Team Biographies

Mr. Barnes has over 40 years work experience in the environmental engineering and the occupational/community health industries; the past 20+ years in consulting and the previous 20 years as a United States Air Force Bioenvironmental Engineering officer. He has worked across a broad spectrum of programs including: industrial hygiene, occupational health compliance, Title I and Title II engineering services, risk assessment, natural/cultural resources, air quality, hazardous materials/waste, pesticides, PCBs, asbestos, water quality, radiation protection, noise/vibration, and environmental management systems. He is a registered professional engineer, a diplomat on the American Board of Industrial Hygiene for 24 years, certified as a lead auditor of Environmental Management Systems, and a former Adjunct Professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Mr. Barnes has provided consulting services throughout the United States, the Pacific Rim, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East.
Tod DeLong
MS, Wildlife Ecology
BS, Biology
Mr. DeLong has over 25 years of experience in a wide array of environmental areas including ecological risk assessments, environmental assessments, contaminant impact assessments, 5-year reviews, forestry, long-term biological monitoring, wildlife evaluations, statistical analysis, and experimental design. He has been the technical manager for numerous risk assessments for hazardous waste sites for both CERCLA and RCRA projects, with a focus on the ecological aspects of the risk assessment process and managed numerous field investigations, toxicity assessments, and bioaccumulation studies in support of the ecological risk assessment process. Mr. DeLong has a strong statistical background and is experienced in performing probabilistic risk assessments for both ecological and human health risk assessments. He is also experienced in the environmental assessment (EA) process and with multiple regulatory frameworks and with regulators in most EPA regions and many states.
Lee dePersia, PE
Managing Principal
MS, Environmental Engineering
BS, Environmental Engineering
Mr. dePersia has over 30 years’ experience performing all types of environmental projects including hazardous waste site investigations and feasibility studies, remedial designs and remedial actions for federal, state, and commercial clients. He has managed small and large multitask projects and multidisciplinary teams on all types of CERCLA and RCRA projects as well as managing comprehensive environmental projects and programs, river system restoration projects, Brownfields redevelopment projects, Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS) projects, and drinking water system evaluations and improvements. He has managed projects under a variety of contract types including time and materials, cost reimbursable, fixed price and performance based contracts.  He is a retired Air Force officer having served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. dePersia is a registered professional engineer.
Charles Dobroski
MS, Marine Biology
BS, Entomology and Applied Ecology
Mr. Dobroski is a co-founder and principal of Avatar Environmental, and provides the technical direction and oversight of ecological and human health risk assessments as well as ecological programs for Avatar. He has directed and managed numerous human health and ecological risk assessments for hazardous waste sites for both CERCLA and RCRA projects. He has over 40 years of experience in environmental impact assessments, environmental assessments, natural and cultural resource programs, baseline surveys, field sampling, risk assessments, wildlife studies, and other ecological programs. He directs Avatar’s coastal, marine, and estuarine services in assessing the effects of climate change and sea-level rise for government and private sector clients.  In addition, Mr. Dobroski provides a breadth of experience in supporting negotiations and resolution of technical issues within the regulatory arena.
James Walsh
MS, Environmental Science
BA, Political Science
Mr. Walsh has been involved in the environmental industry for more than 30 years. He has broad experience in environmental compliance issues, and has directed and/or managed numerous environmental assessments for hazardous waste sites for Federal clients under both CERCLA and RCRA, including BRAC sites, munitions-contaminated sites, and FUD sites. These projects have typically included site investigations, regulatory compliance, human health and ecological risk assessment, as well as risk communication strategies and associated public information and participation efforts. Additionally, he has used risk assessment methodologies for research institutions that have resulted in significant savings to industry, while maintaining strict environmental compliance. Mr. Walsh is experienced with NEPA regulations, occupational safety and health, and air quality compliance issues, having recently completed a Clean Air Act compliance program for a major military facility. Mr. Walsh also leads or supports many of the marketing opportunities pursued by Avatar.
