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Environmental Characterization and Remediation
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This Committee was established in 2007 to disseminate relevant information to the membership on regulations, regulatory guidance, and methods of investigation and remediation of soil/sediment, ground water and surface water impacted by releases of petroleum products, chemicals, mining wastes and naturally occurring contaminants such as asbestos and radon. Activities include providing information to the practitioners, public, and educators on the importance of geology in protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public and the ecosystem from environmental contamination. 

Committee Chair: Syed E. Hasan


Recognizing the involvement of AEG members in environmental work, AEG approved the creation of a new technical working group, named the Environmental Characterization and Remediation Technical Working Group (ECRTWG) in September 2007. Dr. Syed Hasan was asked to lead the group that comprises three additional members who represent a wide range of experience and expertise in the environmental remediation and site characterization.

A brief bio-sketch of the ECRTWG group is provided below:

K. David Drake is working as the Chief, Special Emphasis Remedial Section in the Superfund Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7, Kansas City, KS. He received his B.S. in Geology from Indiana University in 1984, M.S. in Urban Environmental Geology from the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC) in 1999, and Interdisciplinary Ph.D. with a major in Geosciences and a minor in Public Affairs & Administration from UMKC in 2010. Dr. Drake worked as a geologist at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District for approximately 7 years prior to joining the EPA in 1993.

In his current position Dr. Drake manages a group of engineers, scientists and environmental protection specialists involved with the characterization and remediation of Superfund sites in the states of Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. He previously worked as a senior project manager in the EPA Superfund program and managed projects in Kansas and Nebraska with a focus on remediation of heavy metals at former mining sites.  He worked as a geologist and hydrogeologist at EPA during his early years and was involved with numerous environmental projects in a four state area consisting of Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri. He has many awards for his work and was named as EPA’s National Superfund Remedial Project Manager of the Year in 2009.

Dr. Drake holds professional and registered geologist licenses (P.G. and R.G.) in the states of Tennessee and Missouri, respectively. He is a member of the Geological Society of America, the Association of Missouri Geologists and the Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists. Dr. Drake has published papers in refereed journals and was recently listed (2006-07) in Who’s Who in Science and Engineering. Dr. Drake has served as a scientific journal reviewer for the Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health since 2007.       

Gregory Etter is a Project Manager in Omaha, NE for ASW Associates, Inc., an American Indian owned environmental-remediation, construction, and consulting firm. He received a B.S. in Geology from the University of Maryland (College Park) in 1997 and a M.S. in Urban Environmental Geology from the University of Missouri (Kansas City) in 2000. Mr. Etter joined ASW in 2005 and performs environmental-remediation projects for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the US EPA, and other local, state and federal agencies. He has experience in environmental compliance, site investigations, remedial investigations, remedial/removal action, long-term management, Superfund site cleanup, asbestos management and quality control.

Suman Ghosh received his Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Geoscience/Environmental Science from Univ. of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) in 2003 for his dissertation research entitled Influence Of Soils, Plants and Microorganisms In Bioremediation Of Petroleum Contaminated Soils – An Experimental Approach. Prior to joining UMKC, Dr. Ghosh received his Bachelor's degree in Geology from Univ. of Calcutta (India) in 1996 and Masters degree in Environmental Science from Univ. of Pune (India) in 1998.

Over the last 13 years Dr. Ghosh has worked as a hydrogeologist/environmental consultant and worked at different parts of the country for both public and private sector clients, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, Texas Dept. of Transportation and Alcoa, including active participation in a USEPA TRIAD RI/FS implementation. Presently, Dr. Ghosh is working as Principal Hydrogeologist and Vice President at Mission Geoscience, Inc. in Irvine, Calif., where he is managing several soil and ground water investigation, remediation, and litigation support projects for the company. In the recent years, Dr. Ghosh is developing his skills as an expert in the fields of indoor-vapor intrusion risk assessment, and ground water remediation utilizing enhanced natural attenuation and in-situ chemical injection. Dr. Ghosh holds professional and registered professional (or registered) geologist licenses in the states of California, Texas and Arizona, respectively.

Dr. Ghosh is a member of the Geological Society of America, National Ground Water Association, California Groundwater Resources Association, in addition to the Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists. Dr. Ghosh has published several papers in peer-reviewed journals and is actively involved with applied research besides his consulting work.

Syed E. Hasan is professor of Geology in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and also serves as the Director for: the Center for Applied Environmental Research, and the Graduate Certificate Program in Waste Management. Dr. Hasan is the author of a college textbook titled Geology and Hazardous Waste Management (Prentice Hall, 1996) for which he received AEG’s Claire P. Holdredge Award for Best Publication in 1998. He has published papers in refereed journals and presented his research results at numerous national and international meetings. He served as the chair of the GSA’s Engineering Geology Division in 2007 and the Geology and Health Division of GSA in 2011. Dr. Hasan is a fellow of the Geological Society of America and member of several professional organizations and serves as the editor of the “Engineering Geology, Environmental Geology and Mineral Economics” theme for the UNECSO’s Encyclopedia of Life Support System. Dr. Hasan holds a Registered Geologist license from the state of Missouri.




