Ben Kocar

Ben Kocar, Ph.D., C.P.S.S.

Managing Scientist
Environmental & Earth Sciences
Seattle

Dr. Kocar specializes in the science of soils, sediments and water. A Certified Professional Soil Scientist (CPSS), he uses his multidisciplinary expertise in geochemistry, microbiology, and hydrogeology to solve complex problems involving the fate of chemicals and the flow of water within natural and engineered systems.

Dr. Kocar’s project experience includes delineating water movement and chemical migration in agricultural and industrial soils, wetlands, landfills, coal-ash impoundments, aquifers and groundwater basins, and surface waters. He has employed groundwater and geochemical modeling tools to understand and predict the flux of water and chemicals in complex geologic settings. He has applied his expertise to problems involving the timing and extent of chemical release from point and non-point sources (environmental forensics) and exposure of ecological receptors to chemicals. Dr. Kocar has studied the fate and transport of inorganic and organic chemicals, including metal(loids) such as arsenic, lead, mercury, and chromium; radionuclides such as radium, radon and uranium; nutrients such as carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus; trace gases such as methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide; and various organics, including pesticides and halogenated compounds.

Dr. Kocar has supported matters and litigation relating to the Clean Water Act (CWA), Superfund (CERCLA), California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), and insurance claims. Before joining Exponent, he served for over 7 years as an instructor and professor at Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, respectively, where he taught classroom, laboratory, and field-based subjects in environmental chemistry, contaminant hydrogeology, and soil science. He also worked as an engineering physicist at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource at SLAC National Laboratory, where he supported numerous research groups using advanced, X-ray-based analytical techniques to decipher the chemistry of minerals, polymers, fossils, and experimental batteries. Dr. Kocar has published over 35 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and has authored or co-authored over 85 conference presentations (multiple key-note and invited), including the annual American Geophysical Union, Goldschmidt (geochemistry), Soil Science Society of America, and American Chemical Society meetings.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Geological and Environmental Science, Stanford University, 2008
  • M.S., Land Resources and Environmental Chemistry, Montana State University, 2002
  • B.S., Chemistry-Biochemistry, Montana State University, 2000
  • B.S., Soil and Environmental Science, Montana State University, 2000
  • SSSA Emil Truog Award for Best PhD Dissertation in Soil Science, 2009 

    U. S. EPA STAR Graduate Fellowship, 2004-2007 

    Best Graduate Student Presentation: 84th Meeting of AAAS-Pacific Division, 2003 

    J. Thomas Dutro, Jr. Award for Excellence in the Geosciences, AAAS, 2003 

    Graduate Student Fellowship: Montana State University Thermal Biology Institute, 2000-2002

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Professional Soil Scientist (CPSS) #61958

Publications

Mehta, N., Benzerara, K., Kocar, B.D. (corresponding author), Chapon, V. (2019). Sequestration of Radionuclides Radium-226 and Strontium-90 by Cyanobacteria Forming Intracellular Calcium Carbonates. Environmental Science and Technology. 53, 12639-12647.

Mehta, N. and Kocar, B.D. (2019) Geochemical Conditions Conducive for Retention of Trace Elements and Radionuclides during Shale-Fluid Interactions. Environmental Science: Impact and Processes. 21, 764.

Prommer, H., Sun, J., and Kocar, B.D. (2019) Using Reactive Transport Models to Quantify and Predict Groundwater Quality. Elements. 15, 87-92.

Mehta, N and Kocar, B.D. (2018) Deciphering and Predicting Microscale Controls on Radon Production in Soils, Sediments and Rock. Soil Processes. 2, 30, 1-14.

Chen, M.A. and Kocar, B.D. (2018) Radium Sorption to Iron (hydr)oxides, Pyrite and Montmorillonite: Implications for Mobility. 52, 4023-30. Environmental Science and Technology.

