Industry Expert Spotlight: John Wilson PhD

John Wilson PhD
John Wilson PhD, Principal Scientist of Scissortail Environmental Solutions

When John Wilson, PhD, decided to leave his position as a research microbiologist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and start his own environmental services firm, he chose a name for his company that reflected his spirited commitment to doing things the right way. “I retired from the U.S. EPA in April of 2014”, says Dr. Wilson. “That same month, my wife Barbara and I created Scissortail Environmental Solutions, LLC. Our company is named after the state bird of Oklahoma because the Scissortail Flycatcher is active and alert as it goes about its business, and we try to be the same in all our work.” As the Principal Scientist of Scissortail Environmental Solutions, Wilson, a distinguished REGENESIS Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) member, has transferred a deep reservoir of environmental remediation experience from a highly respected government agency to his own business, creating a comprehensive suite of consulting services for both industry and government. He shares, “Our work focuses on the natural attenuation and active bioremediation of organic contamination in groundwater. The importance of groundwater to economic development and the quality of life in the US will continue to grow as the demand for groundwater increases. We must do everything we can to protect and restore the quality of groundwater.”

Pioneering Remediation Research at the US EPA

Prior to his recent success with Scissortail Environmental Solutions, Wilson was primarily known for his career with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and his work at the Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center in Ada, OK. He continues, “From 1979 until I left the EPA in 2014, I worked on bioremediation of chlorinated solvents, and natural attenuation of chlorinated solvents, petroleum hydrocarbons, and fuel components such as MTBE and EDB. At the EPA I helped develop the logic used by the U.S. EPA to implement Monitored Natural Attenuation and to evaluate vapor intrusion from fuel spills.” Now, as the Principal Scientist of Scissortail Environmental Solutions, Wilson divides his time between reviewing the work of others and providing recommendations for improvements and his own applied research. He develops ideas, writes proposals, and does some experimental work, in addition to writing reports. He shares, “I enjoy working with other people to solve problems, and it helps that I like the people I work with. I also have a passion for the work we do.” His career path in environmental remediation originated from an interest in hydrology and from an initial assignment with the EPA that involved exploring the microbiology of groundwater. He continues, “I was originally hired by research managers at the U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development to evaluate whether the aquifers of the United States contained bacteria, and the impact those bacteria might have on groundwater quality. At the time (1978), most engineers and hydrologist thought the deeper subsurface was essentially sterile. I did find bacteria in aquifers and they were doing quite a bit to destroy organic contaminants like TCE and fuel hydrocarbons.”

A History of Accomplishments and Contributions to the Remediation Industry

In addition to his three plus decades of professional experience with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Wilson earned a B.S. in Biology from Baylor University, a M.A. in Microbiology from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. in Microbiology from Cornell University. He served an Adjunct Appointment to Rice University from 1990 to 2000, has written more than 80 published journal articles on a wide range of environmentally-focused topics, and has served as a Member of the Editorial Board of Bioremediation Journal. He is currently an Associate Editor of Ground Water Monitoring & Remediation. To stay abreast of trends and new technologies, Wilson often lectures on industry-related topics. “I learn a lot getting ready to teach. In the past I have provided continuing education through the Battelle Conferences and the National Groundwater Association.” Currently, Wilson serves on the REGENESIS Science Advisory Board. He continues, “As an Advisory Board member my job is to make sure REGENESIS doesn’t miss anything as far as the science of their products goes.” He also appreciates the professional relationship that he and Scissortail Environmental Solutions have with REGENESIS. “I enjoy working with them because they combine a strong technical background with extensive practical experience. They understand what I tell them, but they also know enough to evaluate my recommendations against their own unique experience base.” When it comes to applying specific REGENESIS solutions and products to his work, PlumeStop® tops his list. He shares, “If we can learn when to use PlumeStop, where to use it, and how to use it correctly, we can bring a lot of contaminated sites to closure.”

