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Environmental Science and Engineering

The Environmental Science and Engineering Division at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center helps sponsors solve their most complex, pressing environmental problems. (Adobe Stock Image/Chanchai)
The Environmental Science and Engineering Division at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center helps sponsors solve their most complex, pressing environmental problems. (Adobe Stock Image/Chanchai)

About Us

The U.S. DOT Volpe Center's Environmental Science and Engineering Division is instrumental in solving complex environmental problems. Our experienced, multidisciplinary team is made up of environmental protection specialists, biologists, physical scientists, cultural resource specialists, as well as general, civil, and environmental engineers.

We tackle complicated requirements, evaluate feasible alternatives, develop cost-effective innovations, and implement solutions for our sponsors, which include all U.S. DOT transportation modes, National Park Service, Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other federal agencies. 

The goal of our work is to ensure compliance with environmental regulations and minimize adverse environmental effects from transportation and transportation facilities. 

Our Capabilities

Environmental Analysis and Regulatory Compliance 

  • Support environmental analysis and documentation for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance 
  • Prepare NEPA documentation, including Environmental Assessments, Environmental Impact Statements, and Findings of No Significant Impact 
  • Perform consultation for Section 106, Section 7, and related laws for transportation projects 

Environmental Engineering and Technology 

  • Perform comprehensive environmental assessments and remediation of sites and facilities
  • Examine remediation alternatives and provide guidance on emerging contaminants
  • Prevent the physiological impact of diseases and pollutants
  • Ensure safety and resilience of hazardous materials in transportation 
  • Perform inspections of complex global tank systems 
  • Prepare facility spill prevention control and countermeasure plans, facility response plans, tank management plans, and spill prevention control and countermeasure plans 

Spotlight on Our Recent Work

NEPA Compliance and Environmental Impact Assessment

  • Provide senior technical guidance and environmental analyses to ensure NEPA compliance 

Environmental Engineering

  • Perform turnkey services on civil environmental engineering projects ranging from construction and demolition to environmental compliance, sampling, and remediation at transportation sites.
  • Conduct wastewater surveys and management plan preparation, fuel storage tank training and spill response, inspections, and management 

Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety and Management

  • Support implementation of hazmat and security systems designed to protect employees, resources, transportation networks, and the public 
  • Plan and develop hazmat policy, provide hazmat training, data analysis, and performance measurement 

Environmental and Occupational Safety and Health

  • Focus on the recognition of potentially harmful physical, biological, and chemical agents such as radon and per-fluorinated chemicals
  • Analyze diseases affecting human health and safety, as well as their potential impact on the natural environment 

Meet Our Team

View selected staff biographies.

Julie Borgesi

Chief 
MS Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northeastern University (Boston, MA)
BS Civil Engineering, Merrimack College (North Andover, MA)

Julie BorgesiJulie Borgesi is chief of the Environmental Science and Engineering Division at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center. She is responsible for overseeing the division’s four areas of environmental compliance, including NEPA, environmental engineering, environmental and occupational safety and health, and hazardous materials transportation safety and management. 

Borgesi has more than 25 years of experience managing large, complex, nationwide, and multidisciplinary environmental and transportation projects for various federal agencies. Since joining the U.S. DOT Volpe Center in 1994, she has worked with FAA, FRA, Environmental Protection Agency, National Park Service, Department of Defense, Maritime Administration, and U.S. Postal Service. Borgesi’s technical work focuses on environmental regulatory compliance, environmental assessment, and project delivery. 

She is a registered professional civil engineer in Massachusetts and has Federal Acquisition Certification for Program and Project Managers (FAC-P/PM), Level III. In 2017, she received the Greater Boston Federal Executive Board’s Excellence in Government Award for Management Excellence.

