Environmental Forensics Techniques-Principles and Applications in Litigation and Site Remediation

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Environmental Forensics Techniques-Principles and Applications in Litigation and Site Remediation
Course Title: Environmental Forensics Techniques-Principles and Applications in Litigation and Site Remediation
Course ID: CHEM-540
Status: CLOSED
Date(s): June 20, 2013: 8:30am - 4:30pm
June 21, 2013: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Location: Four Points by Sheraton

San Diego, CA
Instructor: Ioana Petrisor
Tuition: $695 / $645*
$645 / $595* (Before May 4, 2013)
Class is Closed



This course provides useful up-to-date information for a large range of professionals dealing with environmental contamination issues, especially legal liability and complex site characterization and cleanup. The goal of the course is to enable the audience to apply a large variety of environmental forensic techniques in practical cases they deal with.

The presented techniques provide "fingerprints" for tracking (i.e., source identification, age-dating and allocation) a variety of environmental contaminants (e.g., crude oil & distillates, chlorinated solvents, metals, PCBs, PAHs, perchlorate, nutrients). Some of these techniques can reveal multiple releases and are effective when tracking old contamination that may have started decades ago, thereby enabling attendees to reconstruct past contamination events and provide defensible evidence in litigated cases. At the same time, some forensic techniques can be integrated in day-to-day activity for more effective site characterization and remediation at non-litigated sites. Last but not least, forensic techniques can be used to identify and characterize defective products such as “fake” or inappropriate motor oils – which is an emerging issue worldwide.

Real case studies will be provided throughout the course along with hints for practical applications and successful expert witness testimony. This course will also include both formal presentations and interactive content (discussions and practical assignments throughout the class). By the end of the class, alternative discussion topics (based on majority vote) may include more information on certain fingerprinting or certain contaminants, as well as brainstorming sessions on case studies – including any from the audience if interested.


"The course gave a very good, broad introduction to environmental forensics." Rebecca O. Nov 2015

"Incredibly important information and insight for the work we do. Encourages us as regulators to be up to date on prevalent analytical methods." Anonymous, Nov 2015 "

This has been the best forensics course I've taken. Presenter was fantastic with explaining complex topix to non-chemists." Andrew C. Nov 2015



Intended Audience:

This course is intended for environmental professionals including, but not limited to, environmental consultants, industrial site owners and operators (e.g., manufacturers, mining companies, foundry operators, refineries, dry cleaners), insurance agency employees, environmental lawyers, governmental employees, and environmental students.

Continuing Education Units: 1.30 CEUs

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Course Topics

• What is Environmental Forensics?

• Discussion of general and specific concepts, applicability and use.

• Non-Testing Techniques:

     - Historical document review

     - Photographic review

     - Market forensics

• Fingerprinting Techniques Targeting Contaminants and/or Associated Compounds

     - Chemical fingerprinting

          * Comprehensive chemical fingerprinting

          * Signature chemicals

          * Chiral fingerprinting

     - Isotopic fingerprinting

          * Bulk isotopic analysis

          * Compound-specific isotopic analysis

          * Position-specific isotopic analysis

• Fingerprinting Techniques Targeting Contaminants Within Environmental Matrix

     - Geochemical fingerprinting, Statistical evaluation and data visualization

     - Mineralogical fingerprinting

• Fingerprinting Techniques Targeting Traces Left by Contaminants

     - Atmospheric traces

     - DNA fingerprinting

     - Dendroecology (tree-ring fingerprinting)

• Application/Examples (inserted throughout the course)

     - In litigation support / expert witness work

     - For preventing costly litigation (preparation for mediation)

     - In site remediation

     - Evaluating “fake” oils

• Alternative discussion topics based on audience interest, including:

     - Brainstorming Session – Cases from the Audience

     - Age-Dating Using Radioactive Isotopes

     - Environmental Forensics and Monitored Natural Attenuation

     - Comprehensive Case Studies

     - Focus on Perchlorate and Nitrate

     - Quizzes

About the Instructor

Ioana Petrisor

Ioana Petrisor

Ioana Petrisor, Ph.D, has over 18 years of experience as a biochemist, specializing in environmental forensics. She has up-to-date knowledge and has applied a variety of forensics methods to track the source and age-date contaminants in soil and water. She identified and applied cutting-edge investigative techniques such as dendroecology, which uses tree rings to detect age-date contamination and its release into soil and water, even after site mitigation. Dr. Petrisor is the Editor-in-Chief of the Environmental Forensics Journal, providing a scientific lead of the Journal. She has managed and conducted innovative research for the U.S. DOE, U.S. DOD, and European Community on environmental characterization, as well as projects relating to the development of innovative remedial technologies for a variety of contaminants in soil, aquatic sediments, and water.

What to Bring

Please bring a pen or pencil, and notepad if you would like to take notes (you may also choose to take notes in your book). Lunch will be on your own, but drinks and snacks will be provided throughout the day.

Billing Information

In order to guarantee a space in a course, the tuition must be paid in full TWO WEEKS before the first day of the course by either check or credit card. State and government agencies paying with a purchase order are allowed payment under the two-week time frame if a copy of the purchase order is received by NWETC.

If You Need to Cancel


  • With 31 or more days notice, we will offer a 100% refund or credit towards a future course. The credit is good for one year and may be applied to any course.
  • With 30-8 days notice, we will offer a course credit towards a future course. The credit is good for one year and may be applied to any course.
  • With fewer than 8 days notice, there is no course credit available

*Please note that attendee replacement is welcome at any time

Disability Accommodations

Disability Accommodations:

To request disability accommodations, please contact us online or at 425-270-3274 at least 30 days prior to the event.


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*Reduced tuition available to employees of Native American tribes, nonprofits, and government agencies; students; and NAEP members.

If you have any trouble registering please call (425) 270-3274 ext 103
Please wait to receive a course confirmation email, roughly one month prior to the class, before making any travel arrangements. Please review what to bring!


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