Joe P Blount, KS SEE Enrollee

Joe P Blount, KS SEE Enrollee

With a doctorate and a former career as a university professor, Joseph Blount has spent many years involved in teaching, research, and, of course, grant writing.  Moreover, his PhD in Psychology with an emphasis on Cognitive Psychology and Statistics provided him with the multidisciplinary tools necessary for his Level 4 SEE Program position in the EPA Region 7 Watershed Planning and Implementation Branch in the Water, Wetlands and Pesticides Division, Lenexa, KS.  The majority of Joe’s responsibilities are with the Non-Point Source team in a voluntary program that awards grants to local communities to improve water quality.  He also helps with the Wetlands (404) team and with other grants.

Today, the fields of statistics and cognitive psychology are heavily involved in computer programming. Building on that background, Joe has developed extensive expertise in Oracle Business Intelligence software and is putting that experience to use by collaborating with computer programmers on design, coding and human factors technologies to better manage the EPA Grants Reporting and Tracking System.  As enhancements are made to the database, Joe serves as the informal beta-tester.

Joe also has responsibility for integrating State, Regional and National database needs, generating reports using the database to assess State compliance with data entry requirements, and the design and evaluation of report writers to meet Regional and National Programmatic goals.  And, calling upon his cognitive psychology and teaching skills, Joe has the added responsibility of providing one-on-one and small group training on data entry, database management, and the use of the report writer function of the software package.  Joe has made presentations at the National Nonpoint Source Program Meeting and the annual National GRTS Training and User Group Meetings.

“Joe has made an invaluable contribution not only to EPA Region 7, but to EPA nationally.  Joe has the uncanny ability to translate computer ‘speak’ into usable, understandable instruction and has been willing to share this talent with EPA and state staff throughout the country.  His knowledge of database management and use in conjunction with his willingness to work with EPA contractors to suggest and implement improvements has made immeasurable improvements to our data tracking and reporting capabilities.  I don’t know what we would do without him!”  (Comments from Steve Schaff – Joe’s monitor).

Joe enjoys “promoting water quality” through his deskwork, his database work, as well as when he can get away from his desk.  He helped his mentor, Steve Schaff, on a project to build and distribute one hundred thirty five rain barrels that keep hundreds of thousands of gallons of storm water out of local creeks and rivers….and helped raise several thousand dollars for the Combined Federal Campaign.  Joe has helped the Wetlands team develop and implement several rain garden demonstration plots, and several Saturdays a year, he helps Missouri River Relief do river clean-ups throughout the Kansas City area.  Three times Joe has kayaked from Kansas City to St. Louis in the Missouri River 340 Race (the longest uninterrupted canoe/kayak race in the world)—what a fun way to raise public awareness of water quality issues!

Joe Blount, psychologist, statistician, computer programmer, educator, and kayaker has a lifetime of experience and knowledge, yet has today’s technical skills to provide invaluable expertise and teaching services to EPA.   And now — who was that person who said older workers don’t know computers?  We need to introduce him to Joe Blount!