Andrew Beliveau
BA, Liberal Arts
Mr. Beliveau has more than 30 years’ experience in environmental chemistry including extensive experience in analytical chemistry, quality assurance, sampling techniques, and fate and transport of PCBs and TCDDs in the environment.  He is an expert in the identification and quantification of PCBs in environmental media. During his tenure at EPA (he is a retired EPA Chemist), Mr. Beliveau was involved in many PCB investigation and remediation projects including the New Bedford Harbor, GE Housatonic River, Hudson River, Fletcher’s Paint and other Superfund sites.   He was involved in several national work groups including the National PCB Risk Work Group, SW-846 Methods Work Group, and the National Regional Science Council as well as several other EPA/ORD work groups responsible for the development of new methods for the field analysis of PCBs and Dioxins. Mr. Beliveau was an original author and contributor to the National PCB Risk Guidance, was co-author of USEPA’s guidance on Immunoassay analysis, sediment sampling and analysis, and has published numerous papers on PCB analytical methods.  
Kelly Bender has over 18 years professional experience in Federal Contract and Pricing Management in the Environmental Consulting industry. She manages the company contract and subcontract programs and is the contract and financial manager of Avatar’s USACE New England District, GE-Pittsfield Housatonic River contract. Kelly ensures compliance with the FAR, plus provides day to day financial analysis and administration of sales, revenue, and metrics. She extracts and extrapolates financial details that facilitate business development decisions and problem solving effectiveness. She is an expert in Excel and employs financial systems such as BillQuick and QuickBooks on a daily basis.
Ms. Brown has over 5 years of experience in business management at environmental consulting companies. She handles the day-to-day accounting and financial reporting of the company. Has experience in administering payroll, 401(K) retirement plan, as well as employee benefits programs. She manages the Accounts Payable and Receivable, maintains vendor files, prepares monthly customer invoices and bank reconciliation. She is proficient at Quick Books accounting system and BillQuick Project Management and Billing System.
Mr. Campbell has 20 years of experience in the environmental science and consulting field. He has spent 10 years in project management roles managing multi-million dollar task orders in the fields of risk assessment, geographic information systems, database management, sediment capping technologies, hydrodynamics and fate and transport modeling. He has managed formal public peer reviews for a human health risk assessment, ecological risk assessments, and model calibration and validation reports, including Responsiveness Summaries for each document. He assisted in the development and implementation of a large-scale community involvement project that included a series of educational workshops, a day long Charrette, and development of a public access website. Mr. Campbell also provides technical oversight of environmental investigation and remedial design work plans and associated bench scale studies and field investigations. He has experience providing oversight for a one-acre pilot sediment capping study that led to implementation of a full-scale capping project over a 26-acre lake. In addition, he was technical and oversight lead for a chemical extraction bench-scale study.
John Cassels
Senior Scientist/GIS Expert
BS, Marine Science and Biology
Mr. Cassels has over 30 years of experience in environmental compliance, environmental assessments, with experience in all aspects of environmental investigations from project planning/design to field surveys, wetlands assessments, data collection, management and presentation, technical report writing, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and application development, geointegration, database analysis and cartographic presentation. Mr. Cassels’ strong ecological foundation, along with an appetite for ever-expanding technologies allows him to provide effective spatial information management resources to risk assessors and technically-oriented clients, including sophisticated spatial analysis tools, real-time data acquisition, database design, automation, and access, as well as the highest quality cartographic presentation available.
Mr. Collins is a recent hire with an educational background in geology and related geosciences. Mr. Collins has participated in various field sampling activities since his start at Avatar including: Low-flow ground water sampling, soil and sediment sampling, Indoor air sampling, and sediment logging/ classification from bore hole cores. He has completed his 40-hour OSHA HAZWOPER training and First aid CPR training courses.
Ms. Cordova has over 25 years work experience in occupational safety and industrial hygiene programs in both the federal government and private industry. She has broad experience in the industrial hygiene and community health arenas to include specific experience in occupational health risk assessments, emergency response, environmental protection, training workers in the proper wear and maintenance of personal protective equipment/respirators, planning, training and preparing exercises for base emergency responders, extensive radiation surveys, experience with chemical, biological and radiological contaminants, confined space programs, and disaster relief operations. Ms. Cordova served in the US Air Force over 21 years working in Bioenvironmental Engineering Career field and has been deployed four times. Immediately prior to joining Avatar Susan worked as an industrial hygienist/safety supervisor in the defense coatings industry.
