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Kevin Kjell Olsen MA

Richardson 340

Montclair State University

Montclair, New Jersey, 07043




Montclair State University, Working toward a PhD degree in Environmental Management as a part time non-traditional student, 2004 to present. (Detailed information about my dissertation is at the end of this CV)

Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ, MA in Chemistry, 1992.

Plymouth State College of the University System of New Hampshire, BA in Chemistry, Cum Laude, 1983.


2003 – Present. Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey. Research Instrument Technician. Responsible for repair, maintenance and calibration of chemistry and biochemistry department’s instrumentation. Tutored students on instrument use and assisted in the analytical chemistry, biochemistry, and organic chemistry laboratory sessions. Instrument service experience includes Agilent 1100 LC/MS, Beckman J Series high speed centrifuges, Bruker NMR, Kendro CO2 incubators, Thermo Electron GC/MS systems, Nicolet FTIR, UV/Vis spectrophotometers, YSI dissolved oxygen probes and other water quality monitors, and Zymark (Caliper) laboratory robots.

1991 - 2003. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Pearl River, New York. Held three positions in two of the company's divisions.

2002 - 2003. Research Division, Instrument Maintenance Supervisor for Engineering Services Department. Supervised a crew of fourteen instrument mechanics who were responsible for repairing and maintaining over 40,000 instruments in eight research buildings.

1995 - 2002. Research Division, Robotocist for the Research Compound Bank. Planned and implemented two robotic compound dissolution and distribution systems for drug discovery research.

1991 - 1995. ESI Lederle Generics Division, QC Chemist. Responsible for dissolution testing of solid dosage forms, maintenance of testing equipment and regulatory compliance within the dissolution laboratory.

1989 - 1991. Cosa Instrument Corporation, Norwood, New Jersey. Marketing and Customer Service. Assisted customers with titration applications and elemental analyzer service. Performed minor repairs for service department. Wrote operating manuals.

1986 - 1989. B&P Environmental Resources, Oakland, New Jersey. Analytical and Field Chemist. Operated an Hewlett Packard GC/MS and Perkin Elmer AA. Performed routine hazardous waste testing including calorimetry, electrochemical analysis, acid digestions and EP Tox analysis.

1984 - 1986 Field Archaeologist, Participated in the following excavations: Data recovery, Barclay Bank Project, Louis Berger & Associates, New York, NY, Shovel Testing & Data Recovery, Monksville Reservoir, Sheffield Archaeological Consulting, Ringwood, NJ. Shovel Testing, Slateford Farm, American University/National Park Service, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, East Stroudsburg, Pa.


Note: Publications marked with an asterisk have not been peer reviewed.

Archaeochemical Soil Analysis, Research Goals and Analytical Techniques, Master's Degree research published in the International Journal of Environmental Science.

"Three Hundred years of Assaying American Iron and Iron Ores", Bulletin for the History of Chemistry, Vols. 17 & 18, 1995.

Time Savings Demonstrated with Automated Dissolution Testing, Poster Presentation at the 1995 International Symposium for Laboratory Automation and Robotics, later published in the conference proceedings

Rosie the Robot, Laboratory Automation in the Second World War 1941 to 1945, Oral Presentation at the 1996 International Symposium for Laboratory Automation and Robotics, also published in Laboratory Automation and Robotics, Vol. 9 no. 3, 1997.

Bar Codes and Other Long Term Identification Methods for Microplates, Poster Presentation at the 1997 International Symposium for Laboratory Automation and Robotics. Later presented at the New England chapter of the Laboratory Robotics Interest Group.

An Automated Compound Dissolution and Distribution System at the Pearl River Research Compound Bank, Oral Presentation at the 1996 Cyanamid Analytical Conference. Also presented at the 1998 International Symposium for Laboratory Automation and Robotics, later published in the conference proceedings.