NEPA and Ecological Analysis Team

Rebecca Blatnica, AICP

Environmental Protection Specialist
MS Community & Regional Planning, University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX)
BA Geography and History, University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX)

Rebecca (“Becky”) Blatnica is an environmental protection specialist in the U.S. DOT’s Environmental Science and Engineering Division. She has more than 22 years of experience working with federal and state agencies on transportation improvements and environmental documentation for compliance with NEPA. Since joining the U.S. DOT Volpe Center in 2011, Blatnica has worked with FRA, FAA, National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management. She provides agencies with project management and assistance in the NEPA process, including programs such as the FAA/NPS Air Tour Management Plan (ATMP) Program and FRA’s environmental review compliance. Blatnica holds certification as an American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

​Kathering (“Kat”) Giraldo

Environmental Protection Specialist
MA Preservation Studies - Archaeology, Boston University (Boston, MA) 
BA Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Massachusetts Boston (Boston, MA)

Kathering Giraldo HeadshotKathering (Kat) Giraldo joined the U.S. DOT Volpe Center in 2022 as an environmental protection specialist in the Environmental Science and Engineering Division. As part of her work at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, she supports National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance, especially in areas pertaining to the National Historic Preservation Act by providing Section 106 technical expertise. Giraldo supports the Air Tour Management Plan (ATMP) program and the Facilities Decommissioning (FD) program through partnerships with FAA and National Park Service. (NPS)

Prior to joining the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, Giraldo worked for other federal agencies, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and NPS, for four years. She served FEMA by providing subject-matter expertise pertaining to Section 106 and by reviewing large infrastructure projects for compliance with the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, EO 11990, EO 11988 and preparing other NEPA documentation. At NPS, Giraldo supported the Tribal Historic Preservation Program through the development of outreach and providing technical assistance to program applicants.

Shauna J. Haas

Environmental Protection Specialist
MA Historic Preservation Planning, Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) 
BA Urban and Regional Planning, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Urbana, IL)

Shauna Haas joined the U.S. DOT Volpe Center in 2022 as an environmental protection specialist, focusing on cultural resources and compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Prior to the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, she was an environmental protection specialist at FTA Region 3 and a historic preservation specialist at Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 2 for a total of nine years in federal service, as well as nine years as a planner and architectural historian in the private sector. 

Haas is currently supporting FAA, FRA, PHMSA, FTA, and National Park Service (NPS) in meeting Section 106 compliance needs for transportation planning and construction projects. She serves as a Section 106 subject matter expert, providing Section 106 and cultural resources expertise; document preparation, oversight, and review; and general project and program support to staff and sponsors. Haas also prepares documents and supports Section 106 consultation and coordination on FAA/NPS’s Air Tour Management Program. 

Shelby Hanchera

Environmental Protection Specialist
BS Natural Resource Management, Grand Valley State University (Allendale, MI)

Shelby Hanchera Headshot 250Shelby Hanchera joined the U.S. DOT Volpe Center in 2021 as an environmental protection specialist within the Environmental Science and Engineering Division. Her work at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center primarily focuses on National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance through partnerships with FAA, National Park Service (NPS), Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management (BOEM), and PHMSA under programs including the Air Tour Management Program, Outer Continental Shelf Renewable Energy Program, and the Natural Gas Distribution Infrastructure Safety and Modernization Grant Program. 

Prior to joining the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, Hanchera worked in the private sector as an environmental consultant to local, state, and federal agencies for transportation and infrastructure projects throughout the state of Oklahoma. She also worked as an environmental protection specialist for several years under the Bureau of Indian Affairs, where her primary focus was preparing NEPA and spill compliance documentation for oil and gas development within Osage County, Oklahoma. Hanchera’s background also includes Phase I environmental site assessments, Section 7 and Section 106 compliance expertise, and Michigan Department of Natural Recourse Park interpretation programs. She has served on the Oklahoma City Society of American Military Engineers board as the special events coordinator and was once a federal records contact. 

View Shelby Hanchera’s LinkedIn profile.

Amy Hootman

Environmental Protection Specialist
MA History (Historic Preservation), Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO)
BA Anthropology and History, University of South Florida (Tampa, FL)

Amy Hootman joined the U.S. DOT Volpe Center as an environmental protection specialist in the Environmental Science and Engineering Division in 2022. Her background includes working with federal and state agencies to complete Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review and compliance. Since joining the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, Hootman supports Section 106 compliance in partnership with various agencies, including FRA, FAA, FTA, PHMSA, and National Park Service (NPS). She provides Section 106 support for a variety of transportation projects across the country; individual projects include completing Section 106 compliance for the Air Tour Management Plan (ATMP) program, drafting a Section 106 procedural guide for FTA staff, and reviewing cultural resource reports for FRA’s Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant projects.

