IEc science experts help natural resource managers develop sound projects and policies. Our consultants have expertise in chemistry, sedimentology, toxicology, biology, and ecology, and they are versed in the application of scientific principles to real-life environmental policy questions. The support we provide to clients includes:
- Objectively assessing changes in natural resource characteristics;
Modeling the projected environmental benefits of restoration projects;
- Designing and implementing statistically robust sampling and field study plans for primary data collection;
- Developing case-specific and general-use equivalency models;
- Managing field research teams and resulting field data; and
- Conducting training sessions on model use and sampling protocols.
IEc has designed, implemented, and managed a wide range of field studies in support of NRDA cases and other resource assessments. Recent efforts have included beached bird surveys following an oil spill; carcass persistence studies and searcher efficiency studies in beach and marsh habitats; marine sediment toxicity assessments; oyster habitat assessments; and vegetative studies such as mangrove or seagrass habitat assessments. Examples of the services we provide include:
- Field study design, including developing technical work plans, standard operating procedures, and quality control protocols.
- Logistical support, including managing field teams; organizing field schedules to optimize time and resources; and acquiring field supplies such as vessels, lodging, and safety equipment.
- Field team training through development of training manuals and delivery of training sessions.
- Quality control programming, covering protocols for real-time field datasheet checks and data verification and validation.
IEc provides consulting services that cover the full range of chemistry evaluations from study design, sampling, and applied chemical analysis, to the interpretation of chemical data and the use of those data for decision-making. Our services include the following:
- We work with the top U.S. analytical laboratories, including high-throughput labs and specialty R&D labs. We also collaborate with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Geological Survey, and numerous academic labs.
- We design and implement field studies to assess environmental impacts from environmental contaminants such as metals, oil and associated hydrocarbons, PCBs, pesticides, and other compounds. We assess impacts in diverse environmental media such as water, sediment, and biota.
- We develop models of contaminant fate and transport, including bioconcentration and bioaccumulation through foodwebs.
- We interpret chemical information, assisting government agencies in the development of policy related to hazardous contaminant cleanup and ecological and human health risk and impact assessment.
- We assist clients in the assessment of natural resource injury and damages resulting from contaminant releases.
IEc evaluates biological and ecological systems occurring in rivers, lakes, wetlands, coral reefs, oceans, forests, deserts, and other environments in the U.S. and abroad. Our work involves an array of sub-disciplines (e.g., ecotoxicology, community ecology, conservation biology, histology) and diverse analyses that consider wildlife behavior, growth, survival, reproductive success, and productivity.
IEc’s ecologists also have extensive experience designing and conducting field and laboratory studies. Examples include:
- Contaminant exposure in invertebrates, finfish, shellfish, birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians;
- Wetland productivity;
- Ecosystem recovery following forest fires;
- Groundwater contamination;
- Soil and sediment contamination; and
- Ecological constraints on isolated freshwater fish populations.
IEc regularly evaluates and interprets toxicological information in the context of assessing impacts to natural resources. Our services include design of toxicity testing protocols; oversight of laboratories that conduct direct toxicity testing using a range of biological species; and analysis and interpretation of toxicity data. Examples of specific projects in these areas include:
- Field collection and use of sediment in toxicity tests to assess contaminant-related impacts to bivalves, polychaetes, and other standard test organisms.
- Assimilation of toxicity testing information into assessments of natural resource injury and service losses on a wide range of natural resource damage assessment projects.
IEc also applies its toxicology expertise in the context of health policy and risk assessment.