Hagan, D., Issacman-VanWertz, G., Franklin, JP, Wallace, LMM, Kocar, B.D., Heald, CL, Kroll, JH. (2018) Calibration and assessment of electrochemical air quality sensors by co-location with regulatory-grade instruments. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques. 11, 315-328.

L. Li…, Kocar B.D. et al (2017). Expanding the Role of Reactive Transport Models in Critical Zone Processes. Earth-Science Reviews. 165. 280-301.

Johnson, J. Savalia, P., Davis, R. Kocar, B.D., Webb, S. Nealson, K.H., Fischer, W. (2016) Real-Time Manganese Phase Dynamics during Biological and Abiotic Manganese Oxide Reduction. Environmental Science and Technology. 8, 4248-4258.

Stuckey, J., Schaefer, M.V., Kocar B.D. Benner, S.G. and Fendorf S. (2016) Arsenic Release Metabolically Limited to Permanently Saturated Soil in Mekong Delta. Nature Geoscience. 9, 70-

Kraal, P. Burton, E.D., Rose, A.L, Grice, K., Lockhart, R.S., Tan, E., Bush, R.T., Webb, S.M., Kocar, B.D. (2015) Phosphorus Dynamics in Eutrophic Estuarine Sediments with Contrasting Iron Redox Chemistry. Chemical Geology. 392, 19-31.

Stuckey, J.W., Schaefer, M.V., Kocar, B.D., Ditmar, J.D., Pacheco, J.L., Benner, S.G., Fendorf, S. (2015). Peat formation concentrates arsenic within sediment deposits of the Mekong Delta. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: 149, 190-205.

Burton, E.D., Johnson, S.G, Kocar, B.D. (2014) Arsenic Mobility during Flooding of Contaminated Soil: The Effect of Microbial Sulfate Reduction. Environmental Science and Technology. 48 (23) 13660-7.

Prouty, N.G., Roark, E.B., Koenig, A.E., Demopoulos, A.W.G., Batista, F.C., Kocar, B.D., Selby, D., McCarthy, M.D., Mienis, F. (2014). Deep Sea Coral Record of Human Impact on Watershed Quality in the Mississippi River Basin. Global Biogeochemical Cycles: (28) 9, 29-43.

Kocar B.D., Benner, S.G. and Fendorf S. (2014) Deciphering and Predicting Spatial and Temporal Concentrations of Arsenic within the Mekong Delta Aquifer. Environmental Chemistry. 11 (5).

Masue-Slowey, Y., Ying, S.C., Kocar, B.D., Pallud, C.E., Fendorf, S. (2013) Dependence of Arsenic Fate and Transport on Biogeochemical Heterogeneity Arising from Physical Structure of Soils and Sediments. Journal of Environmental Quality: 42 (4), 1119-1129.

Seyfferth, A., Kocar, B.D., Lee, J.A., Fendorf, S. (2013). Seasonal Dynamics of Dissolved Silicon in a Rice Cropping System after Straw Incorporation. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 123, 120-133.

Ying, S.C., Masue-Slowey, Y., Kocar, B.D., Griffis, S.D., Webb, S., Marcus, M., Francis, C. and Fendorf, S. (2013). Distributed Microbially- and Chemically-Mediated Redox Processes Controlling Arsenic Dynamics within Mn/Fe-oxide Constructed Aggregates. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. (104) 29-41.

Kozubal, M.A., Macur, R.E., Jay, Z.J., Beam, J.P., Malfatti, S.A., Tringe, S.G., Kocar, B.D., Borch, T., and Inskeep, W.P. (2012). Microbial Iron Cycling in Acidic Geothermal Springs of Yellowstone National Park: Integrating Molecular Surveys, Geochemical Processes, and Isolation of Novel Fe-Active Microorganisms. Frontiers in Microbiology. 3 (109), 1-16.

Ying, S.C., Kocar, B.D., and Fendorf, S. Oxidation and Competitive Retention of Arsenic between Iron and Manganese Oxides. (2012). Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: 96 (1) 294-303.