Kristina Early
Senior Scientist/Risk Assessor
MPH, Master of Public Health
BS, Environmental Health
Ms. Early has over 15 years of experience managing and conducting human health and ecological risk assessments for various sites including CERCLA, NPS, FUDS, MMR, BRAC, PA Act 2, as well as various state agencies and commercial clients. Ms. Early also has experience in project management, public comment summaries, and developing work plans and other project planning documents. She has competencies in human health risk assessment related evaluations including vapor intrusion, ISM methodology, PRGs, ProUCL, MEC/MC, lead, TPH/VPH, mutagenic, and bioavailability. Ms. Early also has experience in successfully managing data from large field sampling efforts, organizing analytical laboratory data deliverables, data evaluation, Access® database construction, query and form building, and statistical analyses. Her field experience includes managing and participating in the sampling of various biotic and abiotic media, building surveys, lab coordination, and sample management.
Mr. Geyer has experience in the environmental consulting field and experience in health and safety oversight. His field experience includes low-flow groundwater sampling using peristaltic and bladder pumps, soil sampling, sediment and surface water sampling, and vapor intrusion investigations that have included indoor air, ambient air, and sub-slab soil gas sampling. Additional experience includes overseeing subcontractors during monitoring well installation and logging borehole sediment. Mr. Geyer is also proficient in complex data management tasks, geological and hydrogeological interpretations, and spatial analysis using current Geographic Information System (GIS) software (ArcMap ® 10.3.1). Alan has OSHA 40-hour HAZWOPER training and 30-hour Construction training.
Bryan Gonzalez
Assistant Project Scientist
BS, Environmental Science
Mr. Gonzalez has four years of experience in the construction and environmental fields, including experience in the laboratory, in the field, and at construction sites. He has experience writing and preparing regulatory reports, creating and analyzing data tables, preparing and reviewing architectural blueprints, using computer assisted drafting programs, and evaluating compliance under the Clean Waters act and Rivers and Harbors Act. Mr. Gonzalez’s field experience includes biological data collection, habitat delineation, water quality testing, and health and safety oversight, including his 40-hour OSHA HAZWOPER and First Aid and CPR certification
Susan Herbert
Project Scientist
MS, Ecology
BS, Environmental Health
Ms. Herbert is an ecologist with extensive experience in data management and analysis, project planning documents, such as quality assurance project plans and accident prevention plans, CERCLA and RCRA human health and ecological risk assessments, and implementation of state quality assurance on risk assessments. Her risk assessment field experience includes building surveys, indoor air and sub-slab sampling, various biotic media sampling, management of sample inventory, and coordination with the laboratory. She is experienced in USDA’s environmental assessment process for genetically modified crops and public commenting. Some of her previous experience includes the analysis of complex environmental data in spatial database using GIS software; field sampling and maintenance of long-term datasets for streams to compare parameters of stream ecosystem function; coordinating daily activities of multiple long-term stream monitoring projects for granting agencies.
Deborah Jones, PMP
Project Manager
MS, Environmental Pollution Control
BS, Environmental Resource Management
Ms. Jones has over 30 years of experience in environmental consulting, primarily in the areas of environmental assessments, environmental compliance and remedial investigation. Her skills include developing work plans and other project planning documents; evaluating and interpreting soil and groundwater geochemical data to assess extent of contamination; analyses of remedial alternatives; project management; and organizing and coordinating subcontractors and team members for large complex projects, meeting budget and schedule. She has completed many complex projects for federal clients such as EPA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Federal Communications Commission.
Cheryl Mauch
Assistant Project Scientist
BS, Biology: Ecology/Conservation
BS, Environmental Health
Ms. Mauch is proficient in collection, management, and analysis of large data sets. She has successfully utilized ProUCL, SPSS, R and Access programs to conduct statistical analyses and run queries. Her field work at Avatar includes experience with vapor intrusion investigations through indoor air sampling, ambient air sampling, and sub-slab soil gas sampling events. Other previous field work has included composite, discrete and bulk density soil sampling. Cheryl also has experience in the preparation of various planning documents such as field sampling plans, accident prevention plans, and work plans. She has completed OSHA 40-hour HAZWOPER training and FEMA Emergency Management Institute courses.
