Brianne Duncan
Brianne Duncan
Senior Scientist
Environmental & Earth Sciences
  • Seattle

At Exponent, Ms. Duncan provides a variety of technical and deliverable project support, including database management; programming in Access, Excel, and R; managing project budgets and timetables; preparing project proposals; editing and contributing content to expert reports, presentations, and other deliverables; summarizing case materials and depositions; performing data mining on federal and state agency websites; performing data review and analysis; and reviewing domestic and international environmental regulations and standards. While at Seattle University, Ms. Duncan worked with the Biology Department in the classification of a new species of Nemertean worm, Baseodiscus littmani (publication pending). This required the use of both genetic and morphological data. 

At the University of Washington she is currently performing Master’s thesis research to evaluate the relationship between private household well water quality and active unconventional gas well density. Ms. Duncan’s research includes using spatial, regression, and principal component analysis (PCA) analytical techniques to evaluate natural factors, such as climate and hydrogeology, as well as anthropogenic factors, such as land use and historic industrial activities.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • M.S., Environmental Heath, University of Washington, 2016
  • B.S., Biology, Seattle University, 2007

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

40-Hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response – HAZWOPER, 2008

8-Hour OSHA Annual Refresher, 2009–2015

Publications

Duncan B, Onstad G, Rabinowitz P. Temporal and spatial analysis of groundwater quality and unconventional gas well density in Washington County, Pennsylvania (Preliminary Analysis). Semiahmoo Annual Occupational, Environmental and Public Health Conference, Blaine, WA, 2016.

Duncan B, Belisle M. Big picture strategies for big data analysis. SETAC North America 35th Annual Meeting. Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2014.

Johns MW, Edwards ME, Duncan BR, Harney J, Thompson T, Atlas RM. Evaluation of relationships among fluorescence, dissolved oxygen, and analytical chemistry measurements of the water column as indicators of MC252 oil in the Gulf of Mexico. SETAC North America 33rd Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, November 2011.

Project Experience

Contaminated Site Responsibility Allocation

Played an integral role in organizing and tracking company histories and lineages to determine responsible parties. This required cross-referencing information from many different sources and determining relevant site factors that required inclusion in the allocation process. It also involved searching EPA and state regulatory databases for data related to federal- and state-permitted (e.g., NPDES) facilities. Helped develop a data platform for linking and storing information related to specific geographic sites and responsible parties.

Water and Waste Management

Researched and compiled information pertaining to metal mining effluent regulations applicable to inorganic constituents (e.g., arsenic, copper, lead, mercury, zinc, etc.) in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Chile, Peru, and Australia. Identified regulatory and enforcement drivers pertaining to wastewater pre-treatment and discharge in each country.

Reviewed an FYI Concordance document database to extract data related to effluent flow and inorganic constituent concentrations for municipal wastewater treatment facilities and privately owned locations.

Currently managing a project that compares the current state of water and waste management in Kuwait to the standards and regulations in the United States (CERCLA, RCRA, CWA), the European Union (EU Water/Waste Framework Directives), Canada (Canada Water Act, CEPA), and the Gulf Cooperation Council. This includes a review of numerical standards, internal organizational hierarchy, and the interactions between regulatory agencies and the regulated community. She has authored multiple reports and prepared presentations for members of the Kuwait Ministry and lead international team meetings.

Marine Waters and Sediment

Assisted in the analysis of fluorescence, dissolved oxygen, chemistry, and biodegradation data in a saltwater environment. Temporal and spatial analyses included overlaying CTD (conductivity, temperature, depth), fluorescence, and dissolved oxygen sensor array data with laboratory chemical analyses and biodegradation calculations.

Helped on multiple projects to analyze data on sediment chemistry, plant distribution, nutrient presence, redox conditions, and habitat characteristics in marine shoreline environments after petroleum contamination.