Ushizima, D., Parkinson, D., Nico, P., Ajo-Franklin, J., Macdowell, A., Kocar, B.D., Bethel, W., Sethian, J. (2011) Statistical Segmentation and Porosity Quantificaiton of 3D X-ray Micro-tomography. Applications of Digital Image Processing. Vol 8135, Article no. 813502.

Sharma, P., Rolle, M., Kocar, B.D., Grathwohl, Pl, Fendorf, S., Kappler, A. (2011) Influence of Natural Organic Matter on Arsenic Transport and Retention. Environmental Science and Technology. 45 (13) 5572-5579.

Kocar, B.D. and Fendorf, S. (2011). Arsenic Release and Transport in Sediments of the Mekong Delta. In: Interdisciplinary Studies on Environmental Chemistry –Environmental Pollution and Ecotoxicology. pp 117-124.

Masue-Slowey, Y., Kocar, B.D., Jofre, S., Mayer, K.U., and Fedorf, S. (2010). Transport Implications Resulting from Internal Redistribution of Arsenic and Iron within Constructed Soil Aggregates. Environmental Science and Technology. 45 (2) 582-588.

Kocar, B.D., Borch, T., and Fendorf. (2010). Arsenic Mobilization and Repartitioning During Biogenic Sulfidization and Transformation of Ferrihydrite. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 74, 980-994.

Robinson, D.A., Lebron, I., Kocar, B.D., Phan, K., Sampson, M., Crook, N. Fendorf, S. (2009). Time-lapse Geophysical Imaging of Soil Moisture Dynamics in Tropical Deltaic Soils: An Aid to Interpreting Hydrological and Geochemical Processes. Water Resources Research. 45, W00D32, 1-12.

Busbee, M.W., Kocar B.D., Benner, S.G. (2009). Irrigation Produces Elevated Arsenic in the Underlying Groundwater of a Semi-Arid Basin in Southwestern Idaho. Applied Geochemistry, 24, 843.

Kocar, B.D., and Fendorf, S. (2009). Thermodynamic Constraints on Reductive Reactions Influencing the Biogeochemistry of Arsenic in Soils and Sediments. Environmental Science and Technology. 43, 4871-4877.

Benner, S.G., Polizzotto, M.P., Kocar, B.D., Sampson, M. and Fendorf, S. (2008) Groundwater Flow in an Arsenic-Contaminated Aquifer, Mekong Delta. Applied Geochemistry, 23 (11) 3072-3087.

Polizzotto, M., Kocar, B.D., Benner, S., Sampson, M., and Fendorf, S. (2008) Near-Surface Wetland Sediments as a Source of Arsenic Release to Groundwater in Asia. Nature. 454. 505-508.

Kocar B.D., Polizzotto, M.L., Benner, S.G., Ying, S.C., Ung, M., Ouch, K., Samreth, S., Suy, B., Phan, K., Sampson, M., Fendorf, S. (2008) Integrated Biogeochemical and Hydrologic Processes Driving Arsenic Release from Shallow Sediments to Groundwaters of the Mekong Delta. Applied Geochemistry, 23 (11) 3059-3071.

Kocar, B.D., Herbel, M.J., Tufano, K., and Fendorf, S. (2006). Contrasting Effects of Dissimilatory As(V) and Fe(III) reduction on Arsenic Retention and Transport. Environmental Science and Technology. 40 (21): 6715-6721.

Kocar, B.D., Garrott, R., and Inskeep, W.P. (2004) Elk Exposure to Arsenic in Geothermal Waters of Yellowstone National Park, USA. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 23: 982-989.

Johnson, S.B., Yoon, T.H., Kocar, B.D., and G.E. Brown, Jr. (2004). Adsorption of Organic Matter at Mineral/Water Interfaces II: Outer-sphere Adsorption of Maleate and Implications for Dissolution Processes. Langmuir. 20 (12): 4996-5006.