Mr. Rillstone has over six years of experience managing and performing a wide range of environmental investigations for federal, state, and commercial clients. His field experience includes leading and coordinating multiple field sampling teams, collecting groundwater, surface water, soil, and air samples, overseeing subcontractors during the installation of remediation systems, conducting hydrogeologic investigations, and managing subcontractors during monitoring well, injection well and soil vapor point installation. He also has experience writing and preparing project plans and reports. Mr. Rillstone has completed OSHA 40-hour HAZWOPER, 30-hour Construction, and 8-hour HAZWOPER Supervisor trainings and is first aid/CPR certified. He also has extensive experience using Surfer and gINT. Mr. Rillstone is a registered Professional Geologist in Pennsylvania.
Ms. Sevold has over 25 years’ experience. Her responsibilities include performing human health and ecological risk assessments for CERCLA and RCRA, including for hazardous waste incinerator sites; deriving reference does, critical toxicity values for mammalian and avian receptors; and human health criteria for short-term occupational exposures to inhalation toxicants; toxicologic database development; writing and technical review of Public Involvement Plans, Uniform Federal Program Quality Assurance Project Plans (UFP-QAPPs), human health and ecological work plans and risk assessments, MSDS (now SDS), emergency response manuals, and Findings of Fact for Administrative Consent Orders; and data management and database construction/maintenance.
Laurence Smith, CIH, CSP
Senior Industrial Hygienist
MS, Occupational and Environmental Health
BS, Environmental Resource Management
Mr. Smith has over 29 years experience developing, auditing and managing occupational safety and industrial hygiene programs in the federal government and private industry. Industries in which Mr. Smith has experience include shipyards, aircraft manufacturing and maintenance, refineries, water and waste water treatment, vaccine manufacturing, and construction and HAZWOPER projects. Mr. Smith provided litigation support related to the World Trade Center collapse, and developed and managed project teams of health and safety professionals in Brazil, Mexico and Canada.
Rachel Urban
Junior Engineer
MS, Civil Engineering
BS, Civil Engineering
Ms. Urban is a recent hire with a background in hydrology/hydrogeology and academic experience in groundwater modeling, data analysis, and electrical resistivity lab and field methods. Ms. Urban has a strong quantitative background withcoursework in geostatistics, data inversion, mathematical modeling, linear algebra, and numerical methods. She has successfully utilized MATLAB, C/C++, Python-based visualization software, and Linux computing clusters to run and visualize groundwater flow and transport models (MODFLOW/MT3DMS) and electrical resistivity data. Ms. Urban is an Engineer-in-Training (EIT) and is OSHA 40 hr HAZWOPER and First Aid/CPR certified.
Michael Werner, Esq.
Senior Consultant
JD, Law
MS, Aquatic Ecology
BS, Biology
Mr. Werner has over 30 years of experience in the environmental field. He has directed and conducted numerous environmental impact assessments and developed compliance documents for complex and controversial projects. Integrating his legal and ecology training and experience, he has provided litigation support and negotiated innovative solutions to complex projects involving multiple agencies, stakeholders, and non-governmental organizations. Mr. Werner’s program expertise includes NEPA, FIFRA, TSCA and RCRA. Mr. Werner brings an excellent understanding of agency regulatory enforcement process and policy stemming from his work with the USDA, EPA, COE, FWS and DOJ.
Cynthia Woods
Senior Human Health Risk Assessor
MS, Pharmacology/ Toxicology
BA, Zoology
Ms. Woods has over 25 years of experience in the risk assessment field. She has extensive experience preparing human health risk assessments and risk-based preliminary remediation goals for hazardous wastes sites including superfund sites, military bases, and commercial sites both under EPA Superfund guidance and under state environmental programs. As part of the risk assessment process, she has experience in all human health risk assessment tasks including assessment of site contaminants, toxicological evaluations, calculation of doses and risks, use of the EPA’s IEUBK and Adult Lead Model to evaluate lead risks and their implications in human health risk assessments and EPA’s vapor intrusion guidance to evaluate potential indoor air risks from contaminants in groundwater and soil gas. Ms Woods also has experience in the preparation of 5-year reviews, remedial investigation work plans, record of decision documents, and proposed response action plans and communicating risk assessment results/issues to the public. 