Residing in Ada, Oklahoma, where his firm’s offices are located, Wilson and his wife, Barbara, enjoy the familiarity and pace of a town they have come to know and appreciate through the years. “We are surrounded by good people,” he shares. “We have known most of the people here for a long time.” Outside of work, a favorite hobby includes rock collecting. He continues, “If I can I’ll bring back a rock from each field site I work. When I take road trips, I like to look at the landforms as we drive by and imagine how they came to be. I have a shelf full of the Roadside Geology series of books that I enjoy reading from time to time.” He also volunteers with the local Boy Scout program, an association that he’s enjoyed in Ada for more than 30 years. He continues, “I am on the local District Committee for Boy Scouts, and work with Troop 4 here in Ada. In fact, Barbara and I teach the Sustainability and Environmental Science Merit Badges. All three of our sons are Eagle Scouts.” In addition, he is active in the Rotary Club, and is a past president of his local club.

A Challenging and Improving Industry

When asked about the most demanding aspect of his work, Wilson points out the importance of good writing in his work. He shares, “Writing is hard for me, and it takes me a lot of time and effort to produce something I am ready to send to the client. Early in my career there were no word processors or spreadsheets. I banged out my reports on a manual typewriter, working from handwritten notes of journals that I had read in a library. I drew up figures for journal articles in ink on a drafting table. But today, the modern tools allow me to spend more time actually thinking about what the data means, instead of being involved in the immediate process of producing the manuscript.” And when asked how he’s seen the industry change over the years, he points to an added emphasis on procedures, safety, and performance compared to what he experienced early in his career. He concludes, “There is more process in the process, and much more documentation of procedures. There are also more forms to complete and permissions that must be granted before we do anything. And there is a much greater emphasis on safety, and on the performance and reliability of the systems that we install. Essentially, our industry does a much better of job now than it did thirty years ago.”

REGENESIS is proud to have John Wilson, PhD and Principal Scientist of Scissortail Environmental Solutions, LLC, as a valued partner in environmental remediation, and appreciates his vast expertise and ongoing efforts in providing successful remediation outcomes for REGENESIS and its clients.

eNewsletter: September 29th, 2015

Check out the new REGENESIS® eNewsletter! Features include:

  • New Technical Bulletin, in which we discuss the sorptive capacity of PlumeStop®, a new technology that rapidly reduces groundwater contaminant concentrations
  • Case study detailing the use of in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) to remediate BTEX and MTBE at a Superfund site in Arizona
  • Special information about our state of the art Commercial Lab Services
  • Get to know REGENESIS Research Associate Melinda Pham in our Employee Spotlight
  • Upcoming Industry Events

To read the eNewsletter, click here or click the image on this page >>>

Webinar Recording on PlumeStop Hosted by MSECA Now Available

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Jeremy Birnstingl, Vice President of Environmental Technology at REGENESIS, shared an exciting presentation during a recent webinar in association with MSECA, highlighting new PlumeStop Liquid Activated Carbon technology. PlumeStop Liquid Activated Carbon is a new in situ technology by REGENESIS that quickly captures contaminants and accelerates biodegradation, while drastically shortening the timeframes for reaching groundwater treatment goals.

Dr. Birnstingl provided an overview of PlumeStop Liquid Activated Carbon, principal technology features and site usage, along with case studies. PlumeStop was shown to successfully reduce and eliminate a wide range of contaminants, including petroleum hydrocarbons and chlorinated solvents. Watch the full presentation below to learn more about this highly sorbable reagent and see data and results directly from the field.

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Learn more about PlumeStop Liquid Activated Carbon: plumestop.com

MSECA Hosts Special Webinar Presentation

We are pleased to announce that Jeremy Birnstingl, Vice President of Environmental Technology at REGENESIS, will be presenting a live webinar as a guest speaker for the Midwestern States Environmental Consultants Association (MSECA) on Thursday, June 18, 2015.

