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Karen Mancl

Karen Mancl

Karen Mancl

Professor (Retired)


(614) 292-4505

228 Agricultural Engineering
590 Woody Hayes Drive

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Areas of Expertise

  • Wastewater treatment
  • Water Quality for Home and Farm (Extension)
  • Environmental Education
  • Environmental technology transfer
  • Rural environmental infrastructure in US and China

Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering — Rural wastewater treatment; treatment of food processing wastewater; adult environmental education in water supply and waste management


Dr. Karen Mancl is a Professor of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering and Water Quality Specialist at The Ohio State University where she has published over 50 journal articles and 80 Extension publications on rural infrastructure and outreach initiatives.

She is a nationally known expert in onsite wastewater treatment having conducted research, written and taught the subject for 40 years.  Dr. Mancl is Past-President of the Ohio Onsite Wastewater Association.

In 2000, along with Dr. Brian Slater, Soil Scientist, constructed the OSU Soil Environment Technology Learning Lab.  At this outdoor teaching and research facility, Drs. Mancl and Slater teach designers, installer and regulators the science and technology of onsite wastewater treatment. In 2014, she expanded the Learning Center to a SW branch in Harrison, Ohio where with Ryan Kopp teaches food processors, operators and engineers about low-cost treatment of food processing wastewater.

She is originally from Wisconsin where she received her Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Science from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Karen has a Master's Degree in Environmental Science from the University of Texas, and received her PhD at Iowa State University in Water Resources.

In 2010 she received a second MA Degree in East Asian Studies and conducts research and teaches wastewater treatment in rural China.  In 2019 she received her third MA Degree in Public Policy and conducts research at the Woodrow Wilson Center – China Environment Forum on environmental policy in rural China.


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