Committee Member and
Diane McKnight (chair) is a professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering and a fellow of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado. Her research focuses on interactions between hydrologic, chemical, and biological processes in controlling the dynamics in aquatic ecosystems. This research is carried out through field-scale experiments, modeling, and laboratory characterization of natural substrates. In addition, Dr. McKnight conducts research focusing on interactions between freshwater biota, trace metals, and natural organic material in diverse freshwater environments, including lakes and streams in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and in the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica. She interacts with state and local groups involved in mine drainage and watershed issues in the Rocky Mountains. Dr. McKnight is a member of the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Polar Research Board and is a former member of the Water Science and Technology Board. She is a past president of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography and the Biogeosciences section of the American Geophysical Union. She received her Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Michel Boufadel is professor of environmental engineering and director of the Center for Natural Resources Development and Protection at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is a professional engineer in
Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Dr. Boufadel has conducted, since 2001, research projects funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on oil dispersion and transport offshore. He has adopted a multiscale approach where he conducts experiments in flasks and wave tanks of various sizes and models processes from the microscopic scale to the sea scale. Dr. Boufadel was involved in the response to the Deepwater Horizon blowout and assisted NOAA personnel conducting various tasks within the response. Dr. Boufadel has more than 80 refereed articles in publications such as Marine Pollution Bulletin, Environmental Science and Technology, and the Journal of Geophysical Research. He also has more than 30 publications in oil spill conference proceedings, such as those of the International Oil Spill Conference and Arctic and Marine Oil Spill. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Environmental Engineering, American Society of Civil Engineers.
Merv Fingas is a scientist working on oil and chemical spills. He was Chief of the Emergencies Science Division of Environment Canada for over 30 years and is currently working on research in Western Canada. Dr. Fingas has a Ph.D. in environmental physics from McGill University, and three master’s degrees—chemistry, business, and mathematics—all from University of Ottawa. He also has a bachelor of science in chemistry from Alberta and a bachelor of arts from Indiana. He has more than 860 papers and publications in the field. Dr. Fingas has prepared seven books on spill topics and is working on two others. He has served on two committees on the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S. on oil spills including the recent “Oil in the Sea.” He is chairman of several ASTM and intergovernmental committees on spill matters. Importantly, he was the founding chairman of the ASTM subcommittee on in situ burning and chairman of oil spill treating agents and another on oil spill detection and remote sensing, positions he holds today.
Dr. Fingas began his career in 1974 working for Environment Canada as a scientist working on oil and chemical spills. His first tasks were largely to work on the Beaufort Sea Studies, a multi-million-dollar joint industry-government program to develop oil spill readiness for the Canadian Beaufort Sea. His role in these studies was to coordinate chemical and physical studies and to prepare overview documents. With the completion of these studies a new study of large magnitude, the Arctic and Marine Oil Spill Program, was founded in 1977. Dr. Fingas, one of the founders of this program, worked in general coordination on the program and specifically managed a number of subprojects, including those on chemistry, oil behavior, remote sensing, spill tracking, and spill treating agents. Dr. Fingas continued in many of these research fields until
today. His specialties include Arctic oil spills, oil chemistry, spill dynamics and behavior, spill treating agents, remote sensing and detection, spill tracking, and in situ burning. He continues research and writing on these topics to this day.
Stephen Hamilton is currently a professor of ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry at Michigan State University. He received his Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1994. His principal research interests involve ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry, with particular attention to nutrients and biogeochemical processes in aquatic environments as well as agricultural ecosystems. His research integrates approaches from varied disciplines such as geology, chemistry, remote sensing, and hydrology as well as ecology. He has conducted research on various aspects of aquatic ecosystems in southern Michigan, including wetlands, streams, lakes, and watersheds. He also works on tropical ecosystems in South America and dryland river ecosystems in Australia. Since 2006 he has been President of the Kalamazoo River Watershed Council. He served as an independent, volunteer advisor to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the 2010 Marshall, MI pipeline release of oil sands crude into the Kalamazoo River, and was a member of its Scientific Support Coordination Group.