During this webinar, Dr. Birnstingl will provide an overview of PlumeStop Liquid Activated Carbon, a new in situ technology that quickly captures contaminants and accelerates biodegradation while drastically shortening the timeframes for reaching groundwater treatment goals. He will also share the latest data from the lab and field regarding contaminant sorption and biodegradation that are possible with this groundbreaking technology.

To get the details on this presentation and to sign up, please use the button click here.

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Featured Speaker

Jeremy Birnstingl Ph.D., B.Sc., MSEE, CEnvr

Vice President of Environmental Technology, REGENESIS
Dr. Birnstingl holds a Ph.D. in bioremediation with 25 years professional experience in the remediation sector. He directs the worldwide technology development and acquisition efforts of Regenesis, overseeing new product commercialization efforts and operating as a senior technical director on key remediation projects involving advanced in situ technologies. Before taking on his present global Regenesis role, Dr. Birnstingl served as the founding Managing Director of Regenesis in Europe, responsible for establishing technical and administrative teams across the continent within multiple legislative regimes and operating currencies.

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About MSECA

MSECA was established to advance the field of environmental consulting by improving the professional competence of its members through education and dissemination of information related to technical developments, regulations, training, and codes, all pertaining to environmental protection. Collectively they represent hundreds of professional consultants along with vendors and suppliers to the environmental consulting community.

Webinar Presentation: In Situ Remediation Strategies for Chlorinated Solvents in Groundwater

This webinar will cover the fundamentals of Enhanced Reductive Dechlorination (ERD), as well as keys to developing successful ERD injection designs (using both electron donors and bioaugmentation cultures)
This webinar will cover the fundamentals of Enhanced Reductive Dechlorination (ERD), as well as keys to developing successful ERD injection designs (using both electron donors and bioaugmentation cultures)

While enhanced reductive dechlorination (ERD) has become an accepted and successful remediation approach, these projects are often not as simple as they might seem. In order to achieve optimal performance at ERD sites, project managers need to carefully consider the strategic planning, design and injection of electron donor materials and specialized bioaugmentation cultures into targeted areas.

This new webinar event will feature a presentation from Mr. Steven Sittler, a recognized, Senior Project Manager at KERAMIDA Inc., and his experiences optimizing ERD at a number of recent commercial sites. He will be discussing the challenges, strategy and planning that went into some of his projects as well as highlighting successful sites where he biodegraded cVOCs such as tetrachloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE) within 8-12 months. Mr. Sittler will also address the topic of daughter products, what role they play in the ERD process and their effective treatment.

Please join us for this webinar on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time, during which Mr. Sittler will discuss the following topics:

  • Fundamentals of Enhanced Reductive Dechlorination (ERD)
  • Keys to developing successful ERD injection designs (using both electron donors and bioaugmentation cultures)
  • Pre-injection sampling recommendations
  • Proper injection techniques and procedures
  • Daughter products and how to deal with them
  • Case histories of successful ERD applications

Mr. Barry Poling, Central Region Manager at REGENESIS, will also provide his insights on how REGENESIS Solutions can be used to achieve ERD.

To learn more and sign up for the webinar, please click here.

About the Consultant

keramida logoKERAMIDA Inc. is an engineering and consulting firm that serves industries, businesses, cities, and governments worldwide. They provide strategy and implementation services in: Sustainability, Green House Gases, Energy, Environmental Compliance, Remediation, Environmental Due Diligence, Brownfield Redevelopment, Plant Decommissioning, Health & Safety, Training, Risk Management, and ISO Management Systems. Established in 1988, KERAMIDA is headquartered in the historic Lockerbie Square district of Indianapolis, Indiana. The firm employs over 70 technical experts and support personnel in offices throughout the U.S., including Chicago, IL; Pittsburgh, PA; New York, NY; Los Angeles, CA, Sacramento, CA. KERAMIDA’s many principals have worked for over 25 years in the sustainability, environmental, health & safety, and remediation arenas, and are recognized leaders in their fields. Their engineers, scientists, and planners are renowned for delivering creative, integrated EHS solutions to a broad range of clients throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Encore Webinar Presentation: An Introduction to PlumeStop™ Colloidal Biomatrix for In Situ Groundwater Remediation

