K&A Staff

Index

Mark S. Kieser

Senior Scientist
mkieser@kieser-associates.com

Mr. Kieser has over 36 years of environmental consulting experience in addition to three years of academic research on water resource issues in the Great Lakes. He has a broad range of environmental management experience from watershed planning and policy development to remedial investigation and cleanup. As a consultant, he has been responsible for implementing studies at hundreds of sites in Michigan and across the U.S. These have included investigations of surface water, wastewater, groundwater, soils and atmospheric contaminant issues encompassing sites ranging from the Great Lakes, to remote undeveloped areas, to Superfund sites with more than 100 years of industrial use. Mr. Kieser has directed more than 300 environmental engineering projects since the firm was founded in 1992. These have required an intensive knowledge of scientific and engineering principles as well as the full range of applicable state and federal regulations.

Mark has also been a pioneer and leader in environmental markets for water in the U.S. and internationally. Since 1995, he has led the assessment and/or development of a variety of market-based incentive programs in 28 states across the U.S. These efforts have focused on: watershed, state-wide and regional trading program development; agricultural credit banking schemes; urban stormwater trading; trading registries and infrastructure; development of ecosystem service markets; restoration of natural flow regimes in Great Lakes tributaries, and; nutrient enrichment in the Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and the Western Lake Erie Basin. Mark’s works have been published in three text books spanning the period of 2006 to 2015; publications that focus on water quality trading and other economic instruments for improving water quality.  

Mark’s international expertise in water markets has focused on policy and program development as well as implementation in Canada, Peru, Sweden, the European Union, Costa Rica, Japan and China. Since 2001, Mr. Kieser has been serving as the Acting Chair of the Environmental Trading Network. The Network is a clearinghouse for water quality trading program information (http://www.envtn.org/).

Mr. Kieser holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from Wittenberg University (Springfield, Ohio) and a Master of Science degree in Biological Sciences from Michigan Technological University (Houghton, Michigan).

Areas of Expertise:

  • Water Quality Trading Policy
  • Surface Water Quality Assessment and Modeling
  • Nonpoint Source Pollution Assessment and Modeling
  • Lake and Watershed Management
  • Soil and Groundwater Contamination Investigations and Remediation
  • Hydrogeologic Investigation
  • Environmental Site Assessments
  • Ecological Modeling
  • NPDES Permitting
  • Waste Load Allocation
  • Underground Storage Tank Removal/Compliance
  • Sediment-Water Interactions

John Jacobson

Mr. John Jacobson has provided engineering management of multi-discipline teams in large and complex projects involving architectural engineering, water and wastewater and infrastructure projects.  He has served in design and implementation roles in private, municipal, commercial, institutional, industrial and oil industry settings.  Mr. Jacobson’s recent experience includes Water and Wastewater Design Management and Project Management Team support for a wastewater reclamation project for Qatar Gas in Qatar and an accommodation and utilities project in United Arab Emirates.  He completed a detailed design for a high standard fully independent work camp facility in Kazakhstan, as well as highway, interchange and infrastructure for Jubail Industrial City in Saudi Arabia, and an architectural and engineering design for an 18,000-student university in Saudi Arabia.  He also has worked to design and build parking structures within U.S. permitting requirements.  He developed plans, including stormwater and wastewater infrastructure, for a 1,500-acre residential development near La Plata, MD.

Mr. Jacobson has a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Platteville, and a Masters of Management degree from Aquinas College, East Grand Rapids, MI.  He is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Michigan (ID # 6201041537), Licensed Civil Engineer in the State of California (Certificate # C43999), and Registered Engineer with the Saudi Council of Engineers, Saudi Arabia (#100053).

Areas of Expertise:

  • Site Planning
  • Grading and Drainage
  • Infrastructure Roads and Utilities
  • Water and Wastewater Infrastructure and Design
  • Highway Design (Bridges and Highways)
  • Civil / Structural Design
  • Architectural Production
  • Landscape Production
  • Water / Sanitary Pipelines and Pumping stations for Oil & Gas Sector

David Chen

Project Scientist
dchen@kieser-associates.com

Mr. David Chen received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Riverside and his Master of Environmental Management from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Mr. Chen has been working in the intersection of environmental policy and market-based approaches and specializes in environmental markets and conservation funding and finance. As a Project Scientist with K&A, Mr. Chen is currently working on the development of water quality trading programs, ecosystem services markets, and innovative conservation funding and financing instruments such as performance-based contracting.