Orville “O.B.” Harris is President of O.B. Harris, LLC, which is an independent consultancy specializing in the regulation, engineering, and planning of petroleum liquids pipelines. Currently, he is the Independent Monitoring Contractor for the Consent Decree between the U.S. and BP Alaska, Inc. From 1995 to 2009, he was Vice President of Longhorn Partners Pipeline, L.P., which operated a 700-mile pipeline that carried gasoline and diesel fuel from Gulf Coast refineries to El Paso, Texas. In this position, he was responsible for engineering, design, construction, and operation of the system. From 1991 to 1995, he was President of ARCO Transportation Alaska Inc., which owned four pipeline systems, including a portion of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) which transports crude oil from the North Slope of Alaska to the Port of Valdez. From 1977 to 1990, he held several supervisory and managerial positions at the ARCO Pipeline Company, including District Manager for Houston and Midland, Texas, Manager of the Northern Area, and Manager of Products Business. While at ARCO Transportation, he directed the efforts of a team of corrosion experts guiding $400 million of repairs to the TAPS system. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Oil Pipelines and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s Technical Hazardous Liquids Pipeline Safety Standards Committee. Mr. Harris joins this committee having previously served on
the committee for the preceding NRC study, Effects of Diluted Bitumen on Crude Oil Transmission Pipelines. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas and an M.B.A. from Texas Southern University.
John Hayes is Scientist Emeritus and retired Director of the National Ocean Sciences Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Facility (NOSAMS) at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. His work has dealt with isotope effects in biochemical reactions and their significance and utility in studies of geochemical processes. Recent topics have included studies of carbon- and hydrogen-isotopic fractionations imposed by phytoplankton and other microorganisms, paleoenvironmental studies based on sedimentary isotopic and organic-geochemical records, studies of the anaerobic oxidation of methane in marine sediments, the long-term record of 13C in sedimentary organic carbon, and developments in stable-isotopic analytical techniques. He has served as chair of the Organic Geochemical Division of the Geochemical Society and on the Executive Committee of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program. He received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Jacqueline Michel is a geochemist specializing in terrestrial and marine pollution studies, coastal geomorphology, and environmental risk assessments. She has specialized expertise in the behavior, tracking, recovery, and effects of submerged oil. Having worked in 32 countries, she has extensive international experience and has worked in many different coastal and marine environments.
Dr. Michel is one of the founders of Research Planning, Inc. and has been President since 2000. She often leads multidisciplinary teams on projects where her problem-solving skills are essential to bringing solutions to complex issues. For example, her work during spill emergencies requires her to rapidly develop consensus and provide decision makers with needed information. Because of her routine scientific support for spills, she has extensive knowledge of and practical experience in pollutant fate, transport, and effect issues. She has been a leader in the development of methods and the conduct of Natural Resource Damage Assessments following spills and groundings. She has taken a lead role in 29 damage assessments for federal and state trustees.
Dr. Michel has been recognized for her achievements through appointments to many respected committees and panels, including four National Academies committees: Spills of Nonfloating Oil (1999); Oil in the Sea (2002); Chair of Spills and Emulsified Fuels: Risk and Response (2001);
and Chair of the Committee on Understanding Oil Spill Dispersants: Efficacy and Effects (2005). She was on the Oceans Board for 2001-2005 and is a Lifetime Associate of the National Academies. She was on the Science Advisory Panel to the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy. She is an adjunct professor in the School of the Environment, University of South Carolina. She has written over 225 technical publications.
Carys Mitchelmore earned her Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham (UK) in 1997 investigating toxicity processes and effects in aquatic organisms exposed to organic pollutants, including crude oil and its constituent polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Dr. Mitchelmore is an associate professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, in Solomons, MD. Her expertise lies in aquatic toxicology and her research experience includes understanding routes of exposure, bioaccumulation, metabolism, depuration, trophic transfer and the target sites of pollutants, including PAHs and emerging contaminants of concern. Investigations have used an array of organisms, from bacteria, algae, and invertebrate and vertebrate species, such as oysters, blue crabs, anemones, corals, fish, and reptiles. Current research projects are directed at understanding the uptake, routes of exposure (including chemical partitioning of dissolved and particulate fractions), fate and effects of oil, chemical dispersants (e.g., Corexit and alternatives) and dispersed oil. Focused areas of impact include DNA damage, oxidative stress and antioxidant responses, endocrine disruption, and immune function. Recent studies have investigated the use of oil rig-fouling organisms as biomonitoring tools to provide baseline datasets that can provide essential information regarding the recovery of organisms following a pollution event. Dr. Mitchelmore is also co-author of the 2005 NRC report Oil Spill Dispersants: Efficacy and Effects and also provided testimonies to various Senate and House committees following the Deepwater Horizon incident regarding dispersant use. Dr. Mitchelmore is also actively involved in determining the efficacy of various shipboard scale ballast water treatments and in investigating the occurrence and toxicity of chlorinated and brominated organic compounds.
