A Unified Command was established by the Coast Guard, through its Federal On Scene Coordinator (FOSC), to direct the MC-20 response effort. It is composed of Taylor Energy and the Coast Guard. Federal agencies, including BSEE and NOAA advise on the response as well as leading subject matter experts, some of whom are listed below.
Wade Bryant is an expert geomorphologist and ecologist. He is a Senior Environmental Scientist with CK’s Ecological Team in Baton Rouge where he provides clients with expertise in permitting, oil spill response, natural resource damage assessment and litigation support. He joined CK after 25 years of federal service. Among other positions during this time, Mr. Bryant served a Senior Ecologist with the US Geological Survey for 22 years and worked for the US Fish and Wildlife Service Division of Environmental Contaminants and the Division of Refuges. Mr. Bryant spent 4 years as a science advisor to the Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Prior to 2010, Mr. Bryant led integrated assessments of stream ecosystem health for a national-scale federal program.
Dr. Richard Camilli is an award winning oceanographer and engineer who holds joint appointments at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. His research focuses on robotics and instrumentation, with emphasis on autonomous risk-aware planning and intelligent control systems, in-situ and remote sensing, concurrent mapping, and pollution remediation. He has served on over 50 major oceanographic expeditions and oil spill surveys throughout the world, has served as chief scientist on over two dozen human occupied submersible operations and is an experienced technical diver certified for mixed gas, surface supply, and saturation dive operations. Dr. Camilli holds multiple patents on marine technologies and has authored numerous publications in the peer reviewed scientific literature on offshore oil response technologies an operations. After receiving his Ph.D. from MIT in 2003, he co-founded Navistry Corp, which has provided technologically advanced services for offshore oil & gas incident response and UXO/DMM remediation operations for over 15 years. He has assisted in the MC-20 response effort for over 12 years.
Dr. Camilli has served on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board, and as a member of the Flow Rate Technical Group and Interagency Solutions Group during the Deepwater Horizon response. Along with oil spill response activities, he has served as a NASA review chair for planetary lander instrumentation, as a delegation member to three United Nations Climate Summits, and is an editorial board member of Scientific Reports. Dr. Camilli is a long-serving member of the American Geophysical Union, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the American Association for Advancement of Science, and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.
Along with research, Dr. Camilli contributes to numerous primary through graduate education programs. He is a faculty member of the MIT-WHOI joint program in oceanography, and serves as a frequent lecturer in MIT’s department of Electrical Engineering and Computer science and the United States Naval Academy’s Department of Ocean Engineering. In 2008 he founded the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Summer Introduction to Engineering and Science Research (SIESR), which he has directed for over a decade, providing immersive science technology engineering and math (STEM) experience for middle through high school students from underserved communities. Dr. Camilli’s private philanthropic activities include construction of schools and clean drinking water supplies in the Tanzanian Rift Valley, where he has contributed to humanitarian aid efforts over the past twenty years.
Merv Fingas is a scientist working on oil and chemical spills.
He was Chief of the Emergencies Science Division of Environment Canada for over 30 years and is currently working on research in Western Canada.
Dr. Fingas has a PhD in environmental physics from McGill University, three masters degrees; chemistry, business and mathematics, all from University of Ottawa.
He also has a bachelor of science in Chemistry from Alberta and a bachelor of arts from Indiana.
He has published more than 940 papers and publications in the field. Merv has prepared 10 books on spill topics.
He has served on two committees on the National Academy of Sciences of the United States on oil spills including the ‘Oil in the Sea’. He is chairman of several ASTM and intergovernmental committees on spill matters.
Importantly, he was the founding chairman of the ASTM sub-committee on in-situ burning and chairman of oil spill treating agents and another on oil spill detection and remote sensing, positions he holds today.
Dr. Fingas’s specialties include; oil chemistry, spill dynamics and behaviour, spill treating agents, remote sensing and detection, and in-situ burning. He has about 100 papers in each of these topics. He continues to work on developing new technologies in these fields.
Environmental Research Consulting
Dr. Dagmar Schmidt Etkin has 43 years of experience in environmental analysis, including 14 years investigating issues in population biology and ecological systems, and 29 years specializing in the analysis of oil spills. She has been an oil spill risk consultant to the Coast Guard, NOAA, BOEM, BSEE, EPA, and numerous state agencies, as well as to the oil and maritime industries.