Prior to joining K&A in 2017, Mr. Chen served in the Obama Administration’s Council on Environmental Quality and worked at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions’ Ecosystem Services Program. Mr. Chen also previously worked as a professional environmental consultant leading stormwater pollution prevention and fugitive dust management projects for residential and commercial development across Southern California.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Water Quality and Ecosystem Services Markets Development
  • Conservation Funding and Finance Mechanisms
  • Resource Economics and Policy
  • Stormwater Management

Mike Foster

Environmental Engineer
mfoster@kieser-associates.com

Mr. Mike Foster received his Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Resource Management and his Master of Science degree in Environmental Engineering Science from Michigan Technological University. Since joining Kieser & Associates in 2018 he has worked on water quality modeling and quantification methodology development, as well as software applications for a range of water resource management efforts. His work includes developing methods to quantify management impacts on water quantity and quality, developing methods to quantify lake health, and modeling nutrient loading from agricultural operations. The latter focuses on K&A U.S. and international environmental markets applications. His work with software applications has focused on making quantification methods more accessible and easier to use, particularly in both remote and rural agricultural applications. Mike is currently leading K&A grant-funded efforts addressing capture of agricultural tile drain discharges of dissolved phosphorus in the Great Lakes.

Prior to joining K&A in 2018, Mr. Foster was involved in complex modeling assessments of various wastewater, CSO and stormwater management scenarios on Great Lakes water quality examining potential management impacts in and around Cleveland, OH, and Ajax, ON.

 

Areas of Expertise:

  • Surface Water Quality Modeling
  • Computer Programming
  • Model Development
  • Stormwater Management
  • Forest Health and Management
  • Database Management
  • App Development

Josh Kieser

Field Services Manager
jkieser@kieser-associates.com

Mr. Josh Kieser serves K&A as the Field Services Manager with a broad focus on monitoring and reporting of water quality, hydrology, and aquatic biology in Michigan’s lakes, streams, and wetlands. His field research experience with K&A started in 2000. His field services management efforts include direct and remote surface and groundwater monitoring, lake level studies, aquatic vegetation management including biocontrol studies, industrial compliance, due diligence evaluation and reporting for property transactions, and stormwater monitoring focused on treatment efficiency and performance of BMPs designed and installed by K&A. This work includes managing and maintaining monitoring equipment installations and field data management and reporting.

Josh has over five years of watershed management planning experience and successful plan development for lakes, urban watersheds and tribal assets. Josh has also supported a number of water quality trading feasibility study assessments for K&A projects in the Midwest and internationally.

Mr. Josh Kieser received his Bachelor of Arts in History focused on International Development and African-American Studies from the University of Montana. He is also certified as a Natural Shoreline Professional through the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership. Mr. Josh Kieser joined K&A in a research capacity in 2011, before serving two years as an AmeriCorps member in various community service capacities including ecological restoration efforts led by The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin and The US Army Corps of Engineers in Iowa. In 2013, Mr. Josh Kieser rejoined K&A as a field technician focused on surface water quality monitoring in support of local watershed improvement efforts before moving to his current position.  

Areas of Expertise:
  • Surface and Groundwater Quality and Quantity Monitoring
  • Aquatic Native and Invasive Species Surveying and Management
  • Stormwater Monitoring
  • Assessment of BMP Treatment Efficiency and Performance
  • Field Equipment Management
  • Data Management and Analysis
  • Environmental Markets Analysis

Gabrielle Metzner-Gustafson

Ms. Gabrielle Metzner-Gustafson received her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental and Field Biology from Ohio Northern University (Ada, Ohio) and her Master of Science degree in Biological Sciences from Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, Ohio).  She is also certified as a Natural Shoreline Professional through the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership. Ms. Metzner-Gustafson specializes in freshwater ecosystems and her work at K&A includes project management, intensive aquatic vegetation surveys and management, invasive species monitoring and management, biocontrols rearing and implementation, wetland delineations, natural shoreline design and installation, surface and groundwater sampling, macroinvertebrate sampling and identification, watershed management, and client relations.

Prior to joining K&A in 2018, she conducted research on phosphorus removal from restored agricultural streams via emergent insects, developed a protocol for digestion of invertebrates with alkaline potassium persulfate for on-site lab analysis to determine phosphorus content and assisted research on the age of phosphorus in run-off from agricultural fields. In 2014, Ms. Metzner-Gustafson served as an environmental consulting intern for Hull and Associates (Dublin, Ohio) where she delineated wetlands, monitored stream and wetland mitigation, conducted bat habitat assessments, emergence surveys and acoustic monitoring of bats.