Unconventional Natural Gas Extraction

Organized analytical chemistry, hydrogeological, climatological, unconventional gas well, and household groundwater well characteristics from Washington County, Pennsylvania into a unified database. Performed statistical analysis of the data using multiple linear regression with Box-Cox transformations, correlation matrices, and PCA in R and spatial analysis in ArcGIS to identify whether there is a correlation between active unconventional gas well density and household water quality parameters.

Superfund Sites

Aided in performing a temporal trend analysis of proposed, final, constructed, and deleted sites on the EPA National Priorities List (NPL).

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Regulations

Helped review the EPA Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), South Coast Air Quality Management District, California Air Resources Board, and Ozone Transport Commission VOC calculation methods and applied them to specific architectural coating formulations to verify compliance. Also developed a spreadsheet to automate the calculation process and organize the data in a way that avoids entry errors by the user.

Database Management

Participated in the creation of a database populated by more than 90,000 lab results. Both sampling results and field notebooks were taken into account and linked internally.

Searched for data incompatibility issues and planned resolutions relating to sampling and monitoring events managed by EPA’s Scribe database.

Assisted in individual project database organization and document entry, facilitating a more efficient document retrieval method, and contaminated site information compilation.

Performed numerous large database exports from governmental agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control, Washington State Department of Ecology, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Environment Canada, and Kuwait EPA.

Created, populated, and maintained a multiple-phase sample database with more than 8 million entries and 250 fields.

Performed a technical review of an online database tool that incorporates various forms of structured and unstructured data, including sampling plans, field notes, lab chain-of-custody documentation, CTD data, chemistry data, and LISST (laser in-situ scattering and transmissometer) data.

Performed data extraction, mapping, and general characterization of soil, sediment, and groundwater chemistry data for a contaminated site in Tennessee, using data from a multi-billion row database maintained by the US Department of Energy.

Organized Gulf Sturgeon telemetry data and implemented data verification checks for sensor readings. Summarized individual sturgeon migration pathways for seasonal variations.

Performed database QA/QC and management for the sediment chemistry database supporting the Western Port Angeles Harbor RI/FS work to fill in data gaps. Updated toxicity equivalence (TEQ) calculated values for dioxins and PCBs in sediment chemistry samples.

Litigation

Assisted in document preparation for intra-articular pain pump litigation and expert report development.

Reviewed asbestos case plaintiff depositions, Social Security records, military records, medical records, and answers to interrogatories, to provide resulting summary reports to experts.

Literature Reviews

Participated in the research and development of an article comparing colorectal cancers/adenomas, study type, and metabolic syndrome (publication pending).

Performed initial article searches on PubMed and Embase to determine the scope of information available on a variety of topics. Aided in creating forms to streamline the data abstraction process and manage abstracted data, and executed data abstraction on thousands of journal articles, presentations, poster data, and government publications. Also provided content and editing to numerous final reports and deliverables.

Reviewed more than 1,000 journal articles, poster presentations, government publications, and reports related to PFCs, as part of a review effort and database creation on the state of knowledge regarding this class of compounds.

Document Reviews


Managed several teams of up to 20 members that have reviewed over a hundred thousand documents including journal articles, communications, reports, technical documents, photos, and government publications. Developed a tracking template that can produce productivity metrics and track budget expenditures.

Proposals

Aided in the preparation of several project proposals for literature reviews on such subjects as mercury uptake in trees from soil, ambient, or alternative sources and potential bioremediation pathways, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), cystic fibrosis (CF), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE), pediatric and elderly respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza B, medical device risk assessment regarding hepatitis B transmission, and the revision of an infectious lab’s Biological Exposure Control Plan (BECP), Accident Prevention Program (APP), and Emergency Management Plan (EMP). Additionally, helped to prepare proposals for contaminated site responsibility allocation for contaminated land and waters, and data review and management of millions of lines of data.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • M.S., Environmental Heath, University of Washington, 2016
  • B.S., Biology, Seattle University, 2007

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

40-Hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response – HAZWOPER, 2008

8-Hour OSHA Annual Refresher, 2009–2015