Meet the New Staff
We are proud to welcome two industry experts to our Environmental Standards Team. Kesavalu M. Bagawandoss, Ph.D., J.D., (Dr. Doss) has been appointed as a Senior Advisor in the Knoxville, Tennessee office. John Bolakas, MBA, PG, LSRP, has been appointed as Project Director and Energy Executive, Consulting Geosciences in the Charlottesville, Virginia office.
Dr. Doss came to the United States with two suitcases and $24 to obtain a master’s degree in Chemistry at Wichita State University. He received a Teaching Assistantship to teach freshman-level Chemistry and senior-level Organic Chemistry laboratory classes. Dr. Doss’ passion was statistical thermodynamics of liquids. However, the resources at the university did not provide the necessary tools to pursue that passion, so Dr. Doss ended up writing his thesis on high-temperature thermodynamics leading to mass spectrometry. His first mass spectrometer was a Bendix Time-of-Flight model 109, which occupied three quarters of the research laboratory. Upon completing his master’s degree, Dr. Doss pursued his Ph.D. in Engineering with an Environmental Science option in the School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences at The University of Oklahoma (OU; Boomer Sooner !!!). He worked on land treatment of oil refinery residues, closure of land treatment sites and dust palletization studies of county roads by application of refinery residues as part of his research. This led to a thesis on land treatment sponsored by the US EPA. He, along with the Director of Analytical Services at the OU Department of Chemistry, developed a Fortran program to perform the McLafferty’s and Biller‑Bieman’s forward and reverse mass spectral searches of libraries for priority pollutants. The program output consisted of the modern-day total spectrum, standard spectrum and the difference in spectrum for spectral matches on thermal paper. Dr. Doss had to gain permission from US EPA to utilize the new capillary columns for analysis. During his tenure at OU, he developed sampling programs (factorial 4×4 study), installed monitoring wells, lysimeters and performed field sampling at various sites.
Dr. Doss started out in the real world as an Environmental Chemist performing priority pollutant analysis and simulated distillation of hydrocarbons. He subsequently started with the first US EPA Contract Laboratory Program (CLP) contract for dioxins followed by organics, inorganics, special analytical services, etc.,. He was known as the “Dioxin King.” A Burger King® hat was labeled as “Dioxin King” and placed over his monitor by the owner of the company. His experience over the years included single quadrupole, triple quadrupole and magnetic sector high-resolution mass spectrometry. He provided 20 years of analytical services to the US EPA CLP. His expertise includes all environmental matrices and analytical schemes. He has managed environmental, industrial hygiene and hydrocarbon laboratories, P&L’s, built laboratories both environmental (traditional and air) and hydrocarbon laboratories. He developed environmental forensics capabilities (both analysis and interpretations) at various laboratories during his career. He performed method validations for polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congers sponsored by the US EPA. Dr. Doss’ areas of expertise include laboratory auditing, data management, litigation support and data validation. Twenty years after obtaining his Ph.D., he enrolled in Law School as a daytime, part-time student while managing a laboratory full time. He is currently a licensed Attorney in Louisiana. He served as a Senior Associate Editor of Law Review. Most recently, he served as a Peer Reviewer for the Crude Oil Flammability Study (Phase 2 and Phase 3), sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).a
Much of what John applies in his practice of environmental consulting, passes through a Geologist’s lens of the earth’s natural systems and the influence humans have on those systems. John has, for many years, investigated and remediated site‑specific environmental impacts driven by state and federal environmental regulations. There is now a general consensus that our planet is undergoing global changes that are no longer restricted to only addressing site impacts. According to global population models, in the next 30 years, our planet will need to sustain 11 billion humans (a 43% increase over our current world population). As such, the context of environmental consulting now needs to address science, social and business considerations to deliver solutions.
As a consulting Professional Geologist, Licensed Site Remediation Professional and Energy MBA Executive, John has recognized that the predictable right, and justifiable expectation, to clean air, potable water and energy access are driving much of underlying global concern regarding climate change, resiliency and adaptation. As John learned this summer while attending international MBA classes in energy and economic policy in Amsterdam and London, individuals, companies and nations are faced with complex environmental, social and governance (ESG) decisions. To solve these complex problems requires a strong knowledge of our natural earth systems, multiple lines of evidence and experience.
John has led Groundwater Protection Teams; environmental incident response for spills, releases and loss of well control; ambient-air investigation, and, state and federal regulatory site investigation, remediation and closure; and, environmental business-decision analysis. He is recognized by his clients for his ability to assemble, direct and collaborate with teams of subject‑matter experts and staff to address complex environmental and environmental business matters. He serves as a retained expert and Professional Geologist of record for stray gas migration investigation and site closure. In his current role as Project Director and Energy Executive, Geoscience Consulting, John is leading strategy and decision analysis associated with ESG disclosure and directing geologic consulting projects. John is also an active member of the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s technical committees and has served as the Vice Chair on the US EPA Hydraulic Fracturing Report Workgroup that evaluated technical papers and monitored US EPA activities for coalition members.
John comes to Environmental Standards with 30 years of experience; a B.A. in Geology from Franklin & Marshall College; M.Sc. in Geology from the University of Delaware; and, Energy MBA from University of Oklahoma, Price College of Business. He is a Professional Geologist in Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming, as well as a Licensed Site Remediation Professional in New Jersey.
Kesavalu M. Bagawandoss, Ph.D., J.D.
John Bolakas, MBA, PG, LSRP
Project Director and Energy Executive, Consulting Geosciences
For more information you can reach him at