Areas of Expertise:
  • Aquatic Native and Invasive Species Surveying and Management
  • Wetland Delineation
  • Surface Water Quality Monitoring
  • Biocontrols for Invasive Species Management
  • Natural Shoreline Design

Susan Benston

Project Manager & GIS Specialist
sbenston@kieser-associates.com

Ms. Susan Benston has over 20 years of experience in program and project management. She has worked with the K&A team on Water Quality Trading and ecosystem services protocol development, GIS/spatial analysis and cartography, land use/land cover analysis, lake and watershed management, bathymetry map development, data visualization and project management.

Ms. Benston holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Wheaton College and, from Western Michigan University (WMU), both a Master of Arts degree in Geography with a Geographic Techniques (GIS) Concentration and a Master of Social Work with a Policy, Planning and Administration Concentration.  Prior to her work at K&A, she worked for the WMU Geography Department in the research lab for a USDA Integrated Pest Management: Risk Avoidance and Mitigation Program (RAMP) grant funded study of weather-related inputs to late blight in potatoes and related crops.  She is a co-author and/or editor of several peer-reviewed papers on improving weather-based late blight risk monitoring.

Areas of Expertise:

  • GIS/Spatial Analysis
  • Watershed Loading Analysis
  • Protocol Development for Ecosystem Services
  • Grant Writing
  • Program Development and Implementation
  • Professional Writing and Editing

Jacob Utrie

Mr. Jacob Utrie received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Fisheries from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. His focus is on lake and pond management, particularly in relation to fish habitat, water quality and vegetation surveys, and propagation and use of biocontrols to control invasive species. Jacob is currently developing field metrics for fisheries habitat assessments on inland lakes, and research applications for swimmer’s itch controls through select fish propagation.

Prior to joining K&A in 2020, Mr. Utrie was involved in lake management and consultation and fish farming with Herrmann’s Fish Farm in South Texas. While there he managed the lake management team, implemented lake plans, tested lake water quality and was responsible for fish propagation, transportation, stocking, maintenance, and quality assurance. He also worked as a Conservation Intern for the Squam Lakes Association in Holderness, NH, assessing, documenting and controlling aquatic invasive species, completing water sampling and documenting and maintaining equipment.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Lake and Pond Management
  • Water Quality Testing
  • Aquatic Invasive Species Management
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Fish Propagation and Stocking

Becky Hough

Office Manager
bhough@kieser-associates.com

Ms. Hough joined K&A as office manager in September 2014.  Her responsibilities at K&A include oversight and implementation of all office operations and oversight and implementation of all accounting functions. She joined K&A with 18 years prior experience in construction accounting, office administration, and business operations management. She has strong general management qualifications developed during her tenure with progressive responsibility in administrative construction positions at Comar Castle, LLC (formerly Straticon, LLC) in Richland, MI.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Contract Administration
  • Forecasting, Planning, & Budgeting
  • Accounting & Financial Analysis
  • Human Resources
  • Coordination of Licensing in Multiple States and Local Jurisdictions
  • Strategic Planning
  • QuickBooks Accounting Software
  • AIA Documents and Software
  • Construction Lien Waivers and Lien Laws

"Andrew" Feng Fang

Senior Advisor, Modeling

“Andrew” Fang, Ph.D., P.E., holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from Shanghai University (Shanghai, China), a Master of Science degree in Ecology and Environmental Science from the University of Maine, a Master of Science degree in Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Water Resources Science from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Fang has over 18 years of environmental and water resources experience.

In 2002, Dr. Fang began conducting both field research and modeling for K&A to assess pollutant control options and economic implications for watershed management. During his initial four years with K&A, he was responsible for completing multiple economic, statistical, and environmental analyses for a variety of water quality applications. This work included both SWAT modeling and GIS analysis. He also worked on the development of water quality trading programs and assessments authoring one of the first papers on credit stacking in environmental markets. Dr. Fang left in 2006 to work for the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality developing TMDLs and applying watershed models for TMDL assessment. Dr. Fang also coordinated with multiple state agencies and regional inter-governmental organizations regarding TMDLs.

Andrew re-joined K&A from 2012 to 2018 integrating sophisticated modeling efforts to address point source and non-point source impacts on water quality, particularly in the context of supporting market-based solutions being pursued by K&A with a range of partners and clients. From 2018 to early 2020, Andrew elected to serve as a Senior Analyst for the Ecosystem Management Research Institute, part of the U.S.-China Green Fund. Dr. Fang now serves in a senior advisory role with K&A providing technical direction on watershed modeling associated with watershed management planning, TMDLs and water quality trading.