"Elephant Hides and Senator's Eyeballs", Editorial for High Throughput Screening magazine, July 1999.*

A Quantitative Study of Factors Governing Automated Pipettor Performance, Oral Presentation at the 1999 International Symposium for Laboratory Automation and Robotics, later reprinted in July 2000, American Laboratory.

Designing a Compound Dissolution & Distribution Robot, Oral Presentation at the 2000 International Symposium for Laboratory Automation and Robotics, later published in the conference proceedings.

Delivering on the Promise of High Throughput Compound Preparation, Oral presentation at the 2001 International Symposium for Laboratory Automation and Robotics.

Looking Backwards, Laboratory Automation 1912 to 1952, Oral presentation at the 2002 International Symposium for Laboratory Automation and Robotics.

“Acetic Acid, Vinegar, and Jersey Lightning’, The Indicator, June 2004.*

“Early Investigations into Methane in New Jersey”, The Indicator, January 2005.*

Plumbego, Bamboo, Goldenrod, Thomas Edison and God’s Almighty Warehouse, Oral presentation March 2005 meeting of the Chesapeake Chapter of the Laboratory Robotics Interest Group.

“Edison Invented the Light Bulb, but Who Invented the Twisty Little Bit of Wire Inside the Light Bulb?” The Indicator, June 2005. *

“Seashores, Soil Chemistry, and Hadrosaurs, Or how the need for a good soil conditioner lead to the discovery of New Jersey's State Dinosaur.” The Indicator, November 2005. *

“When Newark was America’s Celluloid Capital,” The Indicator, June 2006. *

“Chemistry on the Hill, Chemists Who Have Served in Congress,” The Indicator, November 2006. *

“Green Gas and Clear Water, A History of Chlorine Use as a Swimming Pool Sterilizer,” Bulletin for the History of Chemistry, Fall 2007.

Multiple Wavelength Ultraviolet Determinations of Nitrate Concentrations, A Demonstration Project From October 2005 to July 2006, Podium presentation at the 2006 Ninth Annual Wetlands and Watersheds Workshop and Poster Presentation at the Second Passaic River Symposium, October 2006. Later published in Air, Water, and Soil Pollution, appearing online in October 2007.

“Not Necessarily Shoddy, What Every New Jersey Chemist Should Know About the Marvelous Science Between the Sheep and the Sweater,” The Indicator, March 2007. *

“Black Bones and Vitriol, How a Small Farm in Newark Helped Launch an Agricultural Revolution,” The Indicator, March and April 2008. *

“Laboratory Robotics Instruction for Undergraduates at Montclair State University,” Journal of the Association for Laboratory Automation, April 2009.

“Switzerland, Venice, and the Hills of New Jersey, Historic Recreation in the Upper Passaic River Watershed,” Platform presentation at the Third Passaic River Symposium, October 2008.

“Jamaica Bay as New York City’s Conflicted backyard: Recreation and Refuse, Transportation and Trash, Wetlands and Wastelands,” Presentation at the October 2008 Drew University Symposium on Industrial Archaeology and Boston Environmental History Series, March 2010.

“Chemistry Saves Christmas, Enhances Hanukkah, and Lights up the Solstice, Exploring the Science Behind the Lights and the Tinsel” The Indicator, December 2008. *

Anthropogenic PAH distribution in the sediments found within Gateway NPS as Determined by Thermal Extraction GC/MS, Principle Investigator’s Final Report submitted to the National Park Service for study number GATE-00174, research permit GATE-2007-SCI-0002, December 26, 2008.*

“Water Pollution Analysis in New Jersey, Employing the Cutting Edge Analytical Technology of 1876,” The Indicator, March and April 2009*, also presented at the 2010 Passaic River Symposium, Montclair State University and the16th Annual Ramapo River Watershed Conference, Ramapo State College, April 2011.

“Making the World Safe For Democracy but Putting the Neighbors at Risk,” The Indicator, October 2009.*

“New Jersey and TV, More than the Sopranos,” The Indicator, June 2010.*

“Can a City of 5,000,000 Recycle 60% of its Organic Waste? Lessons from 1910 New York,” Poster presented at International Symposium on Sustainability Science: the Emerging Paradigm and the Urban Environment, Montclair State University, October 2010.