Prior to joining the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, Hootman worked as a Section 106 compliance specialist in both the public and private sectors. She holds a master’s degree in history with a specialization in historic preservation from Colorado State University and exceeds the Secretary of the Interior’s (SOI) Professional Qualifications Standards per 36 CFR Part 61.

Symone Howard

Environmental Protection Specialist 
Master of Community and Regional Planning, Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA) 
Bachelor of Environmental Studies and Sociology, Bowdoin College (Brunswick, ME)

Symone Howard joined the U.S. DOT Volpe Center in 2022 and is an environmental protection specialist within the Environmental Science and Engineering Division. Her work at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center focuses on National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance through partnerships with the FRA, FAA, and National Park Service.  Howard provides support to the Air Tour Management Program and the NEPA Assignment Program. 

Prior to joining the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, she worked as a community planner with the U.S. Marine Corps. Howard served as an Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education Fellow at the U.S. DOT’s Office of the Secretary from 2018 to 2021 and participated in the Summer Transportation Internship Program for Diverse Groups with FHWA in 2017. She earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and sociology from Bowdoin College and a master’s degree in community and regional planning from Georgia Tech. 

Karimeh Juma

Environmental Protection Specialist
BA Anthropology – Archaeology Concentration, English Literature, California State University Stanislaus (Turlock, CA)

Karimeh Juma joined Volpe in 2022 as an environmental protection specialist in the Environmental Science and Engineering Division, bringing more than six years of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and environmental compliance experience to surface transportation and infrastructure projects. At the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, she provides support to FRA rail improvement and planning projects.

Juma previously worked as an environmental planner with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), ensuring NEPA and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance on transportation projects. She worked on Caltrans’ maintenance, encroachment, and emergency projects as well as with local agencies on federally funded projects throughout California’s metropolitan, valley, foothill, and rural regions. Additionally, Juma prepared NEPA documentation, evaluated environmental impacts, provided Section 4(f) review, and assisted with Section 106 and Section 7 compliance.

Travis Mast

Biologist
BS Natural Resources and Environmental Science, Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN)

Travis Mast joined the U.S. DOT Volpe Center in 2013 as a biologist and has more than 15 years of experience in the environmental compliance and natural resource field. In his role at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, he provides NEPA and biological-resource-related expertise to federal agencies involved in transportation planning, partnering with FHWA, FRA, PHMSA, NHTSA, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

Mast serves as an FRA environmental protection specialist, providing NEPA expertise, oversight, review, and general support for rail improvement and high-speed rail planning projects. He has also drafted environmental assessments for NHSTA and PHMSA rulemaking actions, working with staff in various disciplines to address unique environmental assessments. Mast is currently serving as a member of the Transportation Research Board’s Environmental Analysis standing committee. The committee focuses on the analytical relationship of the natural and human environment as an integral part of the planning, design, construction, and operation of transportation systems and projects, and issues pertaining to integrating environmental considerations in transportation delivery.

Jennifer Papazian

Environmental Protection Specialist
MEM Environmental Studies – Conservation Biology Concentration, Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (New Haven, CT) 
BS Environmental Studies – Biology Concentration, Union College (Schenectady, NY)

Jennifer Papazian joined the U.S. DOT Volpe Center in 1998 and is an environmental protection specialist within the Environmental Science and Engineering Division. Her work at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center primarily focuses on NEPA compliance. Papazian has performed technical, project management, and contracting officers’ representative related duties. These include leading and participating in technical NEPA support procurements, managing complex interagency and interdisciplinary teams, and developing NEPA documents. She also has experience analyzing and evaluating impacts to natural and cultural resources; reviewing, writing, and assembling environmental compliance documents and related technical reports; and conducting consultations and regulatory compliance with resource agencies.

Currently, Papazian is the project manager and technical lead for the FAA and National Park Service Air Tour Management Plan (ATMP) Program, developing management plans for commercial air tours over national parks.