 

Areas of Expertise:

  • Watershed and Water Quality Modeling
  • Market-based Environmental Resources Management
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Economics
  • TMDL Development

George Kelly

Senior Advisor, Environmental Markets

Mr. George Kelly is a graduate of Tulane University (B.A.) and a cum laude JD and MSL (Masters in Environmental Law) graduate of the Vermont Law School. He is the founding member of Bespoke Mitigation Partners, a customized advisory and environmental restoration company. George has permitted and sold over $200M of environmental credits in the United States relating to water quality, wetlands, streams, stormwater and endangered species. He has worked with numerous resource agencies, landowners, municipalities, investors and private and public credit buyers in the implementation of mitigation and performance-based restoration projects. Mr. Kelly has worked on resource mitigation projects and negotiated and implemented mitigation banking instruments in Maryland, Idaho, Montana, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, California and Florida and has drafted and negotiated land deals with over 100 landowners for resource mitigation projects. He has been a leader in promoting new polices at the federal, state and international levels relating to market-based solutions and conservation finance to achieve environmental objectives, including working on the US wetland mitigation rules enacted in June 2008 and the Federal Water Quality Rules.

Mr. Kelly served on the Board for almost ten years and was elected as the President of the National Mitigation Banking Association (US) in 2009. He currently participates on the Nutrient Roundtable for the Federal Water subcabinet and also participated in the White House Conservation Finance Roundtable in 2016. Additionally, he was appointed to serve on the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program (BBOP-International), the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program Nutrient Trading Task Force, the Advisory Committee to the Water Quality Fund for the Chesapeake Bay, and the National Water Quality Trading Alliance.

He also served as the Chief Markets Officer from 2014-2019 and remains on the Board of Resource Environmental Solutions (RES). Prior to joining RES, Mr. Kelly was the founder and director for Environmental Banc & Exchange, LLC (EBX) from 1997 to 2014. EBX was acquired by RES in 2014. In addition, he served as partner and member of the Environmental Law Group at the firm, Ober, Kaler, Grimes and Shriver from 1987 to 1997. George has collaborated with K&A for almost two decades and welcomes him as a Senior Advisor to the firm, advising and consulting on K&A environmental market projects and initiatives.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Water Quality Trading Policy
  • Resource Mitigation Banking
  • Conservation Finance Policy
  • Environmental Crediting for Diverse Ecosystem Services
  • Representation of Credit Sellers and Buyers
  • Permit Strategy
  • Performance-based Contracting for Water Quality and Quantity, Species and Sustainable Practices
  • Investment Options and Business Models for Ecological Enterprises

Douglas McLaughlin, Ph.D.

Science Advisor
dmclaughlin@kieser-associates.com

Dr. Douglas McLaughlin, Science Advisor, has over 30 years of experience as a water resources scientist and practitioner. He obtained his Doctor of Philosophy in Land Resources from the Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He completed his thesis, “Natural and Induced Transformations of Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Sediments,” in the Water Chemistry research program. He also holds a Master of Science degree in Aquatic Biology and a Bachelor of Science in Biological Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay. Prior to joining K&A in 2018, he spent 15 years as a Principal Research Scientist at the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc, a non-profit environmental research organization supported by the forest products industry. Prior to joining NCASI, he was a Senior Scientist for Blasland, Bouck, and Lee, Inc. in Syracuse, New York and DePere, Wisconsin where he was responsible for developing and communicating scientific information to inform contaminated sediment remedial alternatives. Earlier in his career, he worked as an Environmental Research Manager, Analytical Services Laboratory Supervisor, and Environmental Specialist for Fort Howard Corporation in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Over the past 15 years, Dr. McLaughlin has focused his research and technical activities on improving quantitative approaches used in support of water resources management and decision-making. His work includes using statistical models to describe biological responses to multiple ecosystem stressors, evaluating and refining methods used to derive numeric water quality criteria for nutrients and other constituents from field data and applying computer simulations to estimate uncertainties in aquatic life water quality criteria derived from laboratory toxicity data. He has published several articles in the peer-reviewed literature and given numerous presentations at scientific and stakeholder meetings. He frequently interacts with scientists and decision-makers from regulatory agencies and other stakeholder groups. In addition, he has served on several state and federal regulatory agency science and technical advisory committees, most recently as a member of the Illinois Nutrient Science Advisory Committee, appointed by Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Illinois Department of Agriculture to make recommendations regarding the development of numeric nutrient water quality standards to protect aquatic life in Illinois flowing waters. He has served for many years as a member of the Advisory Committee on Water Information (ACWI) and the National Water Quality Monitoring Council. He is also a member of the American Chemical Society and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Water Resources Management and Decision-Making
  • Water Quality Criteria Development and Monitoring Strategies
  • Statistical Methods for Water Resources Management, including Bayesian Network Modeling
  • Total Maximum Daily Load Development
  • NPDES Permitting and Effluent Studies
  • Ecological Risk Assessment
  • Uncertainty Characterization for Water Resources Decision-Making
  • Sources and Fate of Polychlorinated Biphenyls
  • Surface Water Nutrient Management
  • Methods for Evaluating Cause-Effect Evidence for Aquatic Ecosystem Impacts
  • Watershed Information Sources