Macur, R.E., Langner, H.W., Kocar, B.D., and Inskeep, W.P. (2004). Linking Geochemical Processes with Microbial Community Analysis: Successional Dynamics in an Arsenic-Rich, Acid-Sulfate-Chloride Geothermal Spring. Geobiology 2, 165-167

Kocar B.D. and Inskeep, W.P. (2003). Photochemical Oxidation of Arsenite in Ferrioxalate Solutions (2003). Environmental Science and Technology. 37: 1581-1588.

Book Chapters

Fendorf, S., Herbel, M., Tufano, K., Kocar, B.D. (2007). Biogeochemical Processes Controlling the Cycling of Arsenic in Soils and Sediments. In Biophysico-chemical Processes of Heavy Metals and Metalloids in Soil Environments. Wiley and Sons, San Francisco. (ISBN: 978-0-471-73778-0)

Fendorf, S., Nico, P., Kocar, B.D., Masue, Y., Tufano, K., (2010). Arsenic Chemistry in Soils and Sediments. In Developments in Soil Science: Synchrotron-Based Techniques in Soils and Sediments. Elsevier (ISBN-13: 978-0444532619)

Invited Presentations and Lectures

Kocar, B.D. (Keynote). Examining Nanoscale Biogeochemical Controls on Metals, Radionuclides and Soil-Aqueous Particulate Organic Carbon Using Conventional and Synchrotron-Based Techniques (August, 2018), for Goldschmidt Annual Meeting, Boston, MA.

Kocar, B.D. (2017) Measuring and Deciphering Microscale Biogeochemical Controls on Soil-Sedimentary Nutrients and Contaminants using Synchrotron-Based Techniques. For NSLS-II Symposium, 2017, Brookhaven, NY.

Kocar, B.D. (2014) Using X-ray Microprobe Techniques to Examine Coupled Biogeochemical-Hydrologic Processes responsible for Contaminant Mobilization and Retention in Soils and Sediments. For NSLS-II Users Meeting, Brookhaven, NY.

Kocar, B.D. Understanding Biogeochemistry in Complex Physical Environments (2014). For United States Geological Survey (USGS), Santa Cruz, CA.

Kocar, B.D. Understanding Biogeochemistry in Complex Physical Environments (2013). For Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Kocar, B.D., Deciphering and Scaling Biogeochemical Processes Responsible for the World’s Largest Mass Poisoning. (2013). For University of Michigan.

Kocar, B.D. Arsenic Release and Transport in Sediments of the Mekong Delta. (2011) For Symposium on Advanced Studies in Environmental Research, Global Center of Excellence Institute, Ehime University, Japan.

Kocar, B.D. Defining and Scaling Coupled Hydrological-Biogeochemical Processes Responsible for the World’s Largest Mass Poisoning (2011). For Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, California Institute of Technology.

Kocar, B.D. Defining and Scaling Coupled Geochemical-Hydrologic Processes Responsible for the World's Largest Mass Poisoning. (2011). For Department of Earth Sciences, Dartmouth College.

Fendorf, S. Masue, Y., Kocar, B.D. (speaker), Ying, S. (2010). Biogeochemically Induced Mineral Transformations Controlling the Fate of Arsenic. Keynote Presentation, For Goldschmidt annual meeting, Knoxville, TN.

Kocar, B.D. and Fendorf, S. Defining and Predicting Biogeochemical Processes Contributing to Arsenic Release in Sediments of the Mekong Delta. (2009). For Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.

Kocar, B.D. and Fendorf, S. Biogeochemical Processes Governing the Fate of Arsenic in Sediments of South and Southeast Asia. (2009). For Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of British Columbia, Canada.

Kocar, B.D. and Fendorf, S. Soil-Sediment Processes Governing Arsenic Release and Transport in Sediments of South and Southeast Asia (2009). For Center for Applied Geoscience-Geomicrobiology. University of Tübingen, Germany.