“The Birth of the National Science Foundation,” The Indicator, February 2010.*

“A Chemist Looks At Skiing,” The Indicator, February 2011.*

“Chemistry at the New Jersey Shore,” The Indicator, May 2011.*

“Sewage” and “Phosphorous,” Articles for Encyclopedia of Water Politics, CQ Press, 2011.

“The Net Men and the Anglers. A Case Study in the Conflicts over Recreational and Commercial Fishing” Presentation at the 25th Annual Highlands Archaeological and Historical Conference, Tuxedo, NY, October 2011.

“The Chemistry Tricks Behind our Halloween Treats,” The Indicator, October 2011.*

“Science in the Subway, from Metal Soaps to String Theory,” The Indicator, May 2012.*

“The First 110 Years of Laboratory Automation: Technologies, Applications, and the Creative Scientist,” Journal of Laboratory Automation, Pubished online on August 14, 2012.

Publications marked with an asterisk have not been peer reviewed.

Publications as part of a team

Duke U. Ophori, Matthew Gorring, Kevin Olsen, Ese Orhua, Jeffrey Hope; “A Preliminary Analysis of Groundwater Chemistry in Shallow Boreholes, Ughelli, Nigeria,” Journal of Environmental Hydrology, Vol 15, 2007.

Kruge M.A., Olsen K., and Stern E.A. “Organic Geochemical Investigation of a Highly Contaminated Urban Waterway: The Gowanus Canal, Brooklyn, New York, USA,” 23nd International Meeting On Organic Geochemistry, Torquay, UK, Abstracts. (2007)

Olsen K., Kruge M.A, Prezant R., Stern E., Yu D., “Characterization of Highly Contaminated Sediment from the Gowanus Canal, Brooklyn, New York,” Meadowlands Environmental Research Symposium, June 2007.

Kruge M.A., Bujalski N., Olsen K, “Organic Contamination in Sediments of the Lower Passaic River: An Environmental Forensics Approach,” Platform presentation at the Third Passaic River Symposium, October 2008. This material used in this presentation was later published as part of Ms. Bujalski’s M.S. dissertation.

Kruge M.A., Mastalerz M., Yu D., and Olsen K., 2009, Application of unconventional methods for the characterization of contaminated sediment, Gowanus Canal, Brooklyn, New York, USA. Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry North America 30th Annual Meeting, New Orleans.

Kruge M.A., Olsen K.K., Slusarczyk J., Gomez E., 2010, The Vinylguaiacol/Indole or VGI ("Veggie") Ratio: A Novel Molecular Parameter to Evaluate the Relative Contributions of Terrestrial and Aquatic Organic Matter to Sediments. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, December 2010, San Francisco, California.

Trajkovska, A., Galster, J., Feng, H., Olsen, K., Tracing The Origin Of Fine-Grained Sediments Entering A Reservoir Using Radionuclides, GSA Northeastern Section - 47th Annual Meeting, March 2012, Hartford, Connecticut

Kruge, M., Stern, E., Mastalerz, M., Permanyer, A., Olsen, K., Highly contaminated sediments from the Gowanus Canal Superfund site: Beneficial use as a fuel resource, American Chemical Society 243rd ACS National Meeting & Exposition, March 2012, San Diego, California.

Other Publications

Sailors in the Mountains, New Jersey Steamboats on Inland Waters, an oral presentation at the 1993 annual symposium of the Roebling Chapter of the Society for Industrial Archaeology.

"The Periagua: a Traditional Workboat of the New Jersey, New York/ New Jersey Area," The American Neptune, Vol. 54, no. 30, 1994.

"The State Navies and the Defense of the Hudson, 1776," The Highlander, 1995.

"Village Blacksmiths Helped Forge a New Nation," The Highlander, 1996.