Dan Klein

Senior Advisor, Agriculture

Mr. Dan Klein is a long-time commercial farmer in Southwest Michigan annually farming 8-10,000 acres of corn, soy and other specialty crops like Canola since the early 1980s. An early adopter of advanced farming technologies, Mr. Klein was formerly a partner in a consulting firm that assisted producers, both here and abroad, in the adaptation of precision farming methodologies. Mr. Klein was one of the first agricultural participants in water quality trading program development efforts in the Great Lakes in the mid-1990s that was initiated by K&A. Dan has received numerous awards for his conservation initiatives. He previously received a Governor’s appointment to the Michigan Corn Marketing Board, where he served as Vice President.

Mr. Klein is a consummate entrepreneur bolstering other Ag-related business interests in addition to his farming operations. Dan was affiliated with the Cocoa Corporation from 2017 to 2020. As a partner to K&A under the current GLPF project, “Advancing Systematic and Fundamental Changes in Agricultural Water Resources Management”, Mr. Klein led Cocoa’s provision of their organically-enriched compost product for field testing efforts. This compost restores organic matter to build healthier soils for improved agricultural production and sustainability.

Mr. Klein received a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.) in Agricultural Business and Management from Western Michigan University in 1981, following his Ferris State University Associate’s degree in Accounting in 1979.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Working with Producers and Agronomists to Develop Strategies for Success
  • Identifying and Developing New Prospects for Innovative Agricultural Applications
  • Developing Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMP)
  • Identifying Long-term Strategic Growth Initiatives for Ag Products
  • Precision Agriculture

Dennis O'Grady

Senior Associate

Mr. Dennis O’Grady has developed rules, procedures, and policies on point and non-point phosphorus trading, including identifying mathematical measurements for calculating pounds of Phosphorus removed and establishing farmer-run committees to deliver trading programs. He has developed communications strategies for media, landowners, politicians to explain how trading works, save money, and improves the environment and given presentations across North America and Europe on characteristics of a successful trading program.

Mr. O’Grady has worked with Cabinet Ministers and politicians at the local, provincial and federal level on issues regarding their constituencies and legislation. He is familiar with all aspects of the legislative process, including interpreting and implementing statutes, regulations, policies, and memorandums. Prior to joining K&A, Mr. O’Grady was Executive Director of an environmental non-profit corporation covering 1600 sq. mi. and 15 mostly rural municipalities where he established rural citizens’ committees to manage rural-related programs.

He has diverse project and program management experience including:
•    Surface and groundwater monitoring program to measure quality/quantity
•    Rural grant program for hundreds of farmers to implement non-point source controls
•    Protection of aquifers and surface water sources of drinking water for rural communities
•    Flood management program that protected homes, farms, people from flooding
•    Fisheries program that monitored, protected, and enhanced fishing along 100+ miles of river
•    Rural forestry program managing 12,000 acres of forest and planting of 100,000 trees/year
•    Establishment of extensive public recreation and river access parks

Mr. O’Grady has a B.A. degree from University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, a Municipal Administration Program from Fanshawe College, London, Ontario and an Master of Public Administration degree from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. 

Areas of Expertise:

  • Water Quality Trading Policy
  • Surface and Groundwater Water Quality Assessment and Modeling
  • Nonpoint Source Pollution Assessment and Modeling
  • Source Water Protection
  • Stormwater Treatment and Design
  • Community Engagement
  • Natural Resources Protection
  • Legal Coordination and Compliance
  • Grant Writing