Kocar B.D., S. Ying, M. Polizzotto, and S. Fendorf. (2008). Defining and Simulating the Coupled Biogeochemical and Hydrologic Processes Governing Arsenic Mobility within Soils and Sediments of the Mekong Delta, Cambodia. For Annual meeting of the Stanford-National Science Foundation Environmental Molecular Sciences Institute.

Kocar B.D. S. Ying, M. Polizzotto, and S. Fendorf. (2007). Arsenic Release During Sulfidization and Transformation of Ferrihydrite. Stanford University. Annual meeting of the Stanford-National Science Foundation Environmental Molecular Sciences Institute.

Kocar B.D., S. Ying, M. Polizzotto, and S. Fendorf. (2006). Arsenic Release from Tropical Soils. Stanford University. San Francisco State University, San Francisco CA.

Kocar B.D., S. Ying, M. Polizzotto, and S. Fendorf. (2006). Arsenic Desorption from Ferrihydrite During Biogenic Sulfide Production. Stanford University. Annual meeting of the Stanford-National Science Foundation Environmental Molecular Sciences Institute.

Kocar B.D., B.S. Stewart, and S. Fendorf. (2004). (A)Biotically Generated Hydrogen Sulfide and Ferrous Iron Reactions with Arsenic-Doped Ferrihydrite: Pathways of Arsenic Mobilization and Sequestration. Stanford University. Soil Science Society of America annual meeting, Seattle, WA.

Kocar B.D., R.A. Garrott, and W.P Inskeep. (2003). Elk Exposure to Arsenic in the Madison-Firehole Watershed, Yellowstone National Park. Stanford University. Soil Science Society of America annual meeting, Denver, CO.

Presentations-Volunteered

Kocar B.D., Mehta N., Gadol H.J., Chen M. Gelfond, C.E., Carrasquillo A.J. Deciphering Coupled Mineralogical-Redox Controls on Methane Cycling in Variably Saturated Soils and Sediments. (2017). For AGU annual meeting, New Orleans, LA

Kocar B.D., Gelfond C.E. Photochemically-Driven Reduction of Mercury-(II) in the Presence of Particulate Organic Matter. (2016). For American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting, San Francisco CA

Kocar B.D. and Webb S. (2012). Soft X-Ray Microscopy at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource. For the XAFS Conference, Shanghai, China.

Kocar B.D and Fendorf, S. Variation in Biogeochemical Processes Controlling Uranium and Chromium Induced by Soil Physical Complexity. (2010). For Soil Science Society of America annual meeting, Long Beach, CA.

Kocar B.D and Fendorf S. Diffusive Controls and Thermodynamic Constraints on Reductive Biogeochemical Reactions. (2009). For Soil Science Society of America annual meeting, Pittsburgh, PA.

Kocar B.D. and Fendorf S., (2009). Diffusive Controls and Thermodynamic Constraints on Reductive Biogeochemical Reactions. For Goldschmidt, 2009, Davos, Switzerland.

Kocar B.D., Polizzotto M., Ying S, Benner S.G., Sampson M., Fendorf S. (2009). Measuring and Simulating the Near-Surface Biogeochemical and Hydrologic Processes Governing Arsenic Transport in the Mekong Delta, Cambodia. For AGU Chapman Conference in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Kocar B.D., Polizzotto M., Ying S, Benner S.G., Sampson M., Fendorf S. (2009). Coupled Biogeochemical and Hydrologic Processes Governing Arsenic Mobility within Sediments of Southeast Asia. For AGU Annual Meeting, San Francisco, USA.

Kocar B.D., Polizzotto M., Ying S, Benner S.G., Sampson M., Fendorf, S. (2008). Coupled Biogeochemical and Hydrologic Processes Governing Arsenic Mobility within Sediments of Southeast Asia. For AGU Annual Meeting, San Francisco, USA.

