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Staff - Environmental Science and Engineering

Julie Borgesi

Julie BorgesiChief, Environmental Science and Engineering
MS Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northeastern University
BS Civil Engineering, Merrimack College 


Julie Borgesi is chief of the Environmental Science and Engineering Division at the U.S. Department of Transportation Volpe Center. Borgesi is responsible for overseeing the division’s four areas of environmental compliance, including National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), environmental engineering, environmental and occupational safety and health, and hazardous materials transportation safety and management. 

Borgesi has over 25 years of experience managing large, complex, nationwide, multidisciplinary environmental and transportation projects for several federal agencies. Since joining the Volpe Center in 1994, Borgesi has worked with the Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, National Park Service, Department of Defense, Maritime Administration, and United States Postal Service. Her technical work focuses on environmental regulatory compliance, environmental assessment, and project delivery. 

Borgesi is a registered professional civil engineer in Massachusetts and has Federal Acquisition Certification for Program and Project Managers (FAC-P/PM), Level III. She holds a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from Northeastern University and a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Merrimack College. In May 2017, Borgesi received the Greater Boston Federal Executive Board’s Excellence in Government Award for Management Excellence.

NEPA and Ecological Analysis Team

Rebecca Blatnica, AICP

Rebecca BlatnicaEnvironmental Protection Specialist
MS Community & Regional Planning, University of Texas at Austin
BA Geography and History, University of Texas at Austin


Rebecca (“Becky”) Blatnica is an environmental protection specialist in the Environmental Science and Engineering Division. Blatnica has over 22 years of experience working with federal and state agencies on transportation improvements and environmental documentation for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Since joining Volpe in 2011, she has worked with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and Bureau of Lands Management (BLM). Blatnica provides agencies with project management and assistance in the NEPA process, including programs such as the FAA/NPS Air Tour Management Program and FRA’s environmental review compliance. Blatnica has an MS in community and regional planning and BA in geography and history, all degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. Blatnica holds certification as an American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

Jonathan Cybulski

Environmental Protection Specialist
Prospective MS Environmental Science 2016, American University
BS Environmental Science (Geology focus), Northeastern University


Jonathan Cybulski joined Volpe as a Northeastern COOP in 2010 and currently works in the Environmental Science and Engineering Division. Initially, he worked with the Measurement and Modeling Division in its Air Tour Management Plan program, helping to install and monitor sound level meters throughout the United States National Parks. Once Cybulski was made a permanent employee, he began to work closely with the engineering group in the division, supporting various FAA projects conducting environmental sampling and remediation, as well as Tower Safety Climbing. More recently, Cybulski supported the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) team, stepping into a key role as the Federal Rail Administration's (FRA) Central Region environmental protection specialist, as well as supporting other NEPA initiatives.

Other projects that Cybulski has supported include working on a Federal Highways and Fish and Wildlife Service joint programmatic agreement for the Indiana bat, as well as being part of a winning Innovation Challenge team working with Federal Climate Change Adaptation Tools and Resources. Currently, Cybulski is working part-time for Volpe as he pursues his higher education at American University in Washington, D.C.

Chadd Fry

General Engineer
PSM Environmental Science, Stockton University
BS Public Health, Stockton University


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

Prior to joining Volpe, Fry worked as a support contractor for the 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. He 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, Fry gained experience in environmental site remediation laws and regulations, client management, technical writing, and analyzing complex environmental systems. 

Fry received his bachelor’s degree in public health from Stockton College (now Stockton University). In 2019, Chadd earned a Professional Science Master’s in environmental science from Stockton University.

Jacob Klaybor

Environmental Engineer
MS Environmental and Ecological Engineering, Purdue University
BS Natural Resources and Environmental Science, Purdue University


Jacob Klaybor joined Volpe as an environmental engineer in 2017. He primarily supports the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Environmental Cleanup and Real Property Disposition programs. Klaybor 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 federal, state, and local regulations. 

Klaybor also provides environmental and occupational safety and health support to FAA’s national programs by providing technical assistance in reviewing environmental compliance reports, researching the latest science and technology related to environmental site remediation, and attending conferences to broaden his knowledge on conventional and emerging pollutant remedial strategies. Additionally, Klaybor developed green and sustainable remediation guidance for reducing the environmental footprint of cleanup activities. His background also includes geographic information systems, statistical programming, urban ecological modeling, NEPA analysis, and technical writing. Klaybor is certified in incident command, first aid, construction safety, and hazardous waste operations and emergency response.

