the role of protistan predation in TCE biodegradation; microbial biodegradation of soluble crude oil hydrocarbons and the influences of protistan predation in simulated arctic seawater and sea ice; and 1,4 dioxane removal from groundwater using point-of-entry water treatment techniques.  Dr. Kinner also directed a multi-year, multi-investigator project studying characterization and bioremediation of contaminated bedrock. She has also conducted research on techniques to remove radon from drinking water.

Funding and Appointments

In Falls 1996 and 1997, Dr. Kinner took sabbatical leave to conduct research on protists at the U.S. Geological Survey (Boulder, CO) and bedrock bioremediation at the Swedish Geotechnical Institute (Linkoping, Sweden), respectively. The latter was funded by a Fulbright Fellowship. She was a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Risk of Radon in Drinking Water.

Dr. Kinner has received funding from NOAA, USEPA, the National Science Foundation, the American Water Works Association Research Foundation, the Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine Environmental Technologies, and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.

She has been the UNH Director of the Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC), a partnership between UNH and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), since 2004. The CRRC ( brings together the resources of a research-oriented university and the field expertise of NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration to conduct and oversee basic and applied research, conduct outreach, and encourage strategic partnerships in spill response, damage assessment and restoration.

In the midst of the Deepwater (DWH) crisis, the CRRC played a unique role in the response. Most prominently, Professor Kinner was mobilized to speak to the issues associated with the spill. She testified three times before Congress and on numerous media outlets including: PBS NewHour, ABC’s “Good Morning America”, CBS, CNN, C-Span, and the BBC. She was also cited extensively in the print media including: Time, Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. She is viewed as an independent voice who is able to explain the complex issues of oil spill response, damage assessment and restoration in an understandable way.

She currently serves as an advisor to the State of New Hampshire on hazardous waste bioremediation and is a member of the State's Waste Management Council. She is also a member of the editorial board of Microbial Ecology.

Graduate and Undergraduate Interaction

Dr. Kinner teaches in the Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENE) Program.  She is the undergraduate coordinator for the ENE Municipal Processes (MP) emphasis.  In addition to teaching the courses listed above, she advises two senior capstone design projects (ENE 784/788) each year.  Dr. Kinner advises both master’s and Ph.D. level graduate students.

Portrait of Dr. Nancy Kinner and a dog
Gregg Hall Room 216
35 Colovos Rd
Durham, NH 03824
(603) 862-1422
(603) 862-3957