Kait Rimol

Physical Scientist
BS Plant Sciences, Penn State University (State College, PA
)

Kaitlyn (“Kait”) Rimol joined the U.S. DOT Volpe Center in 2020 and is a physical scientist within the Environmental Science and Engineering Division. Her work at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center primarily focuses on NEPA compliance through partnerships with FHWA, FRA, FAA, and National Park Service. Rimol provides support to agencies under programs including the Air Tour Management Program and NEPA Program Assignment. 

Prior to joining the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, Rimol worked for four years in the private sector as an environmental consultant with federal, state, and local agencies on environmental documentation for transportation and energy infrastructure projects throughout New England.

Jon Schmidt

Environmental Protection Specialist
MA Urban Affairs and Public Policy, Historic Preservation, University of Delaware (Newark, DE)
BA History, Penn State University (State College, PA)

Jon Schmidt is an environmental protection specialist in the Environmental Science and Engineering Division at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center. Since joining the U.S. DOT Volpe Center in 2020, he has supported FRA by providing NEPA expertise and review for rail projects, supported the Air Tour Management Plan program, and partnered with FHWA on a variety of projects. 

Schmidt has more than 14 years of experience working with state and federal agencies on Section 106, Section 4(f), and NEPA compliance for surface transportation projects. Schmidt’s public- and private-sector experience includes serving as a principal investigator for cultural resource identification projects; leading Section 106 consultation and drafting agreement documents; preparing all levels of NEPA documentation; and writing draft and final Section 4(f) evaluations. These projects frequently involve managing complex interagency teams, involving multiple technical disciplines coordinating across multiple levels of government. 

Hazardous Materials Management

​Deirdre P. Carrigan

Environmental Protection Specialist
MS Emergency Management, Massachusetts Maritime Academy (Bourne, MA)
BS Marine Safety and Environmental Protection, Massachusetts Maritime Academy (Bourne, MA)

Deirdre P. Carrigan 250Deirdre Carrigan is an environmental protection specialist in the Environmental Science and Engineering Division at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center. She joined the U.S. DOT Volpe Center in 2001 and has supported a variety of federal sponsors in transportation safety, environmental assessments, and emergency management. Carrigan supported PHMSA performing technical reviews of oil spill emergency response plans for pipelines in compliance with 49 CFR Part 194. In 2014, her team received an award from the Office of the Secretary of Transportation for work on the oil spill response plan reviews.

Carrigan is currently managing DOT’s support to FEMA Region Two as the Transportation Recovery Representative for the U.S. Virgin Islands’ hurricane recovery efforts. Previously, she assisted FEMA Region One with COVID-19 Long-Term Economic Impact.

She also served as an intern on the U.S. DOT Safety Council in Washington, D.C. Carrigan is an active member of the Transportation Research Board Committee on Transportation of Hazardous Materials and the International Association of Emergency Managers. 

As part of her master’s program in emergency management, she completed her capstone project on “Analysis of Pipeline Emergency Preparedness for Spills of Diluted Bitumen.” Carrigan is currently providing emergency management support to the Automated Vehicles Public Safety project for the U.S. DOT Volpe Center’s Technology Innovation and Policy Division.

​Mark Raney

Environmental Engineer, Senior Project Manager
MS Environmental Engineering, Tufts University (Medford, MA)
BS Civil Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst (Amherst, MA)

Mark Raney joined the U.S. DOT Volpe Center in 1994. He is a senior program manager with experience managing multimillion dollar projects working with a variety of federal and state agencies. Raney possesses a diverse technical background including hazardous materials transportation, asbestos exposure and assessment, and environmental site assessment and remediation. 

He is the customer portfolio manager for (PHMSA. Raney leads the Research and Development (R&D) support to PHMSA, helping protect people and the environment from the risks inherent to transporting hazardous materials. Some of his recent PHMSA R&D efforts include the:

  • Fiber-Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Cargo Tank Motor Vehicles (CTMV) project, employing experimental testing and finite element analysis to evaluate the performance of FRP materials for CTMVs used in roadway hazardous material transportation
  • Buffer Car Research Study, researching existing studies on the adequate separation distances between hazardous materials cars, locomotives, and occupied equipment to ensure the protection of train crews and how this can be provided using buffer cars
  • Nurse Tank Fatigue Life Analysis project, using simulation and modeling technologies to analyze the fatigue life of anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks. 