"The Schooner," "The Sea Bright Skiff," "Sandy Hook Pilots," "The Van Riper Hopper House Museum," and "Wayne Township," articles for the Encyclopedia of New Jersey, Rutgers University Press, 2004.

Trailing the Montclair and Greenwood Lake Railroad, an oral presentation at the 2001 annual symposium of the Roebling Chapter of the Society for Industrial Archaeology. Later published as the Early History of the Montclair & Greenwood Lake Railroad by the New Jersey Midland Railroad Historical Society.

Cargoes from Acquackanonk, Early commercial shipping on the Passaic River, Poster presentation at the Second Passaic River Symposium, October 2006.

A Great Conveniency; A Maritime History of the Hackensack River, Passaic River, and Newark Bay, American History Imprints, Franklin Tn., 2008.

Teaching Experience

Special Topics in Chemistry, High Pressure Liquid Chromatography. Graduate class at Montclair State University, Summer pre-session 2005.

Chemistry 100, General Chemistry for non-majors at Montclair State University, Spring 2006.

Chemistry 120, Undergraduate General Chemistry at Montclair State University, Fall 2007.

Chemistry 232 and 233, Organic Chemistry, Taught units on gas chromatography, High Pressure Liquid Chromatography, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Infrared Spectroscopy, and Gas Chromatography / Mass Spectroscopy as part of the laboratory program, 2003 to present.

Chemistry 233, Organic Chemistry Laboratory, Appointed as the Instructor of Record after unexpected resignation of Graduate Assistant, Spring 2011.

Chemistry 311, Instrumental Analysis, taught units listed above as well as units on UV/Visible spectroscopy and laboratory robotics, 2003 to present.

Professional Affiliations

Executive Board member of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter Laboratory Robotics Interest Group. Administered the John Morin Memorial Scholarship for high school students who are participating in FIRST Robotics. Also organized annual student poster contests at the group’s Technology Exposition and Vendor Show.

North Jersey Section, American Chemical Society.

Roebling Chapter, Society for Industrial Archaeology.


Wyeth Research US Patent Application number 33,313, Improved Pipette Tip. (Denied by US PTO)

Part of a multidisciplinary team that assembled a successful NSF grant for the REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) program. Biological, chemical, and geological research activities will be carried out at the New Jersey School of Conservation beginning in the summer of 2011.

Dissertation Overview

The dissertation is divided into three parts. The Montclair State Environmental Management PhD program requires three peer-reviewed papers or a published book-length manuscript for graduation.

The primary focus of the dissertation research is the development of analytical techniques using non-discriminating flash pyrolysis followed by GC/MS to study aqueous sediments in contaminated estuaries and rivers. This technique uses a capacitive discharge to heat instantaneously a small capillary tube containing milligram quantities of sample. This releases the analytes of interest and they are swept into the GC/MS by a stream of inert gas.

Py-GC/MS allows the study of two types of materials. The first are intact molecules that are desorbed from the sediment particles simply by heating. These intact molecules are mobile and bio-available and thus represent the greatest risk to the environment. The second category of materials are the thermal breakdown products from larger organic molecules. These smaller breakdown products are often more suited to GC/MS analysis than the original molecules.

First Publication. Organic Geochemistry of the Surface Sediments of The Gateway National Recreation Area

It is believed that the present study is the first attempt to use organic geochemistry techniques to create a park-wide survey of the surface layer of sediments. A number of earlier sediment studies were conducted as part of environmental impact statements and academic research.

The goals of the research are to map broadly zones of anthropogenic contamination, understand the organic matter inputs to the sediments, and lastly to understand how the organic matter in the sediments relate to present-day land use, vegetation, and the physical processes in the bay such as circulation patters, sea level rise, and sediment characteristics.

