About


This fall I start my eighteenth wonderful year at Whitman College, this year on sabbatical.

I graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Health from Auburn University and a M.S. and Ph.D.  in Environmental Engineering (Environmental Chemistry Option) from Clemson University.  My graduate work involved the development of analytical techniques for the extraction of hydrophobic pollutants (PCBs) from sediments, the measurement of PCB desorption rates from sediments, Henry's law constants, and sediment-water partition coefficients, and modeling of the fate and transport of PCBs in a lake system.

Since graduate school I have practiced a form of nomadic science.  First, I completed a post-doc appointment at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) with John McCarthy studying the fate and transport of PCBs and cadmium in soil/ground water systems.  Next, I worked with Rene Schwarzenbach at the University of Zurich (ETH) and the Swiss Federal Institute for Water and Waste Water Pollution (EAWAG) investigating the abiotic transformation of nitrobenzenes in leachate from hazardous waste landfills.  My next migration was to the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) where I worked on the Large-Scale Pumping and Infiltration Test.  The purpose of this test was to determine the migration rates of radionuclides in the Snake River Plain subsurface and estimate if buried radioactive waste stored at DOE's Radioactive Waste Management Complex had migrated to the Snake River Plain Aquifer (a major pristine source of water to Idaho farmers).  After becoming disillusioned of government contractors (and feeling like a character in a Dilbert cartoon), I decided to return to my first love, teaching.  I accepted a temporary teaching/research position at Clemson University which landed me an undergraduate teaching position at Hartwick College in Upstate New York.  After a three-year appointment there, I accepted the position here at Whitman College. 

Current research topics in my group include the development of educational media (videos and software), development of lecture and laboratory-based teaching methods, development of analytical techniques for measuring trace-level pollutants in aquatic systems, and measurement of isotopic specific metals in Pacific northwest ecosystems.  Writing projects include the Environmental Chemistry and Instrumental Analysis Lab manual, a Basic Introduction to Fate and Transport Modeling and Risk Assessment textbook (second edition due in 2018, again by John Wiley & Sons), two eTextbooks on inorganic and organic mass spectrometry (that are updated every few years), and my new book on Environmental Success Stories, a combination textbook and popular science book. If you are a student at Whitman and are interested in a project in Environmental Chemistry please stop by or send me an email.