Raney also supports the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Recent efforts he led include developing and enhancing secure web-based electronic survey tools for conducting and administering the:  

  • National Census of Ferry Operators (NCFO), a biennial census of all known ferry boat operations within the U.S. and its territories
  • Tank Car Facility Survey, an annual national survey to monitor industry-wide progress in upgrading tank cars that transport Class 3 flammable liquids

Environmental Engineering

Logan Brill

Environmental Engineer
MS Environmental Health, Tufts University (Medford, MA)
BS Environmental Engineering, Tufts University (Medford, MA)

Logan Brill HeadshotLogan Brill joined the U.S. DOT Volpe Center in 2017. He supported the FAA facility decommissioning program and the FAA environmental cleanup program. He also assisted with field work at FAA sites and provided GIS support for site survey reports, site investigation reports, and remedial action reports on FAA properties. Brill has also provided on-site research support and technical review of environmental site investigation work; state, federal, and international environmental and hazardous material regulations; and equipment specifications.

Currently, Brill is working on projects related to fuel infrastructure, compliance, and spill prevention for DOD Facilities. Prior to the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, he worked in the public sector for the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry and as a visiting research assistant at Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum.

Michelle Heimgartner

Environmental Engineer
MS Geoenvironmental/Geotechnical Engineering, Tufts University (Medford, MA)
BS Civil Engineering, University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)

Michelle Heimgartner joined the U.S. DOT Volpe Center in 2000. Heimgartner is the project manager for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Environmental Cleanup (ECU) Program with work in both Eastern and Central Service Areas. The ECU work consists of the entire environmental lifecycle from discovery/preliminary assessment to site investigation, remedial investigation, remedial action, and site closure. Heimgartner is also the project manager for the FAA Facilities Decommissioning Program work. She and her team work to survey, demolish, and restore FAA properties so they can be sold, if owned by the FAA, or surrendered to their owners, if leased. 

Prior to her FAA work, Heimgartner supported the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Libby Asbestos Project, a high-profile superfund site in Libby, Montana. Heimgartner managed the design portion of the project and the community involvement. 

Emilio Paleo, EIT

Environmental Engineer
BS Environmental Engineering, Humboldt State University (Arcata, CA) 

Emilio Paleo joined the U.S. DOT Volpe Center as an environmental engineer in 2016. He has six years of experience in construction and demolition, environmental regulatory compliance, environmental site cleanup and remediation, environmental and geotechnical field investigations, and environmental consulting with private clients and other public agencies. Paleo provides engineering support to FAA’s Environmental Cleanup and Real Property Disposition programs. He also supports the Department of the Navy’s Fuels Compliance Program and the FAA and National Park Service joint Air Traffic Management Plan Program. Paleo is part of a team consulting with PHMSA to identify data gaps and provide recommendations for future changes to existing buffer car separation regulations. He also supports internal sustainability initiatives at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center and the Office of the Secretary of Transportation.

Prior to joining the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, Paleo spent two years as a staff engineer in the New England and San Francisco Bay Area private sectors. He provided on-site construction monitoring and oversight services; field environmental and geotechnical investigations, sampling, and testing; and pre-construction surveys and site walks. Paleo has prior experience in the public sector, working for a rural county Department of Public Works in northern California.

He is a licensed Engineer in Training (EIT), a Steel Tank Institute certified tank inspector, a trained OSHA Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response site worker and is first aid certified. 

View Emilio Paleo’s LinkedIn profile. 

Richard Reiss, PE, LEED AP

Senior Environmental Engineer
BS Bioresource Engineering, College of Engineering, Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ)
BS Bioresource Engineering, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ)

Richard Reiss is the environmental engineering team lead and has over 25 years of international private- and public-sector experience in civil and environmental engineering, remediation, and regulatory compliance. Prior to joining the U.S. DOT Volpe Center in 2015, he served as an environmental program director in Japan, where he led a multinational team to create and implement an environmental management system that resulted in numerous awards for environmental compliance in multiple program areas. Reiss served as a regional spill prevention, control, and countermeasure program manager and multidisciplinary auditor on numerous external environmental audits, led remediation efforts at airplane crash sites, and was a member of the Petroleum Media Field Team.

