The Vice Chancellor on behalf of the University Council has appointed Prof Frederick Ato Armah as the Acting Director of the Directorate of Research Innovation and Consultancy (DRIC) with effective from 1st April 2019 till 31st July 2019.
Profile of Prof. Frederick Ato Armah
Prof Frederick Ato Armah is an Associate Professor of Environmental and Sustainability Science and until his appointment was the Deputy Director of DRIC from August 1, 2016. Prof Armah is an interdisciplinary scientist with deep interest in the natural and human dimensions of environment and health. His professional expertise include multivariate environmental statistics; global environmental change mitigation and adaptation; environmental and natural resource management, remediation and policy; human health risk assessment; climate change-human health nexus; pollution of environmental media and biota; and socio-ecological systems. He has extensive experience in teaching, research and collaboration with partners in both developed (Canada, Sweden, Netherlands, USA) and developing countries (Ethiopia, Cameroon, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Cambodia, Tanzania). He has served as consultant to several organisations and government agencies both local and international.
He holds a BSc (Hons) Degree in Chemistry and MPhil (Part 1) in Chemistry both from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. He also holds an MSc Degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science from Lund University in Sweden. Prof Armah has a PhD in Geography (Environment and Human Health) from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. In addition, he holds a certificate in Transforming Leadership and Governance (ILF); certificate in Project Planning and Proposal Development (AAU); Certificate in Preliminary Assessment & Site Inspection of Surface water, Groundwater, Air & Soil (USEPA); and Certificate in Facilitating Multi-stakeholder Process and Social Learning: Advanced Course in the Use of Participatory Approaches for Institutional Change (WUR). Prof Armah has held several prestigious scholarships including the Swedish Institute Scholarship (2006-2008), Netherlands Fellowship (2009) and the Ontario Trillium Scholarship (2011-2015). He is the first individual from sub-Saharan Africa to win the prestigious Ontario Trillium Scholarship.
Prof Armah has worked at all levels of the educational ladder (basic, secondary, tertiary) in Ghana starting from 1995. Cumulatively, he has garnered over 20 years of teaching and research experience more than half of which is at the tertiary level. In 2009, he received the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Science, Innovation and Technology joint award for the best innovative scientist in developing a technique for the removal of fluoride ions in Bongo using local available materials. This award was established to mark the Golden Jubilee of the CSIR. Following this award, he was briefly part of a team of scientists that developed technologies to produce safe drinking water using laterite, a soil-type, rich in iron and aluminium, as a sorbent and ultra-filtration for physical disinfection. This initiative was part of collaboration between researchers at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology in Ghana, and the University of Edinburgh, UK titled, "Safe Drinking Water using Appropriate Technologies for Ghana (SADWAT-GHANA). Under the aegis of SADWAT-GHANA, Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences and Tanzania Academy of Sciences, Prof Armah was invited by the UK Royal Society to attend the first Leverhulme—Royal Society Africa Award Holder Meeting in Dar es Salaam on 5-6 December 2010.
As the Head of the Department of Environmental Science during 2016-2018, Prof Armah established collaboration with the Centers for Natural Resources and Development (CNRD) at the University of Applied Sciences, Cologne, Germany (https://www.cnrd.info/partner/university-of-cape-coast/). CNRD is a consortium of about 20 higher education institutions that connects universities worldwide by promoting academic exchange and cooperation in the field of natural resource management, particularly with regards to water, land, ecosystems and renewable energy.
Prof. Frederick Ato Armah also established the Margaret Wulesie Award of Excellence in Environmental Science, in honour and memory of his late mother, Margaret Wulesie. The award which is worth 1000 Ghana Cedis is given to an Environmental Science graduand who obtains a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.8 or better.
Prof Armah vigorously pursued an agenda of equipping the Environmental Science and allied laboratories in the School of Biological Sciences during his tenure as head of department. He was instrumental in the donation of equipment and accessories worth over 150,000 Ghana Cedis to the department by the Copenhagen Business Academy (CPH), Denmark (see pages 8-10 of UCC Bulletin Volume 54 Issue 1, September 2018).
As Deputy Director of DRIC since 2016, Prof Armah led the development of the first UCC Intellectual Property Policy (IPP) and co-chaired the committee that crafted the first ever UCC Research Report, which has since received extensive critical acclaim. He also chaired the committee that developed the 2018-2022 UCC Research Agenda, which gives expression to the research tenets and trajectory of UCC as set out in the 2018-2022 Corporate Strategic Plan. Prof Armah was part of the team at DRIC that actively coordinated the training of the three proposal writing teams that applied for the third World Bank sponsored African Centres of Excellence (ACE) initiative. One of the three teams consequently won this five million dollar project. Prof Armah also led the UCC team that drafted a proposal in response to the 27 million dollar World Bank/RUFORUM call on Strengthening Higher Agricultural Education for Agrifood Systems Transformation in Africa (SHAEA). It is the first ever proposal that UCC has submitted in response to a single trans-disciplinary call of this nature and magnitude.
As Deputy Director of DRIC, Prof Armah also successfully led UCC to apply for the Queen Elizabeth II (QES II) Advanced-Scholars program, which seeks to establish research capacity and leadership qualities in young African and Canadian scholars in order to enable them to competently address global challenges pertaining to Environment, Food and Health. Through this initiative, the University of Cape Coast sent one QES II Scholar to Western University, Canada in 2018 and another is set to go to the University of Saskatchewan, Canada to undertake research under the supervision and mentorship of a very experienced team of faculty members, for a minimum period of 90 days (https://sens.usask.ca/students/One-Page-Fact-Sheet-for-Incoming-Students.16.pdf).
