Nancy E. Kinner, Ph.D.

red hat

UNH Director, Coastal Response Research Center
Adjunct Research Professor,
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
603 862-1422

Nancy Kinner is a professor emeritus of civil and environmental engineering at UNH. She has been UNH director of the Coastal Response Research Center, a partnership between UNH and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and director of the Center for Spills in the Environment since 2004. The centers ( bring 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 disaster and pollution response, damage assessment, and restoration/ recovery.  CRRC’s focus includes a range of natural disasters (e.g., hurricanes and tsunamis), in addition to those caused by human error or infrastructure failure (e.g., oil spills).  CRRC and OR&R use their expertise in incident management, rapid response, damage assessment and restoration/recovery to improve disaster preparedness for future events.  

She has facilitated over 90 workshops and 25 working groups (in person and virtually). Using her gift of facilitation and attention to order  she has experience with an incredibly broad range of topics: renewable and emerging fuels, oil in and under ice, hurricane response, harmful algal bloom response, marine mammals and blowholes, oil slick thickness detection, environmental disasters data management and communication, dispersant use, OTEC, and modeling oil spill response.

In her effort to make sure research helped the end users, she was the thrust behind developing ERMA®, an online mapping tool that integrates both static and real-time data in a centralized, easy-to-use format for environmental responders and natural resource decision makers.  This important tool is now in the hands of NOAA and its developers to create a robust Incident Command tool. 

kinner in lab

Kinner's early research explored the role of bacteria and protists in the biodegradation of petroleum compounds and chlorinated solvents. Nearing retirement, she taught courses on environmental microbiology, marine pollution and control, the fundamentals of environmental engineering, and environmental sampling and analysis.  In 2012, she was awarded University Professor for her outstanding contributions to the field of Civil and Environmental Engineering, to the many students she has taught and mentored over the years, and the the University community.  This honor is bestowed on full professors who have demonstrated the highest levels of excellence in teaching, scholarship and service over an extended period of tenure at UNH.  University Professorships are the highest form of recognition at the University and are available to no more than four individuals at any one time. 

Kinner received an A.B. from Cornell University in biology (ecology and systematics) in 1976 and an M.S. and Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of New Hampshire, where she joined the faculty in 1983. She has conducted funded research projects for agencies and research organizations including NOAA OR&R, USEPA, NSF, AWWARF, CICEET and the NH Department of Environmental Services.