Professor of Geology and Chemistry
Dept. of Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences
Degrees and Certificates
B.S. Degree Geology Michigan State University 1968
M.S. Degree Sedimentology Michigan State University 1969
Thesis topic: The Utility of Fourier Estimates of Grain Shape in Sedimentological Studies.
Ph.D. Degree Sedimentology Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 1982
Thesis topic: Sedimentary Processes & Products: An Amber-bearing Turbidite Complex in the Northern Dominican Republic.
B.S. Degree, magna cum laude Chemistry Wilkes University 1997
B.A. Degree, magna cum laude Physics Wilkes University 2002
B.A. Degree, summa cum laude English Wilkes University 2007
Teaching Certificate State of Michigan Physical Science 1968
Teaching Certificate Commonwealth of PA Earth & Space Science 1975
Radon Testing Certificate Commonwealth of PA 1989
Radon Mitigation Certificate Commonwealth of PA 1989
OSHA 40-hour Haz-Mat Cert. Commonwealth of PA 1991-99
Certified Radon Tester Commonwealth of PA 1991
Professional Geologist (PG 418 G) Commonwealth of PA 1994-present
American Water Works Association
Association of Geoscientists for International Development
National Water Well Association
Pennsylvania Academy of Science
Society of Mining Engineers of AIME
Tenured Professor of Geology & Chem, Department of Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences 1976-present
Director, Environmental Quality Center 1989-95
Principal Investigator: Restoration of Environmentally Exploited Sites, Earth Conservancy 1992-96
Chair, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences 1983-91
Associate Dean, School of Science & Engineering 1988-92
Associate Chair, Depts of Engineering, Physics, EES 1986-88
Research, Public Service, and Consulting Activities
Radon Measurement and Mitigation, Radiation Monitoring:
I was instrumental in establishing charcoal canister testing lab and radon chamber for calibration of testing instruments and evaluation of mitigation techniques; In cooperation with the NorthEastern Pennsylvania Environmental Council, initiated a study of the indoor radon levels of houses in northeastern Pennsylvania and attempted to correlate the radon levels with geology; helped establish certification guidelines for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; evaluated the Greater Wilkes-Barre Area School District for radon; undertook a study of entry routes of radon in structures using continuous working level monitors in an attempt to lower indoor radon levels;set up technical and quality control guidelines for commercial testing company (TEQ); served as vice-chairman on Governor's Advisory Committee on Radon; gave innumerable lectures to a wide variety of audiences; served as science advisor to the media, played a key role in establishing the Wilkes Radon Chamber.
I established a continuous gamma radiation monitoring program at Wilkes with a grant from the Pennsylvania Power & Light Co.; conducted monitoring of the Susquehanna River and Hanover Sewage Treatment Plant for the presence of radio-iodine under a research contract with Pennsylvania Power & Light by analyzing sewage samples for radioiodine and collecting diatoms from the Susquehanna River for radioiodine analysis. The Hanover Sewage Treatment Plant was shown to be a major source of radioiodine to the river although radioiodine levels were never high enough to be a danger to the public. Local hospitals were shown to be the ultimate source of the radioiodine; assessed safety of a damaged cobalt-60 concrete testing device and of a radium-226 source.
Solid Waste Management:
I helped initiate recycling program in Wilkes-Barre, directed Ben Franklin Partnership program with the Catrel Corporation of PA to test the characteristics of municipal waste processed with the patented Catrel of Switzerland technique, and aided in the permit application for the construction of a processing plant in Luzerne County on an innovative method of processing municipal waste; served as consulting geologist for the expansion of the Exeter Township landfill (Luzerne County), expansion of the Amity Landfill (Lackawanna County), evaluation of leachate production and movement from the Westside Landfill (Luzerne County), expansion of the Bichler Landfill (Lackawanna County), preparation of a permit application for the proposed Beaver Development Landfill (Columbia County), preparation of a demolition waste permit for the Bunker Hill landfill (Luzerne County), and permit application for the HZL Landfill (Susquehanna County).
Geology & Hydrogeology:
I supervised development of springs for Pocono Springs Inc., 3-Springs Inc., Glen Summit Inc., and Pleasant Valley Inc.; assessed water well contamination by road salt in Trailwood and in Beaumont (Luzerne County); calculated reserves of American Asphalt Quarry for Jackson Township; evaluated soil and geology of entire Wyoming Valley dike system, Susquehanna River, for an archaeological site survey for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; examined the rock in the Big Bass Lake spillway and dam for structural stability; assessed impact of spray irrigation of treated waste water for four separate projects and spreading of sewage sludge on farm land in one project; designed and supervised construction of supply and injection wells for groundwater heat pump systems in five projects; investigated the water yield potential of infiltration galleries on Scoval Island, Susquehanna River, West Pittston; testified in court as an expert witness in many cases; conducted dozens of other proposals and studies of groundwater development, movement, contamination, and monitoring in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic; also worked on many projects involving water budgets and surface hydrology as well as several soils studies.