He was also actively involved in the successful application for and implementation of the African Trans-Regional Cooperation through Academic Mobility (ACADEMY) Project. This is a 1.4 million dollar EU-Intra Africa Mobility Grant, which seeks to foster mobility of staff and students among partners in the consortium (UCC, Ghana, Tlemcen University, Algeria, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and Kenyatta University, Kenya) to deepen cross-cultural learning and enhance regional capacity building in higher education (https://academy.univ-tlemcen.dz/institutions).
Prof Armah is the UCC team lead on the 2.5 million dollar partnership grant titled Appraising Risk, Past and Present: Interrogating Historical Data to Enhance Understanding of Environmental Crises in the Indian Ocean World (http://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/results-resultats/recipients-recipiendaires/2017/partnership_grants_nov-subventions_partenerial_nov-eng.aspx). This 7-year initiative seeks to enhance historical understanding of the factors at work in past environmental crises, and thereby significantly improve currently employed environmental risk perception and governance (ERPG) tools. The team consists of 8 Co-Applicants, 17 Partner Institutions, and 23 additional Collaborators (including UCC) spread across 17 countries in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America.
Prof Armah is currently a member of the National Technical Committee on Environmental Quality Standards in Ghana. In March 2019, he was appointed as a member of the France-Ghana Nkabom Scientific Committee that reviews joint proposals submitted by academics in both countries on energy and renewable energy, environment and climate change, engineering sciences; biology and biotechnology. In 2015, he was appointed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to serve on its Global Panel of Experts on the Environment. At the time, he was the only scientist from Ghana among the team of experts drawn from over 110 countries by the UNEP Chief Scientist to develop the regional assessment reports that served as precursor to the 6th Global Environment Outlook. In 2017, based on his meritorious contribution to the Africa regional assessment, the UN Chief Scientist subsequently nominated him to be a lead author of the Air Policy Effectiveness chapter of the Global Environment Outlook 6 (GEO-6) Report, which was launched by the UN Environment Assembly in March 2019 (https://www.unenvironment.org/pt-br/node/24447). This report is now published by the Cambridge University Press.
Prof Armah was an Associate Editor of the African Geographical Review (Taylor and Francis) from 2013-2016. He is currently an Associate Editor of Frontiers in Environmental Science Journal in Switzerland. He also serves as an External Examiner for the Master of Science programme in Environmental Science at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. He has previously reviewed for about 48 international journals (https://publons.com/researcher/443235/frederick-ato-armah/). He also served as External Reviewer for the Human and Institutional Capacity Development Directorate of the National Research Foundation (NRF) of the South Africa Thuthuka Programme. He was External Reviewer for the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) Africa LIRA 2030 proposals on understanding the Energy-Health-Natural Disasters nexus in urban contexts in Africa.
Prof Armah has published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles in reputable international journals (https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=1RmZz2YAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao), 20 technical reports, 2 book chapters (https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-25814-0_25) and 2 encyclopaedia entries (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/9781118410868.wbehibs420). Some of his scholarly research works have appeared in high impact factor journals such as PLOS one, Environmental Health Perspectives, Frontiers in Environmental Science, EcoHealth, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Population and Environment, Water MDPI, International Journal of Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, Exposure and Health, Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology, Journal of Environmental Science & Health Part A, Toxicological and Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Geojournal and Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change.
He is also member of several professional organisations including the International Association of Hydrological Sciences, International Society for Environmental Information Sciences, Earth Systems Governance, and the Institute for Research on Environment and Sustainability. He is member of various communities of practice including the Climate Change and Forestry Adaptation Communities of Practice: Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources (OCCIAR), Canada and Too Big to Ignore (TBTI): Global Response Cluster of the Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research (IMBER).
He has attended over 90 seminars/workshops/conferences/webinars organised in eleven countries across the globe. Prof Armah has given numerous guest lectures at high ranking universities across the globe including the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; University of Toledo, Ohio, USA and Pennsylvania State University, USA. He was also awarded as an Outstanding Researcher at the University of Cape Coast for hard work, dexterity, and great dedication to research during the 2015/2016 academic year.
Prof Armah has been championing the visibility agenda of UCC aimed at highlighting the University’s research and teaching output through dissemination in recognized channels. In this regard, he has been very instrumental in facilitating series of workshops and sensitization programmes on scientometric indicators and webometrics ranking and its relationship to quality education and research. For instance, he coordinated the first Elsevier workshop regarding academic writing and global visibility on UCC campus. He has successfully overseen two rounds of the UCC Research Support Grants (RSGs) and Research Awards, during his tenure as Deputy Director of DRIC. Many of the RSGs he coordinated have culminated in the publication of very good papers in high impact ISI or Science Citation Index (SCI) journals.
At DRIC, Prof Armah led the Vice Chancellor’s agenda of increasing the number of faculty members on Google Scholar. Through his instrumentality and concerted efforts with key stakeholders, the number of UCC faculty members on Google Scholar more than quadrupled between 2016 and 2019.
Several establishments that track scholarly achievement consistently rank Prof Frederick Ato Armah among the most visible, topmost scientists in Ghana and beyond. These include Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=1RmZz2YAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao), Web of Science ResearcherID and ORCID (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9371-5683), Scopus (https://www.scopus.com/authid/detail.uri?authorId=35483141300), ResearchGate (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Frederick_Armah) and Publons (https://publons.com/researcher/443235/frederick-ato-armah/). In 2017, Publons ranked him as one of the top one percent of reviewers in multidisciplinary academic fields. In 2018, Publons ranked him again as one of the top one percent of reviewers in the field of Environment/Ecology.