Denise Reed, Ph.D., is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in coastal marsh sustainability and the role of human activities in modifying coastal systems. She has studied coastal issues in the United States and around the world for over 30 years.
Dr. Reed has worked closely with Louisiana’s state government in developing coastal restoration plans. Her experience includes helping monitor natural resources in the Pontchartrain Basin following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 and researching ecosystem restoration and
planning in the California Bay-Delta. She has served on numerous boards and panels addressing the effects of human alterations on coastal environments and the role of science in guiding restoration, including a number of National Research Council committees. Prior to joining The Water Institute of the Gulf, Dr. Reed served as Director of the Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences and as a professor in the University of New Orleans’ Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. She is a member of the Chief of Engineers Environmental Advisory Board and the Ecosystems Sciences and Management Working Group of the NOAA Science Advisory Board. She earned a bachelor’s and doctoral degree in geography from the University of Cambridge.
Robert (Bob) Sussman is the principal in Sussman and Associates, a consulting firm that offers advice and support on energy and environmental policy issues to clients in the nonprofit and private sectors. He is on the adjunct faculty at Georgetown Law Center and Yale Law School. Sussman served for four and a half years in the Obama Administration, first as co-head of the transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and then as Senior Policy Counsel to the USEPA Administrator. Mr. Sussman previously served in the Clinton Administration as the USEPA Deputy Administrator during 1993-1994. In this position, he was the Agency’s Chief Operating Officer and Regulatory Policy Officer.
At the end of 2007, he retired as a partner at the law firm of Latham & Watkins, where he headed the firm’s environmental practice in Washington, DC, for 10 years. Previously, he was a partner at Covington & Burling. For several years, Sussman was named one of the leading environmental lawyers in Washington, DC, by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers and The International Who’s Who of Environmental Lawyers. He was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress in 2008, writing and speaking about climate change and energy. Sussman is a magna cum laude 1969 graduate of Yale College and a 1973 graduate of Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal. He clerked for Judge Walter K. Stapleton of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
David Valentine currently serves as a professor in the Department of Earth Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research interests focus on the interface of geochemistry and microbiology. Valentine is an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow and the recipient of a CAREER award in chemical oceanography from the National Science Foundation. He is best known for his research on archaeal ecology, methane biogeochemistry, oil seeps, and the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon event, as well as for engagement with popular media.“
Douglas Friedman is a Senior Program Officer with the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology at the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington, DC. His primary scientific interests lie in the fields of organic chemistry, organic & bio-organic materials, chemical & biological sensing, and nanotechnology, particularly as they apply to national and homeland security. Dr. Friedman has supported a diverse array of activities since joining the Academies. He served as study director on Industrialization of Biology: A Roadmap to Accelerate the Advanced Manufacturing of Chemicals; Safe Science: Promoting a Culture of Safety in Academic Chemical Research; Transforming Glycoscience: A Roadmap for the Future; Determining Core Capabilities in Chemical and Biological Defense Science and Technology; Effects of Diluted Bitumen on Crude Oil Transmission Pipelines; and Responding to Capability Surprise: A Strategy for U.S. Naval Forces. Additionally, he has supported activities on Convergence: Safeguarding Technology in the Bioeconomy, The Role of the Chemical Sciences in Finding Alternatives to Critical Resources; Opportunities and Obstacles in Large-Scale Biomass Utilization; and Technological Challenges in Antibiotics Discovery and Development. Dr. Friedman is currently directing studies on the environmental effects of diluted bitumen oil spills, safeguarding technology in the bioeconomy, and the regulation of biotechnology. Prior to joining the NRC he performed research in physical organic chemistry and chemical biology at Northwestern University, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of California, Berkeley, and Solulink Biosciences. He received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Northwestern University and a B.S. in Chemical Biology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Camly Tran joined the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology at the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in 2014 as a postdoctoral fellow after receiving her Ph.D. in chemistry from the Department of Chemistry at Brown University and is currently an Associate Program Officer. During her time at Brown, she received various honors including the Elaine Chase Award for Leadership and Service, American Chemical Society Global Research Exchanges Education Training Program, and the Rhode Island NASA grant. Dr. Tran completed the workshop summary Mesoscale Chemistry and is currently supporting activities on the environmental effects of diluted bitumen oil spills, the changing landscape of hydrocarbon feedstocks for chemical production, and the standard operating procedures for safe and secure handling, management, and storage of chemicals in chemical laboratories.