It takes more than the best tools and technologies to achieve positive, sustainable outcomes on environmentally challenged sites. It takes the knowledge, skills, and experience of highly qualified, trained, and dedicated professionals. We believe our customer-focused team at COLUMBIA Technologies is the best in the industry. Our technical staff consists entirely of degreed and experienced geologists, chemists, and engineers who together have performed thousands of high-resolution site evaluations worldwide.

Leadership

Project Scientists

Advisors

 

Leadership

 

John H. Sohl, III – President and CEO

Co-founder of COLUMBIA Technologies, John brings to his roles of President and CEO three decades of experience directing the development of innovative and business solutions fusing science and technology. At COLUMBIA and through its partners in North and South America and Africa, John leads the company's global growth of sustainable environmental services.  John is also co-founder of the award-winning SmartData Solutions® real-time data services platform and has played an integral role in providing clients with real-time decision-making information. A former officer in the U.S. Navy nuclear submarine force, John holds a B.S. in engineering from the United States Naval Academy and an MBA from the Chaminade University of Honolulu. John is a member of the Small Environmental Business Action Coalition, the Sustainable Remediation Forum, the Society of American Military Engineers, and the National Ground Water Association.

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Brent Graves P.G. – Manager U.S. Operations

An experienced team leader and strong client advocate Brent Graves leads our U.S. operations as we continue to grow our service offerings across North America.  Brent brings to this role thirty-one years of experience in the environmental consulting industry as a Professional Geologist, Director of Technical Operations, and Chief Operating Officer.  In his work, he has specialized in site investigation, remediation, and monitoring projects throughout the Midwest and east coast.  Key to his approach is a focus on the thorough investigation of a site, attention to detail, and development of a comprehensive conceptual site model to guide the best closure strategy and maximum cost savings over the lifecycle of a project.  Brent is a member of the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG), a Board member and the outgoing President of the Midwestern States Environmental Consultant’s Association (MSECA), and a member of the Associates' Committee of the Kentucky Petroleum Marketers Association (KPMA).   Brent holds a B.S. degree in Geology from Indiana University – Purdue University in Indianapolis.

James Chamness – Manager Latin America Operations

Jim is a versatile environmental professional and engineering geologist with a unique focus on building collaboration between U.S. and Brazilian companies. He provides program and project management services to COLUMBIA in Latin America. Jim’s professional journey to Brazil began in 1998, with the goal of "bridging the cultural gap" - bringing experience and technology transfer to develop local solutions for compliance with emerging environmental requirements. His environmental sector experience in Brazil includes managing contaminated areas, environmental permitting for offshore oil & gas resources, and emergency response to environmental disasters. In addition, Jim leveraged his market and business knowledge to the arena or mergers and acquisitions, Brazil business strategy, alliance development, and marine surveys.  Jim holds a B.S. in Geology from the Northeastern University in Boston, MA, and an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix.

Scott Pieper - Operations Manager

Scott brings 35 years of environmental project management, spill response, site remediation, and hazardous materials management experience to our team.  He has operated throughout North and South America across all of the platforms that COLUMBIA Technologies operates.  His experience includes the operation and maintenance of certified mobile environmental laboratories, high-resolution characterization tools including the Membrane Interface Probe, the Hydraulic Profiling Tool, and Laser-Induced Fluorescence systems. Pieper holds a B.S. in Geological Sciences with an emphasis in Engineering from San Diego State University. 

 

 

Project Scientists

 

Wendi Jacklitch – Data Analyst and Customer Support

As Information Manager, Wendi manages the flow of information and deliverables from the company’s cloud-based information system, SmartData Solutions®. She assists customers with project setups, data interpretation, and delivery of final reports and data visualizations. She has six years of experience, including one year with COLUMBIA Technologies as a field geochemist. Wendi holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with Professional Option and an emphasis on soil and environmental chemistry from the University of Idaho. Her graduate work includes laser spectroscopy at Montana State University, and Chemistry Department, completing five years of research. She has been published several times in MRS Proceedings.

Omar Barbot – Geologist

Omar is an enthusiastic geologist with previous experience as a logging geologist in the oil and gas industry. Omar brings his skills in collecting, analyzing, and logging geological samples as well as an understanding of drilling operations. His eagerness to contribute to our team's success is demonstrated through hard work and his attention to detail. Omar has volunteered his off time as an Americorps Youth Mentor and Tutor and now as a docent at the [museum]. Omar holds a B.S. in Geology from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez, PR.

Dillan Metzner - Geologist

Dillan is an enthusiastic geologist with previous experience as a staff geologist responsible for analyzing and evaluating construction materials. Dillan currently calls Wyoming home where he competes as a skilled archer and enjoys spending his off time in the outdoors hunting and camping.  Dillan holds a B.S. in Geology from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS.

Briana McDowell, Ph.D. - Microbiologist

Briana joins the COLUMBIA team as a recent graduate with a Ph.D. in Microbiology from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  During her study in the lab of Dr. Frank Löffler, she worked with interdisciplinary teams in the laboratory and at field sites in the United States and Argentina.  Her work involved site investigations and treatability studies to assess remediation strategies for contaminated sites and studied the defluorination of CFCs and fluorinated alkanes.  Briana brings with her a background in microbiology, fieldwork, biochemistry, analytical chemistry, and bioinformatics.

Megon Stephaniuk, M.S. - Environmental Scientist

Recently graduated with a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science from, Megon specializes in botany, plant taxonomy, environmental chemistry, and herbarium curation.  Megon’s strong attention to detail highlights her work habits as an environmental scientist. We look to Megon to help diversify our corporate skill sets in bioremediation, habitat restoration, and sustainable remediation. In her off-time Megon volunteers at the Animal Care Facility of the Tennessee Aquarium and is a member of Chattanooga women's rugby club. Megon holds a B.S. in Biology graduating Cum Laude and an M.S. in Environmental Science from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, TN.

 

Advisors

 

Stephen S. Koenigsberg, Ph.D. – Science Advisor

Dr. Koenigsberg is a recognized leader in the development and application of innovative in-situ and on-site treatment protocols. He is the author or co-author of more than 175 technical articles and presentation abstracts, four books, and four international patents focusing on remediation and environmental biotechnology. In 1994, Dr. Koenigsberg co-founded Regenesis and was involved in the formulation and development of products that had been applied to more than 17,000 times worldwide through departure in 2006. After Regenesis he held several executive-level positions in major engineering and consulting firms before establishing Koenigsberg Consultant in 2021, In addition to remediation-based solutions, over the last decade, he has helped define the emerging field of expedited site closure. In 2004 Dr. Koenigsberg was a co-recipient of a Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award and in 2010 received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Environmental Health and Sciences Foundation (AEHS). In addition to his advisory capacity for COLUMBIA Technologies, Dr. Koenigsberg is on the Board of AEHS and The Remediation Journal. He holds a B.A. in Biology and an M.S./Ph.D. in Agricultural Biotechnology from Cornell University.

Susan Barrett – Leadership Development Specialist

Susan Barrett brings to COLUMBIA decades of leadership development experience.  Through her strong acumen for coaching, change management, and performance monitoring Susan provides our team with critical tools to tackle today's evolving challenges.  She plays an important role in helping our team to generate results through goal setting,  performance monitoring, career development, and process improvement.