She received her Ph.D from Harvard University in Organismic & Evolutionary Biology in 1982 and has been a leader in her field of interest throughout her distinguished career.
She is a recipient of the Coast Guard Meritorious Team Commendation, a multiple-year Session Chairman of the International Oil Spill Conference as well as a peer reviewer and presenter for the Oil Spill Conference.
Since 1997, she has been a member of the UN Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Protection and is an elected Associate Member of the Sigma Xi scientific research society, serving in that capacity since 1979.
Taylor Energy Company LLC
With more than 30 years of experience in engineering and management, Will Pecue is President of Taylor Energy. In addition to leading Taylor Energy, he also serves as incident commander on the Unified Command that was established by the US Coast Guard, through its Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC), to direct the MC-20 response effort.
Will graduated from Louisiana State University with a BS degree in Petroleum Engineering in 1983. He worked the next 20 years for Texaco in both field and office roles. During that time his assignments included technical and management roles in Well & Production Operations. Following Texaco’s acquisition by Chevron, he joined Energy Partners Ltd in New Orleans for a short time, and then took an advisory role in Houston with BP as Manager of Global Drilling Excellence. Will joined Taylor Energy in 2008 as Sr. VP of Operations and was named to his current role of President in 2009.
He holds 3 U.S. Patents on equipment developed for Subsea Well Operations.
Will presently serves on the Industry Advisory Committee for LSU’s Department of Petroleum Engineering.
Make Peace Environmental Solutions, LLC
Christopher Reddy is the principal for Makepeace Environmental Solutions in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. His research interests are marine pollution, the development of safer, more environmentally friendly industrial chemicals, and explaining science and how it works to non-scientists. He has studied numerous spills–most notably the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and more recently, the oil leaking at the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor.
Reddy has published over 175 peer-reviewed manuscripts and numerous commentaries, letters, reviews, essays and editorials. He has participated in 12 ocean expeditions, been awarded seven U.S. patents and has delivered numerous guest lectures.
Reddy has extensive experience as a conduit of science to the media, policy makers, and the lay public. He has testified before Congress five times, and given hundreds of interviews. His opinion piece for CNN titled, How Reporters Mangle Science on Gulf Oil is required reading in many courses on policy, science communication, and journalism.
Dr.Reddy has received numerous awards and honors, including in 2009, 2010 and 2011, when he was named a Kavli Fellow, the National Academy of Science’s premiere recognition for distinguished young sciences under 45 years of age. In 2014, he was honored with the C.C. Patterson Award given internationally for leading an innovative breakthrough of fundamental significance in environmental geochemistry–particularly in service to society. More recently, the American Geophysical Union bestowed its 2018 Ambassador Award to him.
He received his BS degree in chemistry from Rhode Island College and PhD in chemical oceanography from the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. He has executive certificates from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and Sloan School of Business at MIT.
Dr. Valentine received his B.S. in Chemistry/Biochemistry from Revelle College, U.C. San Diego (1995), his M.S. in Chemistry from U.C. San Diego (1996), his second M.S. in Earth System Science at U.C. Irvine (1998), and his Ph.D. in Earth System Science from U.C. Irvine (2000). He held an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Microbial Biology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (2001-02) and has since served as a Professor (Assistant 2001-06; Associate 2006-10; Full since 2010) of Earth Science and Biology at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Dr. Valentine has been the recipient of the NSF CAREER award (Chemical Oceanography; 2005-11), the Chancellor’s Award for excellence in undergraduate research mentorship, UC Santa Barbara (2009), and has been named a Kavli Fellow (2010), an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow (2013), and an American Chemical Society ‘Expert’ (2014).
Dr. Valentine presently holds the Norris Presidential Endowed Chair in Earth Science at UC Santa Barbara.
He has authored over 100 scientific works at the interface of Earth Science, Chemistry and Biology, and has participated on more than two dozen oceanographic research expeditions, including more than 20 submarine dives.
Dr. Valentine is also the President of VSCS Inc. and in that capacity has worked (on behalf of the government and the trustees) on multiple incidents including the Deepwater Horizon and Refugio spills.