Second Publication. Geochemical Analysis of a Sediment Core From the Dundee Lake, an Industrialized Section of the Non-Tidal Passaic River, New Jersey

The sediment core that is the focus of the second paper was donated to Montclair State University by Malcolm Pirnie. The core (number 37) was taken from Dundee Lake as part of a study of the lower Passaic River prior to designating the river as a Superfund Site and beginning a large-scale cleanup. Dundee Lake is a freshwater lake created by a dam across the river at its head of tide. The lake is downstream from the city of Paterson and has been exposed to a range of industrial pollutants as well as a wide range of environmental influences. All of these things are expected to be reflected in the core.

Because a large number of analyses were performed by chemists working with Malcolm Pirnie, most of the core has been analyzed for such things as Total Organic Carbon (TOC), grain size, heavy metals, radionuclides, and organic priority pollutants. Because Pb-210 has already been measured for this core, the sedimentation rate is available.

My research will focus on a suite of organic geochemistry biomarkers that will help interpret both anthropogenic and natural changes over time. For example, alkyl chain length determinations can identify terrestrial plant inputs and petroleum contamination. Another useful measurement is the "weathering" of PAH molecules. Weathering is the substitution of methyl- and ethyl- groups for the hydrogens on a PAH molecules. Weathered PAH's are indicative of degraded industrial pollution and petroleum contamination. Within core it might be expected that the concentrations of PAH molecules generally to vary with time as these are the by-products of many industrial processes including the manufacture of domestic gas from coal. The city of Paterson had several coal gasification plants. PAH contamination from industrial dye works might also be present.

Third Publication. Jamaica Bay as New York's Conflicted Backyard, Recreation and Refuse, Trash and Transportation, Wetlands and Wastelands

This publication will explore the issues related to Environmental Management in Jamaica Bay. This history began as an examination of the land uses around Jamaica Bay and an attempt to relate current and past land uses with the types of quantities of sediment contamination.

The primary reason for studying the environmental history of Jamaica Bay is that it is a case study of the conflicting demands placed on urban estuaries. The bay's relative isolation in the 1700s and first half of the 1800s prevented it from becoming part of the expanding city. The villages round its shores were minor fishing communities and the hinterlands were still largely agricultural. By the 1840s the islands in the bay attracted two uses that thrived in isolation, a resort hotel and a waste reduction plant.

In the latter decades of the 1800s we see developing conflicts over the bay and its future. Barren Island in the western half of the bay became the principle site of the city's odiferous waste processing industries where dead animals, butcher's offal, old bones, and all types of food waste were converted into grease and fertilizer. Fish oil processing plants soon joined the waste processing operations and contributed their own aroma to those already wafting over the bay. A very short distance from Barren Island, Coney Island was developing into New York's seaside playground for the masses and Manhattan Beach was developing into a seaside resort for the upper classes. The Rockaway Peninsula grew into a popular resort and desirable place to live. After the 1860s the growth of suburban railroads in Brooklyn and Queens brought development to the communities surrounding the bay as well as a new influx of tourists.

The battle lines were soon drawn. Commercial fishermen fought with hoteliers and recreational anglers over the fish stocks. Hoteliers fought with waste haulers over the ocean dumping of garbage. Oystermen, waterfront communities, and resort owners fought with sewer designers (and the developers who needed new sewers). And of course, everyone fought with the waste processing plants. Shortly after 1900, into this mass of conflicting desires came a bold proposal by the city of New York to convert the entire bay and all of the islands inside it to a new seaport capable of handling the largest ocean going ships.

What should have been the last battle over the future of Jamaica Bay was fought between New York City Parks Commissioner Robert Moses and the Department of Sanitation during the mid 1930s. Moses' agency had been given the bay to be converted into a new park but the Department of Sanitation had no alternative sites available for waste disposal. Moses mounted a massive public relations campaign that forced the sanitation department out of the bay and set the pattern for future use as a park.

When Jamaica Bay became a National Park in 1972 the idea of an urban park was new and untried. Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge came with a subway running through the middle of it, shorelines used as dumps by local residents who otherwise prided themselves on keeping their neighborhoods clean (Earth Day was also a new idea at the time), jet aircraft, active landfills, and amazingly, untouched and vibrant wildlife habitat.

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