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

James Klang

Senior Project Engineer

Mr. Klang, PE, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University.  Mr. Klang, a registered Professional Engineer, has more than 25 years of experience in water quality and watershed management.  Prior to joining K&A, he was the lead engineer at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) TMDL program.  He also was the technical lead for the Minnesota River Summer Low Flow DO TMDL and co-authored the Low DO TMDL Protocol at the MPCA.  He also has extensive experience in water quality trading through involvement in the Rahr Malting Company and Southern Minnesota Sugar Beet Cooperative NPDES permit and the Minnesota River General Phosphorus Watershed Permit.

At K&A, Mr. Klang manages several ecosystem service market development projects in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. He also directs K&A's technical efforts for projects focused on improving watershed assessments. The list of current project topics includes quantifying the true costs of conservation, defining Priority Management Zones and Critical Source Areas with GIS terrain analysis and quantifying agriculture water management benefits. In addition, he supports multiple projects develping and implementing water quality trading frameworks and permit compliance activities in the Western United States and Canada. Prior projects include water quality trading feasibility studies in Indiana, Tennessee and the Ohio River Basin, as well as development of an ecosystem service market framework in Minnesota. Mr. Klang authored one of the first technical reports in the United States that provided definitive approaches for scientifically establishing trading ratios and discounting factors for Minnesota's pending trading rules.

Given his combined regulatory and private sector consulting experience, Mr. Klang has been and continues to be an invited speaker at many national conferences on water quality regulatory issues and flexible compliance alternatives, such as water quality trading.  He is responsible for the development and implementation of innovative trading projects throughout the United States.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Watershed Assessment
  • Soil Erosion and Nutrient Load Estimation
  • Water Quality Trading Policy and Program Development
  • Nonpoint Source Best Management Practices
  • Lake and River Assessments
  • Waste Load Allocations
  • TMDL Development
  • NPDES Permitting

Brian Boyer

Environmental Engineering Manager

Mr. Boyer, PE, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan.  Mr. Boyer has 17 years of civil and environmental consulting and engineering experience.  While employed for Owen-Ames-Kimball Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he was a construction superintendent on several multi-million dollar building projects involving up to 16 individual site contractors.  Mr. Boyer joined K&A in 1999 where he leads the firm's environmental engineering and hydrogeologic investigation projects.  Many of these projects involve Phase II Environmental Site Assessments, hazardous and non-hazardous waste characterization and disposal, underground storage tank removal, soil and groundwater sampling, free product investigations for NAPL and DNAPL releases, and regulatory reporting to local state and federal agencies.  Since 2002, he has been directly involved in managing and overseeing all aspects of these environmental cleanup and brownfield related projects for K&A.

Mr. Boyer is responsible for all Computer Aided Design (CAD) systems and conceptual engineering design of stormwater controls, best management practices (BMPs), nonpoint source implementation grant projects, wastewater treatment, groundwater remediation, and streambank restoration plans for the firm.  Mr. Boyer also leads and oversees installation of innovative, large-scale stormwater treatment and low impact development projects directed by K&A.  He currently serves as the Past-President of the Southwest Michigan Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Areas of Expertise:

  • Hydrogeologic Investigations
  • Soil and Groundwater Contamination Investigations and Remediation
  • Surface Water Quality Monitoring and Reporting
  • Conceptual and Engineering Design of Stormwater Controls and BMPs
  • Hydraulic Modeling
  • Landfill Groundwater Monitoring and Reporting
  • Wastewater Treatment and Pollution Prevention
  • EPA Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plans
  • Construction Management and Oversight
  • Project Scheduling and Coordination

Patricia Hoch-Melluish

Project Scientist

Ms. Hoch-Melluish holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Western Michigan University and a Master of Science degree in Water Resources from the University of Minnesota-St. Paul.  Ms. Hoch-Melluish has nearly 20 years of professional experience in the environmental field. For over two years, Ms. Hoch-Melluish conducted aquatic toxicity assays on municipal and industrial point source discharges and developed Battelle Great Lake's sediment toxicity program.  In addition, she performed numerous Toxicity Identification and Reduction Evaluations (TI/RE) for point source dischargers and conducted surface water sampling and fish entrainment studies for FERC relicensing of hydroelectric facilities.

Ms. Hoch-Melluish has also conducted bench-scale bioreactor studies to determine waste treatment options for Monsanto's manufacturing facilities and performed microbial assays on potential new products to determine their waste treatment potential while at Monsanto Company for three years.  She served as an intern for the Minnesota Department of Transportation and developed a database of wetland replacement plans and wetland banking activities, and ultimately drafted a report of these findings for the State of Minnesota Wetland Banking Committee.  Ms. Hoch-Melluish joined K&A in 1998.  At K&A she is responsible for wetland, streambank, and lakeshore rehabilitation using native plantings, streambank erosion emphasizing bioengineering methods, comprehensive lake studies, water quality sampling, watershed-scale pollutant loading analysis, wetland delineations, and design of created wetlands.  She became certified as a Natural Shoreline Professional through the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership in May 2011.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Comprehensive Lake Studies and Assessments
  • Wetland, Stream, and Lakeshore Restoration
  • Watershed Management
  • Wetlands Delineations and Evaluations
  • Surface Water Quality Monitoring
  • Stormwater Treatment Wetland Design
  • Natural Shoreline Assessment and Implementation

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.

"Andrew" Feng Fang

Project Engineer

Dr. Fang, 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 more than 10 years of environmental and water resources experience.  Prior to re-joining K&A in 2012, Dr. Fang worked 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.

In 2002, Dr. Fang began conducting both field research and modeling for K&A to assess pollutant control options and economic implications.  During his 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 is now providing watershed modeling, GIS assessment, TMDL, and trading expertise to K&A.

Areas of Expertise:

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

Josh Kieser

Mr. Josh Kieser holds a Bachelor of Arts in History focused on International Development and African-American Studies from the University of Montana. In 2011, Josh conducted research for K&A examining linkages between social and environmental impacts of Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) projects in North America and globally. Josh 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, Josh 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, Josh serves K&A as a Field Technician focused on monitoring of 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. Josh also manages and maintains monitoring equipment and field data, and conducts research and reporting in support of K&A program development. 

Emily Huezenga

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.

Susan Benston

Technical Communications 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 lake and stormwater management.