Travis Mast

BS Natural Resources and Environmental Science, Purdue University


Travis Mast joined Volpe in 2013 as a biologist and has over 15 years of experience in the environmental compliance and natural resource field. In his role at Volpe, he provides National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and biological-resource-related expertise to federal agencies involved in transportation planning, partnering with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 

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
BS Environmental Studies – Biology Concentration, Union College


Jennifer Papazian joined Volpe in 1998 and is an environmental protection specialist within the Environmental Science and Engineering Division. Her work at Volpe primarily focuses on National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance. In her 22 years with the Volpe Center, she has performed technical, project management, and contracting officers’ representative related duties. These include leading and participating in technical NEPA support procurements, managing complex interagency/interdisciplinary teams, and developing NEPA documents. Papazian 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 task order contracting officer’s representative for the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) West Region, managing the Monitoring and Technical Assistance Support (MTAS) contract working directly with the FRA team lead and project managers. She also provides project management and technical support on the Federal Aviation Administration and National Park Service Air Tour Management Program, developing management plans for commercial air tours over multiple units of the national park system.

Kait Rimol

Physical Scientist
BS Plant Sciences, Penn State University


Kaitlyn (“Kait”) Rimol joined Volpe in 2020 and is a physical scientist within the Environmental Science and Engineering Division. Her work at Volpe primarily focuses on National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance through partnerships with the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, and National Park Service. Rimol provides support to agencies under programs including the Air Tour Management Program and NEPA Program Assignment. 

Prior to joining Volpe, Rimol worked for 4 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
BA History, Penn State University


Jon Schmidt is an environmental protection specialist in the Environmental Science and Engineering Division. Since joining Volpe in 2020, Schmidt has supported the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) by providing National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) expertise and review for rail projects; supported the Air Tour Management Plan (ATMP) program; and partnered with FHWA on a variety of projects. Additionally, Schmidt is the Section 4(f) subject matter expert on the Environmental Science and Engineering team.

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

Mark Raney

Mark RaneyEnvironmental Engineer, Senior Project Manager
MS Environmental Engineering, Tufts University
BS Civil Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Mark Raney joined Volpe in 1994. Raney is a senior project manager with experience managing multimillion dollar projects working with a variety of federal and state agencies on hazardous materials, environmental assessment, site investigation, remediation, compliance, and other related projects. Raney possesses a diverse technical background including hazardous materials communication, asbestos exposure and assessment, and environmental site assessment and remediation. As a senior manager Raney is responsible for establishing and managing agreements with sponsor agencies; developing and monitoring work statements, budgets and project schedules; implementing corrective actions as needed; and ensuring project deliverables are of high quality adhering to technical standards and satisfy customer requirements. Raney leads a variety of projects including the division’s customer portfolio with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA).

Recent PHMSA support efforts led by Raney include aiding PHMSA’s Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (OHMS), Approvals and Permit Division with technical reviews of firework approval applications helping to ensure the proper classification and safe transportation of fireworks; and assisting the OHMS Engineering and Research Division in preparing, implementing, evaluating, and monitoring research and development efforts that support the mission of OHMS. One of the larger PHMSA R&D projects led by Raney is the HM-ACCESS project (Hazardous Materials-Automated Cargo Communications for Efficient and Safe Shipments), also known under Section 33005 of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2012 (MAP-21) as the Paperless Hazard Communications Pilot Program. The goal of HM-ACCESS is to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of paperless hazardous materials communication systems or e-systems to provide a level of safety equivalent to or better than the current HM shipping paper requirement, thereby facilitating commercial efficiency while maintaining and possibly enhancing safety.

Another recent project led by Raney is aiding the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Project Development and Environmental Review (HEPE) with establishing a recommended framework to provide guidance to FHWA Division Offices interested in assessing the presence and impacts of naturally occurring asbestos (NOA) at various stages in the project development and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) processes. The project includes providing technical expertise to FHWA’s Nevada Division Office to aid their NEPA Re-evaluation for NOA at Nevada’s Boulder Bypass Site.

Raney has also provided technical and management support in a number of other areas, including, but not limited to aiding:

  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with asbestos site investigations, toxicology and risk assessments, data management, and removal actions;
  • The Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) in their efforts to secure the transport of mail from hazardous materials and criminal action;
  • The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) in developing a recommended interim approach for managing vermiculite-containing materials in FAA facilities;
  • The California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) in assessing asbestos emissions from unpaved serpentine roadways;
  • The Postal Service (USPS) with conducting environmental compliance reviews and surveys of facilities, as well as environmental assessments of USPS small arms firing ranges, and execution of assessment/engineering design of energy conservation opportunities at USPS facilities;
  • The Air Force (USAF) with engineering and installation support for upgrading phased out national airspace air traffic control equipment at AF tower and radar approach control sites; and
  • The Coast Guard (USCG) with assessment of natural resource and conservation opportunities at USCG facilities along the Chesapeake Bay.

Deirdre P. Carrigan

Deirdre CarriganEnvironmental Protection Specialist
MS Emergency Management, Massachusetts Maritime Academy
BS Marine Safety and Environmental Protection, Massachusetts Maritime Academy


Deirdre Carrigan is an environmental protection specialist in the Environmental Science and Engineering Division. 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 their work on the oil spill response plan reviews.