  1. Nielsen, D.M., 2006, Practical Handbook of Environmental Site Characterization and Ground-Water Monitoring: Boca Raton, FL; CRC Press, 1318 p.
  1. Palmer, C.M., 1996, Principles of Contaminant Hydrogeology: Boca Raton, FL; CRC Press, 235 p.
  1. Nielsen, D.M., 1991, Practical Handbook of Ground-Water Monitoring: Chelsea, MI; Lewis Publishers, 717 p.
  1. Fetter, C.W., 1999, Contaminant Hydrogeology: Upper Saddle River, NJ; Prentice Hall, 500 p.
  1. Rochkind-Dubinsky, M.L.; G.S. Sayler; and J.W. Blackburn, 1987, Microbiological Decomposition of Chlorinated Aromatic Compounds: New York, NY; Marcel Dekker, 315 p.
  1. Pankow, J.F.; and J.A. Cherry, 1996, Dense Chlorinated Solvents and Other DNAPLs in Groundwater: History, Behavior, and Remediation: Portland, OR; Waterloo Press, 522 p.
  1. Noonan, D.C.; and J.T. Curtis, 1990, Groundwater Remediation and Petroleum – A Guide for Underground Storage Tanks: Chelsea, MI; Lewis Publishers, 140 p.
  1. Koenigsberg, S.S.; and R.D. Norris, 1999, Accelerated Bioremediation Using Slow Release Compounds – Selected Battelle Conference Papers: 1993-1999: San Clemente, CA; Regenesis Bioremediation Products, 255 p.
  1. Hasan, S.E. 1996. Geology and Hazardous Waste Management, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.


  1. Ghosh, S.; Brown, J.; Zeko, M.; Singh, A.; and Finch, M. 2012. Evaluation of a new field screening tool for chlorinated solvent impacted site investigations – a case study. AEG News. 55(1), p. 26‐28.
  1. Ghosh, S.; and Hendrix, E. D. 2009. Diffusion driven passive sampling in long term groundwater monitoring. AEG News. 52(4), p. 25-26.
  1. Neuberger, J.S., S. Hu, K.D. Drake, and R. Jim. 2009. Health Studies at Tar Creek, Oklahoma: A Heavy Metal Mining Superfund Site. Environmental Geochemistry and Health.
  1. Elmore, A.C., K.D. Drake, R. Nichols, R. Gallagher. 2005. Practical Applications of Renewable Energy to Remediation. A poster presentation at the Partners in Environmental Technology Technical Symposium and Workshop sponsored by the U. S. Department of Defense Environmental Security Technology Certification Program and the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program, Washington, D.C., Nov. 29-Dec. 1.
  1. Elmore, A.C., R. Gallagher, and K.D. Drake. 2004. Using Wind to Power a Groundwater Circulation Well – Preliminary Results. Remediation, The Journal of Environmental Cleanup Costs, Technologies, and Techniques. Wiley Publishers, Vol. 14, No. 4.
  1. Drake, K.D. and A.C. Elmore. 2004. Groundwater Remediation Powered by Renewable Energy. A poster presentation in Abstracts with Programs of the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, Nov. 7-10, Vol. 36, No. 5.
  1. Ragan V. and K.D. Drake. 2003. Tri-State Zinc-Lead District:  From Bonanza to Superfund. A field trip published in Geologic Field Trips in the Greater Kansas City Area, North-Central Geological Society of America Meeting, Kansas City, MO, March 22-26.
  1. Doolan, D.M. and K.D. Drake. 2002. Significant Blood-Lead Level Reduction in Children as a Result of Yard Soil Remedial Action. A poster presentation at the EPA Science Forum 2002: Meeting the Challenges, Washington, D.C., May 1-2.
  1. Drake, K.D. 2000. Relationship Between the Leaching Potential of Heavy Metals from Lead-Zinc Mining Wastes and its Mineralogy and Grain Size. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting Program, Reno, NV, Nov. 9-18.



Environmental Characterization and Remediation Symposium in Charleston, SC – Sept. 23, 2010
The ESCRTW organized its first Environmental Characterization and Remediation Symposium at AEG’s Annual Meeting in Charleston, SC. The focus of the symposium was on recent developments and advances in the field of environmental site characterization and remediation.  A number of case studies were presented to demonstrate their effectiveness and lessons learned.  The symposium was well attended by a large number of working professionals in the related field and academia.


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