Mine lands Reclamation:
I was principal investigator for the Earth Conservancy in a $1 million three-year reclamation project involving 17,000 acres of strip-mine land (anthracite); led a team which tested composted sewage sludge and co-gen flyash as a substitute topsoil to be used to develop a self-sustaining vegetative cover on the reclaimed land. The project also developed an evaluation process for assessing the suitability of many waste materials as components in a substitute topsoil mix. The successful mixes produce a benign leachate and contain a proper nutrient balance and physical characteristics to support a healthy long-term vegetative cover.
I conducted a carbon dioxide survey of classrooms and offices in part of Wilkes University and other locations demonstrating surprisingly high levels in some classrooms suggesting insufficient ventilation.
As of 2007 I completed 199.5 semester credits at Wilkes University beyond the PhD including 48 Cr in chemistry, 20 in computer science, 14 in biology, and 31 in Physics. I have played violin and viola in Wilkes University, Bloomsburg University, and Wyoming Seminary for many years and am part of a folk music (Contra) dance band.
In thirty-two years at Wilkes University, I have taught almost every course offered by the Department of Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences. Most courses included a required laboratory and fieldwork. A partial list follows (does not include lower-level equivalent courses also taught for non-science majors):
Physical Geology Hydrology Environmental Science Structural Geology
Historical Geology Oceanography Technical Writing Biogeochemistry
Geomorphology Astronomy Meteorology Environmental Development
Mineralogy Regional Geography Dynamic Meteorology Geochemistry
Petrology Air Pollution Physics & Chemistry for Nurses Classical & Modern Physics
Wilkes University requires student evaluations of all of the courses taught and I have consistently received high to very high ratings on all evaluation categories for my teaching.
I served as department chair of the Earth & Environmental Sciences Department (now the Department of GeoEnvironmental Sciences & Engineering) for many years and, when the Department of Physics lost its Chair, teamed with the Chair of the Engineering Department and jointly administered the three departments. This association of the three departments evolved into the School of Science & Engineering, later incorporating the Biology, Math, and Chemistry departments. As Associate Dean of this new School, I played a large role in its formation and successful evolution. The formation of the School was the impetus which resulted in the promotion of Wilkes College to Wilkes University.
After the school was firmly established, I left its administration to develop and take on the direction of a $1.2 million mine reclamation project (Restoration of Environmentally Exploited Sites) which is now nearing completion. I have also been the Director of the Environmental Quality Center since its inception in 1988. The purpose of the Center is to provide an administrative structure to facilitate the use, in outside funded projects, of faculty expertise and equipment across departmental boundaries so as to generate additional funding and equipment as well as opportunities for faculty research and student work-study experiences.
Dominican Republic, 1969-1976
From 1969 through 1975 I was a Peace Corps Volunteer working as a hydrogeologist for the Instituto Nacional de Aguas Potables y Alcantarillados (National Institute for Potable Water and Sewage - a Dominican government agency). During this time I directed the drilling of some 600 water wells, supervised construction of aqueducts, and conducted a variety of groundwater contamination studies. I continued to work for INAPA in 1976 as I completed field work for the PhD.
Honduras, summer 1999
I served in the Crisis Corps (a short-term division of Peace Corps) in Honduras working with Servicio Autonomo Nacional de Acueductos y Alcantarillados (National Autonomous Service for Aqueducts and Sewage - a Honduran government agency) in the Departments of Choluteca and Valle training govt engineers in how to use a knowledge of geologic structure and topography to exploit water resources as part of the rehabilitation after Hurricane Mitch.
Venezuela, summer 2000
Once again with Crisis Corps I evaluated damage to and designed repairs for rural water supply systems damaged by massive mudslides for a Venezuelan NGO, El Centro al Servicio de la Acción Popular, in the State of Miranda. Having purchased a transit, I trained Venezuelan and Columbian technicians in surveying techniques in laying out water aqueduct lines. I also make a regional assessment of groundwater resources for World Vision, helping them to prepare a $100,000 grant proposal for a program of water well drilling in Miranda.
Regional Experience Pennsylvania, 1976-present
Within a year of having started at Wilkes University, I began to consult with local engineering and architectural firms, principally on the drilling and testing of groundwater wells. Within a few years, the work expanded to include the design of monitoring well systems for regional landfills as well as the completion of the DER geology and hydrogeology modules for permit applications: Amity landfill, HZL Inc., Brdaric Excavating, Bichler landfill, and the Beaver Development Corp. As interest in groundwater heat pumps developed, I designed and supervised the construction of groundwater supplies for many such systems: Nesbitt Hospital, Kingston Recreation Center, Parkway Medical Center, Biernacki office building, etc. In 1981 I incorporated as HydroTech Ltd and continue to serve as its president.
Groundwater pollution cases became important and I have conducted numerous contamination studies in Northeastern PA and have testified as an expert witness at township hearings and at the Luzerne County courthouse. Several of the contamination cases involved the contamination of local domestic wells with road salt from township or PennDoT storage piles: Eleanor Reiser et al vs PennDoT (Atty Arthur Piccone, Leslie Tinsley vs Dallas Township, (Atty Fine), Clara Shupp et al vs Monroe Township (Atty Arthur Piccone). A fourth study in Jefferson Township (Lackawanna County) resulted in litigation. I testified before Jackson Township and at the Luzerne County Courthouse on the operations of the crushed stone quarry at Chase (Atty Blythe Evans) and at the courthouse on possible manure contamination of North Lake (Atty Arthur Piccone).