Ph.D. Civil/Environmental Engineering, University of Iowa
Louis Licht is founder and president of Ecolotree®, Inc. He has synthesized past work and academic experience into a new field of environmental cleanup called phytoremediation or phyto. Beginning in 1981, he has focused his intellectual and business effort on the practical application of root zones to grow a crop while managing water and regulated pollutants. Having grown up on a family farm in Lowden Iowa, he now manages corn and soybean fields to reduce sediment and nitrate draining to streams.
Since 1990, Ecolotree has designed and installed phytoremediation systems at over 120 sites in 33 states that grow trees (principally Populous spp. & Salix spp.). Ecolotree provides the phyto alternative for covering landfills, treating municipal and industrial wastewater, leachate land application, filtering storm water runoff from farms and towns, containing and cleaning shallow polluted groundwater, and redeveloping industrial ‘brown field’ sites. As acceptance grows for the phyto concept, Ecolotree continues to expand its client base and application portfolio.
Dr. Licht serves as an adjunct Associate Professor at The University of Iowa, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He has served as lecturer and instructor for senior design projects at Oregon State University and The University of Iowa. Ecolotree colloaborates with research university faculty to create peer-reviewed phyto science literature dealing with important pollutants including: PCB cleanup from sediments, nitrogen removal from waste water, and treatment of explosive compounds from weapons manufacturing and battlefields.
Ecolotree Research Group grows rhizospheres for tertiary waste water treatment in a unitized PhAGR™ (Phyto Attached Growth Reactor) to displace conventional high energy lagoons or chemical reactors.
Dr. Licht farms his grandfather’s farm in eastern Iowa. Ecolofarm® farm operations include:
- Two licensed nurseries in Lowden Iowa and Coupeville Washington
- 90 acres growing commercial corn and soybeans in cooperation with a local farmer
- 270 acres mature flood plain hardwood forest and Emergency Wetlands Reserve.