Kocar B.D., Ying S.C., Polizzotto, M.L., Benner S.G., Ung M., Suy B., Phan K., Sampson M., Fendorf S. Coupled Biogeochemical and Hydrologic Processes Governing Arsenic Transport within Evolving Sedimentary Basins of Southeast Asia. (2008). For Soil Science Society of America annual meeting, Houston, TX.

Kocar B.D., Ying S, Polizzotto M., Ung M., Suy B, Phan K, Samreth S., Sampson M., Benner S. Fendorf S. (2008). Defining and Simulating the Coupled Biogeochemical and Hydrologic Processes Governing Arsenic Transport within Evolving Sedimentary Basins of Southeast Asia. For Goldschmidt Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Kocar B.D. and S. Fendorf. (2007). Sulfidogenesis Controls on Ferrihydrite Transformation and Repartitioning of Sorbed Arsenic. Stanford University. For American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Kocar B.D., Ying S.C., and Fendorf S. (2007). Release and Transport Pathways of Arsenic with Seasonally Saturated, Tropical Wetlands of the Mekong Delta. For Soil Science Society of America annual meeting, New Orleans, LA.

Kocar B.D., Ying S.C., Polizzotto M., Ung M., Samreth S., Leng M., Sampson M., and Fendorf S. (2006). Arsenic Retention and Release from Ferrihydrite and Tropical Soils during Iron and Sulfate Reduction. For American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Kocar B.D., Ying S.C., Polizzotto M., Ung M., Samreth S., Leng M., Sampson M., and Fendorf. S. (2006). Iron (hydr) Oxide Transformation and Release of Arsenic from Tropical Soils During Iron and Sulfate Reduction. For Soil Science Society of America annual meeting, Indianapolis, IN.

Kocar B.D., Masue Y., Tufano K, Ying S.C., Polizzotto M., Borch T., and Fendorf S. (2006). Iron (Hydr)oxide Transformation and Release of Arsenic from Ferrihydrite and Tropical Soils during Sulfate Reduction. For World Soils Congress, PA, USA.

Kocar B.D., T. Borch and S. Fendorf. (2005). Release of Arsenic and Transformation of Iron (Hydr)oxides During Sulfidogenesis. For Soil Science Society of America annual meeting, Salt Lake City, UT.

Kocar B.D., T. Borch, S. Fendorf. (2005). Sulfidogenesis Controls on Iron (Hydr)oxide Transformation and Release of Arsenic. Stanford University. For 230th ACS Meeting, Washington, D.C.

Kocar B.D., K. Tufano, Y. Masue, B. Stewart, M. Herbel, S. Fendorf. (2005). Reactions of Biogenic Ferrous Iron and Sulfide with Arsenic-Doped Ferrihydrite: Pathways of Arsenic Mobilization and Sequestration. For ISSM/ISEB Meeting, Jackson Hole, WY.

Kocar B.D., K. Tufano, Y. Masue, B.S. Stewart, M. Herbel, S. Fendorf. (2005). Arsenic Mobilization Influenced by Iron Reduction and Sulfidogenesis. For Goldschmidt Annual Meeting, Moscow, ID.

Kocar B.D., B.S. Stewart, M. Herbel M., Fendorf S. (2004). Arsenic Mobilization Influenced by Iron Reduction and Sulfidogenesis under Dynamic Flow. For American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Kocar B.D. (2004). (A)Biotically Generated Hydrogen Sulfide and Ferrous Iron Reactions with Arsenic-Doped Ferrihydrite: Pathways of Arsenic Mobilization and Sequestration. EPA STAR Fellowship Conference. Washington, D.C.

Kocar B.D. and Inskeep W.P.. (2003). Photochemically Induced Oxidation of Arsenite in Ferrioxalate Solutions. Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science-Pacific Division. 84th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Kocar B.D., Macur R.E., and Inskeep W.P. (2000). Photochemically Induced Oxidation of Arsenite in the Presence of Fe(III) and Oxalate. For Soil Science Society of America annual meeting, Minneapolis, MN.