Timothy Woods
Project Manager/Senior Human Health Risk Assessor
MPH, Master of Public Health
BS, Environmental Health
Mr. Woods has over 18 years of experience in environmental consulting. His primary area of technical expertise is human health risk assessment where he has been the HHRA lead at a number of high profile sites. He has significant experience managing and performing environmental assessments, remedial investigations, and related activities at a variety of hazardous waste sites including CERCLA and RCRA sites, FUDS, BRAC sites, munitions-contaminated sites, asbestos sites, and other sites. He also has experience performing and managing assessments for a number of state agencies. He has managed large field investigation efforts and data management tasks. Other areas of competence include probabilistic risk assessment, vapor intrusion, asbestos exposure, and the development of computer programs, including statistical packages and various risk assessment calculation tools.
Ms. Zapisek has 20 years of experience in the environmental consulting field, primarily in the areas of environmental assessments, remedial actions and restoration, and post-removal long-term monitoring. She has spent 10 years in project and program management roles managing multiple, multi-million dollar task orders with multiple disciplines for EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Her strengths are in cost and budget control, cost recovery, procurements and planning for cost reimbursable and fixed price contracts. Ms. Zapisek has extensive experience in offsite disposal coordination, data management/analysis and mapping, development of project completion reports and post-removal site control plans. She also has experience in document reviews and oversight of RP as well as Environmental Restriction Easements for properties impacted by environmental removals.


Joseph Germano, PhD
Sediment Management Expert
PhD, Biology
M. Phil, Biology
AB, Biology
Dr. Germano has more than 31 years of varied experience in domestic and international marine environmental programs. His technical expertise is in the areas of benthic ecology, organism-sediment relationships, ecological risk assessment, and environmental impact assessment of ocean disposal. His project experience includes environmental baseline, impact, and site designation studies for diverse open-water dredged-material disposal projects and sediment quality surveys in a number of estuaries. Dr. Germano also has broad expertise in diverse aspects of marine biology and ecology, oceanographic sampling, sampling design and statistics, data analysis, and program management for offshore, estuarine, and coastal environmental impact analysis, monitoring, and research.
Gary Lage, PhD, DABT
Senior Toxicologist
PhD, Pharmacology
MS, Pharmacology
BS, Pharmacy
Dr. Lage has more than three decades of experience in toxicology, both in its academic development as a scientific discipline and in consulting activities in risk assessment for industry and government. He is founding Principal of ToxiLogics, Inc., a firm that incorporates current toxicology of chemicals and modern risk assessment into scientific decisions. Dr. Lage is a recognized expert in the field of toxicology and risk assessment and holds numerous professional memberships and advisory positions. He has experience developing innovative solutions to environmental problems through the use of risk assessment and is widely recognized for communicating complex issues of toxicology and risk assessment to nonscientific audiences.
Kurt Philipp, PhD
Wetland Scientist
PhD, Marine Science
MS, Geography
BA, Biology
Dr. Philipp has over 31 years experience in wetland ecology, wetland delineation, permitting, compensatory mitigation, and the impact of hazardous waste. He is familiar with federal wetlands regulations including jurisdictional determinations and permitting. He has conducted many tidal and non-tidal wetlands mitigation projects creating and enhancing wetlands in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginia. Several of these projects covered all aspects of wetland creation from site selection through mitigation design, state and federal permitting, construction management/oversight, and monitoring.
Henry Woodcock, CIH
Senior Industrial Hygienist
MS, Bioenvironmental Sciences
BS, Industrial Engineering
Mr. Woodcock has over 31 years experience in managing industrial hygiene programs at Air Force installations, including two Air Logistics Centers, and in providing health and safety services for a range of clients. He has managed projects that have involved hands-on monitoring and exposure evaluations and complex engineering analyses. Mr. Woodcock is Board Certified in the comprehensive practice of Industrial Hygiene and a Diplomate of the American Academy of Industrial Hygiene.