Carrigan most recently assisted FEMA Region One with COVID-19 Long-Term Economic Impact and is currently supporting FEMA Region Two as the Transportation Recovery Representative for the U.S. Virgin Islands’ hurricane recovery efforts.

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

Carrigan recently completed a Master of Science degree in emergency management. 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 Volpe’s Technology Innovation and Policy Division.

Environmental Engineering

Richard Reiss, PE, LEED AP

Richard ReissSenior Environmental Engineer
BS Bioresource Engineering, College of Engineering, Rutgers University
BS Bioresource Engineering, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University


Richard Reiss is the environmental engineering team lead and has 25 years of international private- and public-sector experience in civil and environmental engineering, remediation, and regulatory compliance. Prior to joining Volpe in 2015, Reiss 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. He 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, Reiss served as a remediation design engineer, senior management consultant, and client account manager. He 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. Reiss 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. He also completed the Navy’s prestigious Leadership Development Program.

Michelle Heimgartner

Michelle HeimgartnerEnvironmental Engineer
MS Geoenvironmental/Geotechnical Engineering, Tufts University
BS Civil Engineering, University of Virginia


Michelle Heimgartner joined Volpe in 2000. She supported the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Libby Asbestos Project, a high profile superfund site in Libby, Montana. Over time, she managed the A&E design portion of the project, as well as the community involvement. She also provided environmental engineering support to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), mostly the legacy New England Region.

When the Libby Asbestos Project ended, Heimgartner’s role expanded with the newly reorganized FAA Environmental Cleanup (ECU) program. Today, she is the project manager for the ECU 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 finally, Site Closure. Heimgartner is also the project manager for the Facilities Decommissioning (FD) Program work. She and the Volpe FAA 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.

William Halloran

General Engineer
MS Civil Engineering, Tufts University
BS Civil Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst
BS Business Administration, Merrimack College


William Halloran began working at Volpe as an engineer and project manager in 1992 and has 20 years of diverse experience in the environmental engineering and restoration field. He has worked as an engineer, designer, and project manager for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Maritime Administration (MARAD), U.S. Postal Service (USPS), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) environmental restoration and compliance tasks. Halloran currently focuses on project management of environmental engineering and sustainability projects. Prior to that, Halloran focused on environmental site investigation (SI), environmental restoration, environmental technology assessment and application, risk assessment, and regulatory assessment/compliance projects. Prior to joining Volpe, Halloran was a financial analyst and auditor at Raytheon Company.

Emilio Paleo, EIT

Emilio PaleoEnvironmental Engineer
BS Environmental Engineering, Humboldt State University


Emilio Paleo joined the Volpe Center as an environmental engineer in 2016. Paleo has 6 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 the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) 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 the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to identify data gaps and provide recommendations for future changes to existing buffer car separation regulations. He also supports internal sustainability initiatives at the Volpe Center and the Office of the Secretary of Transportation.

Prior to joining Volpe, Paleo spent 2 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. He has prior experience in the public sector, working for a rural county Department of Public Works in northern California.

Paleo 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 

Evan Starr

Evan StarrEnvironmental Protection Specialist
MS Environmental Engineering Sciences, University of Massachusetts Lowell
BS Environmental Geology, Northeastern University


Evan Starr has been working with the Volpe Center’s Environmental Science and Engineering Division since 2008, primarily supporting the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Environmental Cleanup and Facilities Decommissioning programs. Starr’s expertise includes environmental site characterization and remediation, technical report writing, ecological resource analysis, geographical information systems (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 National Environmental Policy Act 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 2 U.S. territories in the Caribbean.

Logan Brill

Environmental Engineer
MS Environmental Health, Tufts University

BS Environmental Engineering, Tufts University

Logan Brill joined Volpe as a student trainee from Tufts University for the summer of 2017 in the Environmental Science and Engineering Division. Brill initially worked on Volpe projects supporting the FAA facility decommissioning program and the FAA environmental cleanup program, as well as assisting with field work at FAA sites and providing GIS support on on-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 primarily working on projects related to fuel infrastructure, compliance, and spill prevention for DoD Facilities. Prior to Volpe, Brill 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.

Environmental Occupational Safety & Health (EOSH)

Dr. Christopher D. Zevitas, ScD

Dr. Christopher D. ZevitasSenior Environmental Engineer
ScD Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health
MS Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northeastern University
BS Electrical Engineering, University of Massachusetts Lowell


Dr. Christopher Zevitas is the team leader for environmental health and has over 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. Dr. Zevitas 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 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Environmental Cleanup Program, where his work focuses on evaluating the impact of pollutants at airports and other complex sites. Dr. 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.

Karen Petho

Karen PethoEnvironmental Protection Specialist
MS Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tufts University
MA Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Tufts University
BA Political Science and Environmental Studies, Mercyhurst College

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

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

Prior to her work at Volpe, 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.

Staff Directory

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Last updated: Monday, March 7, 2022