Prior Experience

Visiting Professor, Dept of CEE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2018- Present

Assistant Professor, Dept of CEE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2014-2018

Private Consulting, Modeling Contaminant Fate and Transport, 2017-2018

Member, MIT-NIH Center for Environmental Health Sciences, 2016-2018

Guest Appointment, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, 2017-2018

Engineering Physicist, Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, 2011-2014

Lecturer, Stanford University, Dept of Earth System Science, 2011-2013

Post-Doctoral Scholar, Environmental Biogeochemistry, Stanford University, 2008-2011

Graduate Student Appointment, Soil and Environmental Biogeochemistry (Stanford), 2002-2008

Graduate Student Appointment, Thermal Biology Institute, Montana State University, 2000-2002

Professional Affiliations

Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), American Geophysical Union (AGU)

Reviewer for Scientific Journals: Environmental Science and Technology, Environmental Chemistry, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Science of the Total Environment, European Journal of Soil Sciences, Geochemical Transactions, Chemosphere, Applied Geochemistry, Geoderma, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Environmental Pollution, Frontiers in Microbial Geochemistry, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Nature Geoscience.

Reviewer for Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation-Geobiology and Low Temperature Geochemistry Program. Department of Energy, Program in Subsurface Biogeochemical Research. Department of Energy, Science Focus Areas for National Laboratory System.

Conference Sessions and Workshops Organized:

Co-Organizer: Biogeochemical Cycling of Metals, Radionuclides and Associated Colloids within Earth's Critical Zone. For Goldschmidt Conference, 2018 (Boston).

Organizer: Biogeochemical Cycling of Nutrients and Contaminants in Physically Complex Environments. For American Chemical Society Meeting, 2015 (Boston).

Organizer: Emerging Metal Contaminants in Soils and Natural Waters. For Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting. 2014 (Long Beach). Co-Organizer and Instructor: Use of X-rays in Cultural Heritage, Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Users Meeting, 2013.

Service at MIT (while an assistant professor): Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, CEE. Responsible for reviewing and evaluating undergraduate curriculum and ensuring adherence to Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Attended ABET workshop in Baltimore, MD for ensuring continued accreditation. Freshman Admissions Committee: reviewed applications for undergraduate admittance to the institute. Committee on Radiation Protection: Appointed to review and approve use of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation sources, risk assessment, and monitoring.

Project Experience

Representative Projects

Groundwater Management Issues Relating to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA, California, USA).Evaluated historical data and numerical models to understand and quantify groundwater storage and flux in a geologically complex basin. Performed analysis to quantify safe yield of the basin over time periods hydrologically representative of local long-term climate. Supported litigation relating to groundwater rights and SGMA.

Clean Water Act (CWA) Citizen Suits (Several Locations in California, USA).Investigated alleged waterway contamination (e.g., metals, oil and grease) resulting from storm water runoff from several different industrial sites. Evaluated storm water pollution prevention plans (SWPPPs), including site implementation of best management practices (BMPs) and best available technology (BAT). Analyzed precipitation records and site storm water connection to municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) and adjacent waterways. Conducted site visits and assisted with expert and rebuttal reports.

Management of Acid Rock Drainage (Arid West, USA)Performed technical analysis of processes contributing to acid rock drainage. Supported litigation involving the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, Superfund) regarding acid rock placement strategies and scenarios. Assisted with preparation of expert report.

Fate and Transport of Metals in Soil (Mining Industry, USA).Deciphered fate and transport of metals in soil arising from fugitive dust inputs. Directed laboratory analysis of samples, including sequential chemical extractions, to constrain the extent of source material weathering and release of zinc, copper, lead and cadmium to soil porewater. Prepared technical report.

Volatile Organic Compounds: Fate and Transport (Several Locations Nationwide, USA). Supported several cases involving the timing, release, and transport of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene (TCE, PCE respectively) within complex hydrogeologic settings. Performed technical review of site and regional history, hydrostratigraphy, and groundwater flow.

