K&A Staff


Mark S. Kieser

Senior Scientist

Mr. Kieser, Senior Scientist and Principal at Kieser & Associates, LLC, 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. Mr. Kieser has over 28 years of environmental consulting experience in addition to three years of academic research on water resource issues. As a consultant, he has been responsible for implementing studies at over 250 sites throughout Michigan, the Midwest, the eastern and southern United States. These have involved various 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 100 other 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.

Mr. Kieser has also played a prominent role in water quality trading program and policy development since 1995. Mr. Kieser led one of five EPA supported water quality trading projects in the U.S. in the mid 1990s and served on the state of Michigan Water Quality Trading Workgroup that developed the framework for Michigan's water quality trading rules; the first such rules in the U.S.  He now leads a variety of trading projects focused on: watershed, state-wide and regional trading program development; agricultural credit banking schemes; urban stormwater; electronic water quality trading registries and infrastructure; restoration of natural flow regimes in Great Lakes tributaries; and, development of ecosystem service markets. 

Mr. Kieser's current trading efforts are being conducted in MN, PA, OH, MI, WV, NV, CA, ID, MD, VA, KY, IN, NY and WI.  He is leading an effort with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to develop the first multi-state regional trading program in the U.S. for the Ohio River Basin based on pending nitrogen and phosphorus water quality standards. He is also co-author of a 2005 McGraw-Hill text on water quality trading.  Since 2001, Mr. Kieser has been serving as the Acting Chair of the Environmental Trading Network. The Network is a non-profit clearinghouse for water quality trading program information. (http://www.envtn.org/)

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

Douglas McLaughlin, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist/Environmental Engineering Division Manager

Dr. Douglas McLaughlin, Senior Scientist and Environmental Engineering Division Manager, 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

David Chen

Project Scientist

Mr. 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 conservation finance and environmental markets.  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.  Prior to his Master’s work at Duke, Mr. Chen worked as a professional environmental consultant leading stormwater pollution prevention and fugitive dust management projects for residential and commercial development across Southern California.

Mr. Chen is currently Project Scientist with K&A and working on the development of water quality trading programs, habitat markets and conservation finance mechanisms. 

Areas of Expertise:

  • Wetland & Stream Mitigation and Conservation Banking
  • Habitat and Water Quality Trading
  • Conservation Finance
  • Endangered and Threatened Species Management
  • Resource Economics and Policy
  • Stormwater Management

Mike Foster

Environmental Engineer

Mr. Foster holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry and a Master of Science degree (expected April 2019) in Environmental Engineering Science from Michigan Technological University. While at Michigan Tech he worked on modeling stormwater management impacts on water quality for the Cleveland area, focusing on pollutant concentrations in streams and rivers as well as E. coli impacts on area beaches. He was also involved in modeling the impacts of wastewater effluent on algal growth in Lake Ontario. Prior to his work at Michigan Tech and K&A, Mr. Foster worked in the chemical industry as a regulatory specialist, and in the forestry industry focusing on urban forest health.

Mr. Foster is currently an Environmental Engineer with K&A, focusing on water quality modeling.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Stormwater management
  • Surface water quality modeling
  • Computer programming
  • Forest health and management
  • GIS mapping

Josh Kieser

Field Services Manager

Mr. Josh Kieser received his Bachelor of Arts in History focused on International Development and African-American Studies from the University of Montana.  In 2011, Mr. Josh Kieser conducted research for K&A examining linkages between social and environmental impacts of Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) projects in North America and globally.  Mr. Josh Kieser served 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.  Since 2013, Mr. Josh Kieser has facilitated diverse groups of children and adults at the Pretty Lake Camp Adventure Centre, through process and experience-focused outdoor adventure activities to build self-confidence, communication skills, and cooperative leadership.

Currently, Mr. Josh Kieser serves K&A as the Field Services Manager focused on monitoring and reporting surface water quality in Michigan’s lakes and streams.  Field efforts include surface and groundwater monitoring, lake level studies, and stormwater monitoring focused on treatment efficiency and performance of BMPs designed and installed by K&A.  Much of this work is funded through research grants.  Mr. Josh Kieser also manages and maintains monitoring equipment and field data, and conducts research and reporting in support of K&A program development. 

Areas of Expertise:

  • In-field monitoring of surface water quality and quantity using manual and automated equipment
  • Groundwater monitoring
  • Invasive species surveying
  • Stormwater monitoring of treatment efficiency and performance
  • Field equipment management
  • Data management and analysis
  • Environmental markets analysis

Gabrielle Metzner

Ms. Metzner holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental and Field Biology from Ohio Northern University (Ada, Ohio) and a Master of Science degree in Biological Sciences from Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, Ohio).  During her time at BGSU 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.  She also served as a limnology lab teaching assistant and helped students learn the physical, chemical and biological aspects of aquatic habitats.  In 2014, Ms. Metzner 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.

Ms. Metzner joined Kieser & Associates, LLC, as a project scientist with a focus on site assessments, field work and surface water quality monitoring.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Watershed Management
  • Wetland Delineation
  • Surface Water Quality Monitoring

Susan Benston

Project Manager & GIS Specialist

Ms. Susan 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.  She has 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.  Ms. Benston also previously interned with the Department of Public Services for the City of Three Rivers, Michigan, and the Department of Planning & Community Development for the County of Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Ms. Benston joined K&A in 2015 and works on projects related to water quality trading and payments for ecosystem services as well as lakes, wetlands, watersheds and stormwater management.

Areas of Expertise:

  • GIS/Spatial analysis
  • Project management
  • Grant writing
  • Program development and implementation
  • Professional writing and editing

Emily Huizenga

Ms. Emily Huizenga holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a focus in Ecology and Environmental Studies from Calvin College (Grand Rapids, MI).  Research experience includes the isolating and analyzing of bacteriophage genomes, the assessment of biodiversity in different suburban landscapes, and the tracking of small mammals and birds in the Calvin ecosystem preserve.  Her previous internships with the National Park Service and Nature Associations included work with plant invasive species monitoring, inventorying, and management; trail restoration and maintenance; and conservation and restoration of natural areas.

Ms. Huizenga joined K&A in fall of 2016 and her roles include data analysis, research and writing, and field work. She is currently completing her Master of Science degree in the Department of Forestry, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan State University.

Becky Hough

Office Manager

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.

John Jacobson

Senior Associate

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

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