Environmental Forensics in Water Resources

More Information
Course Title: Environmental Forensics in Water Resources
Course ID: CHEM-550
Status: CLOSED
Date(s): December 10, 2013: 8:30am - 4:30pm
December 11, 2013: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Location: Red Lion Hotel Woodlake Sacramento

Sacramento, CA
Instructor: Dr. Barrett L. Kays
Tuition: $695 / $645*
$645 / $595* (Before October 26, 2013)
Class is Closed



This course provides useful information for a large range of professionals who deal with environmental water resources, especially legal liability and changes in stream water quality, shallow water table, drainage, wetlands, and sedimentation issues.

Course attendees will gain an understanding of the basics of forensic science and the main environmental forensic techniques available and how they apply to complex inverse condemnation, regulatory takings, and environmental damage cases. 

The forensic techniques explored in this course include:

  • Water quality and shallow water table modeling,
  • Hyrologic Modeling for shallow groundwaters and wetlands,
  • Sediment transport modeling of streams and rivers
  • Tracing pollutants in watersheds
  • Wetland drainage,
  • Complex wetland delineation,
  • Riparian rights,
  • Sediment age dating.
  • Bacterial Fingerprinting, ARA, DNA 

For more detailed information on course contents, see the Course Topics section under more information.

In addition, the expert witness investigations of several prior environmental cases before the United States Federal Court of Claims will be examined, and attendees will be asked to brainstorm several case studies and discuss alternative investigative approaches.

California Department of Public Health, CDPH, Approved for contact hours. 

*Reduced tuition is available for Native American tribes, government employees, nonprofits, students and AFS, NAEP, NEBC, TAEP members.

You may register online or by calling the Northwest Environmental Training Center at (425) 270-3274. Online registration is strongly encouraged.

Please wait to receive a course confirmation email, roughly one month prior to the class, before making any travel arrangements.


Intended Audience:

This course is intended for environmental professionals including, but not limited to, environmental consultants, industrial operators (e.g., power, mining, farming, and construction companies), insurance agency employees, environmental lawyers, and local, state and federal governmental employees.

Continuing Education Units: 1.30 CEUs

More Information

Course Topics

Basics of Forensic Science

            Where and How is Environmental Applied?

Preparing an Analysis of Evidence and Methods of Proof

            How to Win a Case?

River and Groundwater Gauging Data

NOAA & NRCS Climatic Data

Sources of Aerial Photographs

Rules of Evidence

Field Surveys, Sample Collection, and Documentation

            Lake Sedimentation

Mineralogical Fingerprinting Analysis

Radioactive Isotope Analysis

Micro-Landscape Age Variations

Radiocarbon 14C Laboratory Results

Potential Problems with Radiocarbon Dating of Sediments

Radio-nuclide Age Dating of Sediments with 137Cesium

Radio-nuclide Age Dating of Sediments with 210Lead

Other Techniques for Age Dating of Sediments

Spatial Analysis of Contaminates in Soil & Groundwaters

            Case Study #1 – Metals Contamination of Soils and Groundwaters

Hydrological Modeling of Streams and Rivers

Sediment Transport Modeling of Streams and Rivers

Water Quality Modeling of Streams and Rivers

Water Quality Modeling of Watersheds

Tracing Pollutants in Watersheds

What is DNA Fingerprinting?

Bacterial Fingerprinting of Pollutant Sources in Watersheds

ARA Bacterial Fingerprinting

DNA Bacterial Fingerprinting

Age Dating of Groundwater

Hydrologic Modeling of Shallow Groundwaters

Hydrologic Modeling of Wetlands

            Case Study #2 – Mississippi River

            Examining Plaintiffs’ Expert Report on Moreau River

            Case Study #3 – Sedimentation Along the Moreau River

            What is More Important in Forensic Investigations and Why?

Working with Attorneys

             Developing Plaintiff and Defense Expert Strategies

About the Instructor

Dr. Barrett L. Kays

Dr. Barrett L. Kays

Dr. Barrett L. Kays is an expert investigator and witness specialized in earth sciences involving soil, hydrology, and groundwater science.  Dr. Kays has conducted numerous forensic investigations involving construction, water resource, sedimentation, flooding, wastewater, and contamination damages.  He has also been involved in unusual eminent domain, and inverse eminent domain cases in federal and state courts.  Dr. Kays uses state-of-art forensic techniques and complex temporal and spatial analysis in determining causation.  He also has conducted expert investigations in twenty states and has testified before US Court of Federal Claims, US District Courts, and State Courts, as well as, federal and state administrative hearings. 

Dr. Kays has a success rate of 85 percent in his expert cases because he expertly uses science to analyze and answer each important allegation in the litigation case, and is extremely thorough in determining how best to present and explain the evidence so the trier of fact can easy apply his scientific findings to the legal case.  He has been commissioned by USDOJ, USACOE, USFWS, State DOJ’s, State DOT’s, cities, counties, banks, institutions, corporations, and property owners.

What to Bring

Pen or pencil to take notes. Please bring paper if you do not wish to take notes in your course 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 at or 425-270-3274 at least 30 days prior to the event.


  • From:

  • To:
  •   500 Leisure Lane Sacramento, CA 95815



*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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