Protection of Groundwater from Soil Metals (California, USA). Performed geochemical modeling to calculate a soil screening level of lead for protection of groundwater resources.

Dioxin Release and Fate (East Coast, USA). Provided technical support for litigation relating to dioxin release into a major waterway. Assisted with preparation of technical report.

Pesticide Overspray and Crop Damage (California, USA). Investigated an insurance claim relating to alleged pesticide overspray resulting in substantial crop loss. Conducted a site visit and prepared a technical memorandum.

Fate and Transport of Aquatic Pesticides (USA). Performed calculations and modeling to determine appropriate dosing rate of algaecide within a large reservoir system used to supply water to a major city. Modeled the residence time of copper based on reservoir flushing, mass flux of algaecide into sediments, and partitioning with organic matter. Computed copper concentrations in water and compared them to the criterion continuous concentration (CCC) for aquatic life derived from the California Toxics Rule (CTR).

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit Compliance (West Coast, USA). Designed a study to examine the suitability and accuracy of different ICP-MS analytical methods for determining ppb-level nickel, copper, and zinc concentrations in dewatering discharges to brackish groundwater.

Mobilization of Metals in Plumbing Systems (USA). Identified chemical reactions responsible for mobilization of metals relating to the disinfection system for a large municipal building project.

Landfill Arsenic Study (Massachusetts, USA). Elucidated geochemical mechanisms of arsenic release and transport from a landfill on a former military installation. Performed geochemical modeling, evaluated the potential efficacy of groundwater management and monitored natural attenuation (MNA) on the downstream fate of arsenic.

Pesticide Registration (USA). Provided technical support for pesticide product registration in the United States.

Geochemistry of Coal Ash Impoundments (USA). Evaluated geochemical and hydrologic conditions conducive to the release and mobilization of constituents of interest (COIs), including arsenic, antimony, boron, chromium, cobalt, lithium, molybdenum. Developing tools for predicting COI mobility under different coal ash impoundment closure scenarios. Preparation of work plan (project ongoing).

Other Skills

(Bio)Geochemical, Groundwater and Reactive Transport Models: MIN3P, Crunchflow, PHREEQC, Geochemist Workbench, MINTEQ, MODFLOW.

Computer Languages and Other Software Packages: Intermediate Proficiency (for data analysis and instrument control): Python. Basic Proficiency (for data analysis and modifying pre-existing code): R, C, FORTRAN.

Conventional Instrumentation: ICP-MS/OES, IC, AA, GC-MS, MIMS/RGA, SEM, TEM, Electron Microprobe, ICP-DRIE (clean-room microfluidic device fabrication), XRD (powder), FTIR, XPS, Microscopy — Standard, Fluorescence, Confocal. Microwave digestion.

Advanced Instrumentation: Numerous synchrotron-based techniques for solid phase speciation analysis (XRF mapping, confocal XRF mapping, XANES/EXAFS, NEXAFS, s-XRD) for understanding contaminant dynamics in soils and sediments. Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance (FTICR) for identifying compounds within complex organic and inorganic mixtures.

Knowledge

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Geological and Environmental Science, Stanford University, 2008
  • M.S., Land Resources and Environmental Chemistry, Montana State University, 2002
  • B.S., Chemistry-Biochemistry, Montana State University, 2000
  • B.S., Soil and Environmental Science, Montana State University, 2000
  • SSSA Emil Truog Award for Best PhD Dissertation in Soil Science, 2009 

    U. S. EPA STAR Graduate Fellowship, 2004-2007 

    Best Graduate Student Presentation: 84th Meeting of AAAS-Pacific Division, 2003 

    J. Thomas Dutro, Jr. Award for Excellence in the Geosciences, AAAS, 2003 

    Graduate Student Fellowship: Montana State University Thermal Biology Institute, 2000-2002

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Professional Soil Scientist (CPSS) #61958