Dr. Charlie Rolsky to Serve Within Maine’s PFAS Fund Advisory Committee

Dr. Charlie Rolsky

We are proud to officially announce that the Shaw Institute’s Senior Research Scientist, Dr. Charlie Rolsky, recently joined Maine’s PFAS Fund Advisory Committee, a group organized by Governor Janet Mills to provide recommendations to the state’s Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) for utilization of the designated $60-million PFAS Fund.

Dr. Charlie RolskyThe Fund, which was established by Governor Mills in 2022, with bipartisan legislative support, will greatly assist farmers impacted by PFAS contamination. Rolsky has been appointed to the Advisory Committee’s Research Subcommittee, lending his scientific expertise, and that of the entire Shaw Institute, to the cause.  

“We invited Dr. Rolsky to join the Research Subcommittee because of his background working at the intersection of environmental contamination and human health,” said Beth Valentine, DACF’s Director of the Fund to Address PFAS Contamination. “He brings a scholarly perspective and a congenial attitude to the work. I am pleased he has agreed to share his talents with the PFAS Fund.”

Rolsky will join other distinguished members of the Research Subcommittee in making recommendations for how the PFAS Fund can best support short- and long-term research that informs farm management decisions. 

“I am so honored that the office of Governor Mills and Beth Valentine asked me to join this subcommittee,” said Rolsky. “This fund is a crucial step in the right direction for the state, its agricultural industry and the communities that they serve. I’m looking forward to working alongside Maine farmers, as their experience, perspective and input are so important for us moving forward.”

In addition to Rolsky’s direct involvement, the Shaw Institute has offered to share access to its database of PFAS-related manuscripts and to keep the State informed on any new findings that come from its ongoing PFAS research and programs in Maine and beyond. Those efforts include:

  • Continuing to assist the town of Surry, Maine, with their PFAS testing of soil, freshwater and drinking water
  • Working with local organizations to conduct PFAS testing within critically important ecosystems around the Northeastern US
  • Continuing its historical research studies that target the environmental transfer of PFAS chemicals to sentient marine mammal species, such as seals
  • Working to acquire sufficient funding to purchase an instrument to aid in the state’s PFAS analytical testing capacity

To learn more about the work and programs of the Shaw Institute, visit ShawInstitute.org

About Shaw Institute

The Shaw Institute is a 501(c)3 nonprofit scientific research organization based in Maine that was founded in 1990 by environmental health scientist Dr. Susan Shaw, who passed away in early 2022. The mission of the Shaw Institute is to discover and expose environmental threats to people and wildlife through innovative science and to engage in local and global partnerships to improve human and ecological health. Over three decades, its research on plastics, ocean pollution, flame retardants, and climate change has informed public opinion and fueled policy, impacting millions of people in the U.S. and around the world.

About Dr. Charlie Rolsky

Dr. Charles Rolsky is the Senior Research Scientist for the Shaw Institute in Blue Hill, Maine. Charlie received his master’s and PhD from Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, where he researched plastic pollution in marine and terrestrial ecosystems. As a postdoctoral research scholar in the Biodesign’s Center for Sustainable Macromolecular Materials and Manufacturing, he focused on green chemistry and sustainable materials science. Charlie and his research have been featured on ABC News and PBS, and in the pages of the New York TimesNewsweekWashington PostForbes, Smithsonian Magazine and many other prestigious media outlets. He is also the Director of Science for Plastic Oceans International, where he focuses on creating and disseminating science for the general public. Currently, he focuses on researching links between environmental contamination and human health, which includes plastic pollution, PFAS chemicals, and other contaminants of concern. He also has a strong focus on monitoring marine species as sentinels for environmental health, including marine mammals and birds. Charlie is extremely passionate about citizen science and public outreach, with groups ranging from kids to lifelong learners. A teacher for over eight years,he continues his mentorship through a range of internship and educational opportunities at the Shaw Institute,. View Charlie’s TEDx Talk, “Plastic Hangover,” HERE.