During his 15 years of private-sector consulting work, he served as a remediation design engineer, senior management consultant, and client account manager. Reiss worked closely with law firm partners to advise Fortune 500 companies in matters related to property acquisition and divestiture, environmental compliance, permitting, remediation, and contamination liability. He also managed numerous New York City area environmental remediation projects and was solely responsible for the administrative, fiscal, and technical aspects of these projects including federal and state superfund sites.

Awards include the Technical Excellence and Innovation Award from the Office of the Secretary of Transportation, a Citation for Achievement for Environmental Quality Overseas from the Secretary of Defense, a Secretary of the Navy award, four Chief of Navy Operations awards, and one Headquarters, U.S. Forces Japan award. Reiss also completed the U.S. Navy’s prestigious Leadership Development Program.

Evan Starr

Environmental Protection Specialist
MS Environmental Engineering Sciences, University of Massachusetts Lowell (Lowell, MA)
BS Environmental Geology, Northeastern University (Boston, MA)

Evan Starr has been working with the U.S. DOT Volpe Center’s Environmental Science and Engineering Division since 2008, primarily supporting FAA’s Environmental Cleanup and Facilities Decommissioning programs. His expertise includes environmental site characterization and remediation, technical report writing, ecological resource analysis, GIS development, and project management.

As an environmental protection specialist, Starr is responsible for developing, managing, and performing technical and contracting requirements for environmental site activities associated with preliminary assessments, site and remedial investigations, remedial actions, and site closure. Technical responsibilities include developing and performing project field work in accordance with federal, state, and local regulatory standards; implementing NEPA analysis and compliance, such as environmental assessments or categorical exclusions; and managing contracting activities as a contracting officer’s representative.

The Facilities Decommissioning Program work includes coordinating, planning, and implementing actions necessary to facilitate disposition of real property infrastructure and site restorations at FAA facilities across the country. This work includes civil engineering responsibilities, such as structural inspections, development of demolition scopes of work, and management of general contractors, and performing resident engineer duties onsite.

Starr has managed, performed, and completed environmental or decommissioning projects in 30 states across the U.S., including Alaska, and at two U.S. territories in the Caribbean.

Haley Talbot-Wendlandt

Physical Scientist
MS Geology, University of Maryland (College Park, MD)
BS Geology, Ohio Wesleyan University (Delaware, OH)

Haley Talbot-Wendlandt joined the U.S. DOT Volpe Center in 2022 as a physical scientist. She primarily supports FAA’s Environmental Cleanup and Real Property Disposition programs. As part of both programs, Talbot-Wendlandt works on an interdisciplinary team focused on evaluating and safely implementing remedial actions, demolitions, and restoration activities. She is also part of a team which is working to compile new internal guidance for Sustainable and Resilient Remediation practices.

Prior to joining the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, Talbot-Wendlandt’s work experience includes placing, monitoring, and sampling groundwater wells; developing environmental models; utilizing geographic information systems; working as a team to coordinate and conduct field work; and communicating through reports and presentations. She holds certifications in Hazardous Waste Operations, Emergency Response, and in first aid/CPR.

Sean Walsh, PE

General Engineer
MS Civil & Environmental Engineering, Tufts University (Medford, MA)
BCE Civil Engineering, The Catholic University of America (Washington, D.C.)

Sean Walsh joined the U.S. DOT Volpe Center in 2022 and has more than 15 years of international public- and private-sector experience as a civil and environmental engineer. Prior to joining the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, he was a senior environmental engineer, program manager, and drinking water specialist for the U.S. Navy, where he contributed to the design, construction, and operation of public works and military infrastructure worldwide.

Walsh’s awards include a Citation of Achievement for Environmental Quality Overseas from the Chief of Naval Operation, two Headquarters, U.S. Forces Japan Environmental Quality Awards, the U.S. Navy’s Civilian Meritorious Service Medal, and the U.S. Army’s Civilian Achievement Medal.