Back by popular demand! REGENESIS is hosting an encore presentation of the “Introduction to PlumeStop Colloidal Biomatrix PlumeStop-Pouring-Logo1-220x300for In Situ Groundwater Remediation” webinar on Wednesday, December 17 at 11 a.m. PST. This innovative, new technology allows groundwater remediation practitioners to rapidly capture dissolved-phase contaminants then biodegrade them within its unique colloidal biomatrix-based materials.

Dr. Jeremy Birnstingl, vice president of environmental technology at Regenesis, will address the following topics:

  • Purpose of the technology – why it is needed, what it contributes
  • The core innovations of the technology – what’s novel and what’s new
  • The underpinning science – dispersion, rapid contaminant capture and accelerated bio-destruction
  • Performance data – laboratory and field
  • Appropriate product use scenarios
  • Frequently asked questions

To register for the webinar, click here.

Join Us on July 23 for a New Remediation Webinar: An Introduction to PlumeStop™ Colloidal Biomatrix

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REGENESIS is pleased to announce our latest webinar presentation: An Introduction to PlumeStop™ Colloidal Biomatrix for In Situ Groundwater Remediation. The webinar will be held Wednesday, July 23 at 11:00 am PDT.

Dr. Jeremy Birnstingl, Vice President – Environmental Technology at Regenesis, will provide an overview of the PlumeStop technology, including performance data from both the laboratory and the field. He will also discuss typical use scenarios to address common subsurface remediation challenges.

Dr. Birnstingl will address the following:

• Purpose of the technology – why it is needed, what it contributes

• The core innovations of the technology – what’s novel and what’s new

• The underpinning science – dispersion, rapid contaminant capture and accelerated bio-destruction

• Performance data – laboratory and field

• Appropriate product use scenarios

• Frequently asked questions

 

To register for this webinar, click here.

New Complimentary Groundwater Remediation Webinar Announced – A Data-Intensive Review of Enhanced Reductive Dechlorination Projects for the Bioremediation of Chlorinated Solvents

Join REGENESIS Remediation Technologies for an informative, complimentary webinar on the subject of chlorinated solvent groundwater remediation using enhanced reductive dechlorination (ERD).

This compelling, data-driven and technically based webinar presentation will be given by Doug Davis, Central Regional Technical Services Manager for REGENESIS. Mr. Davis will provide a systematic review of various on-going and recently completed ERD projects with the intent of answering several of the most common questions asked regarding these unique projects including:

  1. How long does it take?
  2. How much does it cost?
  3. What about daughter product formation?
  4. Is in-situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) an option?

This informative groundwater remediation webinar event will take place on:

Tuesday, January 14
11 am – 12 pm Pacific Time

This webinar is free-of-charge, courtesy of REGENESIS.

To register, please click here. For more information about the presenter, Doug Davis, please visit our website.

 

On-Demand Remediation and Vapor Intrusion Webinar Library

REGENESIS and Land Science Technologies regularly host a range of unique webinar events designed to provide remediation professionals with timely and valuable industry specific information. An archive of these webinars is available for viewing as your schedule allows. Recent remediation and vapor intrusion mitigation webinars include:

  • Surviving Vapor Intrusion: Practical Solutions to Manage Legal Liability and Close Sites courtesy of Land Science Technologies, courtesy of Land Science Technologies
  • Contaminant Desorption and Enhanced Recovery for Bound Hydrocarbon Removal using PetroCleanze®
  • Remediation Field Studies Evaluating the Effectiveness of Catalyzed Persulfate (PersulfOx™) vs. Base-Activated Persulfate
  • Optimizing Remediation at Service Station Sites through Field Application and Performance Monitoring (USA)
  • An Introduction to PersulfOx (Catalyzed Persulfate)

To access these webinars, click here.