Gretchen Gehrke

Regional Network: 
National Fellows
Class Year: 
Data Quality and Advocacy Manager
Public Lab
Durham, North Carolina

Gretchen’s ultimate goal is to integrate her environmental chemistry expertise, environmental and social justice interests, and science communication experience to leverage transformational environmental policy creation and implementation.

Gretchen currently is the scientific study design and advocacy specialist at the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (Public Lab), an environmental civic science nonprofit organization promoting democratization of environmental monitoring. Prior to joining the staff of Public Lab, Gretchen was a postdoctoral research scientist at Duke University, conducting environmental chemistry research focused on biogeochemical transformations of toxic trace metals in soils and sediments, with particular emphasis on remediation. Her research was supported by the Center for Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology and the Superfund Research Program. Gretchen also was a postdoctoral research scientist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency where she studied hydraulic fracturing wastewater chemistry. Gretchen earned her doctorate in Geochemistry at the University of Michigan, where she studied the geochemistry of mercury and other trace metals, with emphasis on mercury stable isotope fractionation. She holds dual bachelor’s degrees in Chemistry and Environmental Earth Sciences from Dartmouth College.

Gretchen cofounded, serves on the Steering Committee, and conducts website monitoring research for the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (EDGI), which documents, analyzes, and articulates changes to federal environmental governance and promotes environmental and data justice. Gretchen also serves as Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Schoolhouse of Wonder, a nature-based leadership development and environmental education nonprofit.