He is a registered professional civil engineer in Texas. Walsh holds a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from Tufts University and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from The Catholic University of America.

Environmental Occupational Safety & Health (EOSH)

Chadd Fry

General Engineer
PSM Environmental Science, Stockton University (Galloway, NJ)
BS Public Health, Stockton University (Galloway, NJ)

Chadd FryChadd Fry joined the Environmental Science and Engineering Division of the U.S. DOT Volpe Center in 2020. He serves as a subject matter expert for FAA Headquarters’ Environmental Cleanup Program. Fry applies his years of experience to expand the division’s environmental portfolio and enhance the technical capabilities of existing projects. 

Prior to joining the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, he worked as a support contractor for FAA as part of the Superfund Program at the William J. Hughes Technical Center. Daily responsibilities included performing quality assurance tasks on the operations and maintenance and architectural and engineering contracts, developing independent government cost estimates and scopes of work, and looking for cost-saving opportunities. Fry started his career as an environmental consultant with a private firm. Fry was responsible for collecting soil and groundwater samples and progressed to become a case manager responsible for bringing environmentally contaminated sites to regulatory closure. As an environmental consultant, he gained experience in environmental site remediation laws and regulations, client management, technical writing, and analyzing complex environmental systems. 

Jacob Klaybor  

Environmental Engineer
MS Environmental and Ecological Engineering, Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN)
BS Natural Resources and Environmental Science, Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN)

Jacob Klaybor headshotJacob Klaybor joined the U.S. DOT Volpe Center as an environmental engineer in 2017. He primarily supports FAA’s Environmental Cleanup and Real Property Disposition Programs where he performs field sampling investigations and site historical background reviews to characterize and delineate environmental impacts at air traffic facilities across the nation. When environmental cleanup actions are required, Klaybor is responsible for planning, coordinating, and overseeing designs for on-site remedial actions and restoration activities in accordance with applicable regulations.

He also provides environmental and occupational safety and health support to FAA’s national programs by reviewing environmental compliance reports to ensure the best available science and technology is applied in cleaning up FAA’s most complex sites. 

Klaybor’s background also includes work with geographic information systems, statistical programming, urban ecological modeling, and NEPA analysis. He is certified in asbestos building inspection, aboveground tank system inspection, construction safety, hazardous waste operations, and emergency response.

Karen Petho

Environmental Protection Specialist
MS Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tufts University (Medford, MA)
MA Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Tufts University (Medford, MA)
BA Political Science and Environmental Studies, Mercyhurst University (Erie, PA)

Karen PethoKaren Petho serves as the sustainability policy analyst for the U.S. DOT Volpe Center’s office of facilities management and works on environmental health, management, and policy projects for federal sponsors.

She began her work at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center in 2006 and has supported the FAA’s Environment and Occupational Safety & Health Services programs as well as other lines of business at FAA. Petho also supports sustainability programs with the Maritime Administration (MARAD). Additionally, she supported the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund clean-up work at the Libby Asbestos site in Libby, Montana.

Prior to her work at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, Petho worked as an EOSH professional under the NAS Integration Support Contract (NISC) contract for the FAA and as an environmental consultant in the private sector.

Christopher D. Zevitas, ScD

Senior Environmental Engineer
ScD Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health (Cambridge, MA)
MS Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northeastern University (Boston, MA) 
BS Electrical Engineering, University of Massachusetts Lowell (Lowell, MA)

Christopher Zevitas, ScD, is the team leader for environmental health and has more than 25 years of experience in the Departments of Defense and Transportation performing and directing comprehensive environmental assessment, mitigation, and restoration activities for projects of national significance and international reach. He has technical expertise in site investigation, pollutant fate and transport, environmental sampling, modeling, laboratory analytical methodology, environmental and occupational safety and health, risk assessment, biostatistics, industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, policy analysis, and regulatory compliance. He serves as a senior technical advisor for major federal programs such as the FAA National Environmental Cleanup Program, where his work focuses on evaluating the impact of pollutants at airports and other complex sites. Zevitas also performs scientific research in collaboration with industry and academia to evaluate the performance of mitigation strategies and to assess the impacts of transportation-related pollutants.

Last updated: Monday, January 9, 2023