December 4, 2015

Key Personnel

Key Personnel


Greg E. Challenger, M.S., President

Mr. Challenger is a marine scientist with 30 years of experience in environmental resource management and marine and freshwater habitat assessment and restoration. Mr. Challenger has responded to over 70 oil and chemical spills, vessel casualties with Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS) and vessel groundings on coral reefs worldwide. In addition to scientific support for Natural Resource Damage Assessment under OPA and other international pollution regulations, Mr., Challenger has experience in a number of CERCLA cases including Portland Harbor, Oregon and The Passaic River, New Jersey.  Mr. Challenger helped form Polaris Applied Sciences in 1998 and is currently on the board of directors. He was the lead investigator for the Shoreline Natural Resource Damage Assessment for BP during the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Prior to forming Polaris, Greg taught marine resource management and coral reef ecology at the Center for Marine Resource Conservation in the Turks and Caicos, BWI, the Newfound Harbor Marine Institute in the Florida Keys, and aboard the SSV Westward in the Eastern Caribbean for the Semester at Sea program accredited by Boston University. Click here for full bio.

 Elliott TaylorDr. Elliott Taylor, Principal

Dr. Taylor has over 35 years of worldwide experience as a marine scientist and over 20 years of experience in oil spill response. Dr. Taylor is recognized as a leader in formulation of response planning organizations, development of contingency plans, and technical support for environmental issues in oil spill response.  He has managed the preparation of comprehensive spill preparedness programs for international operations in North and South America, Africa, Middle East, and Russia entailing risk assessment, prevention measures, coordination with national to local officials, shoreline and sensitive area mapping, equipment selection and warehousing, and training and exercises. He has been instrumental in Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique (SCAT) implementation programs since the Exxon Valdez. Dr. Taylor is on the IMO roster of technical experts and consultants for oil spill response and has led numerous workshops through UNEP, RAC-REMPEITC, and IPIECA initiatives for development and enhancement of national oil spill contingency plan programs. He has provided leadership to numerous multi-disciplinary research programs for both industry and international scientific programs. Click here for full bio.

 Andy GrahamAndrew W. Graham, M.S., Principal/Marine Scientist

Mr. Graham has over 13 years of experience in the emergency response field providing scientific and technical support, including but not limited to chemical, water and sediment sampling, coral reef assessment, Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Team (SCAT) surveys, bathymetry work, and data analysis. He has responded to a variety of oil and chemical spills and ship groundings throughout the world. In addition to field support, Mr. Graham is a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and computer specialist for Polaris, utilizing GIS software to generate maps to aid emergency response operations and for natural resource damage assessment studies. Click here for full bio.

headshot_TLATeresa L. Allard, Spill Response/Emergency Management Specialist

Ms. Allard has over 19 years of work experience within the emergency response community as a Spill Response Specialist providing scientific and technical support during on-site emergency response for the Environmental Unit within the Incident Command Center. Ms. Allard participates in Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Techniques (SCAT), maintains the SCAT database; tracking all Shoreline Oiling Summary (SOS) forms, GPS coordinates, track lines, waypoints, photographs, inspection reports, and treatment recommendations. She assists in preparing situation/status oiling maps, segment oiling conditions and treatment tracking, team coordination, daily/weekly reports, and final segment signoff status. She also provides remote project research and data development in support of responding senior scientist. Click here for full bio.

Jose-headshotJose M. Rios, M.S., Emergency Management Specialist/Marine Scientist

Mr. Rios is a civil engineer with a strong marine science and emergency management (EM) background.  He comes to Polaris with over 20 years of successfully promoting Engineering, HES, and Emergency Management growth through strategic leadership and innovative integration of challenging functional areas.  He joined Polaris in February 2013 following more than 10 years of experience in the EM arena for major oil and gas corporations.  He combines strong leadership and team building skills with the ability to capture business advantage, negotiate and establish tactical alliances, direct project planning and execution, instill an incident-free culture in organizations, and manage corporate reputation. He has provided leadership and management to numerous real EM events that required coordinating representatives from science community, industry and governmental agencies to meet response strategic objectives.  He holds a master degree in Coastal Zone Management from the Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center. Click here for full bio.

 Travis-headshot1Travis Scott, M.S., Environmental Scientist

Mr. Scott comes to POLARIS with a background in water resources management and ecology and a certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).  He has previous field experience involving wetland and watershed restoration techniques as well as critical habitat identification and characterization.  With POLARIS he has responded to oil spills and groundings, providing data management and scientific/field support including scientific diving.  In addition, Mr. Scott utilizes GIS software to perform analysis, generate maps and to aid emergency response operations and for natural resource damage assessment studies.  He also assists POLARIS in oil spill response exercises and Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique (SCAT) training courses.   Click here for full bio.

Dr. Stephan Gmur, Environmental Scientist

Dr. Stephan Gmur has been with Polaris Applied Sciences since 2014 as an Environmental Scientist. He has contributed to a wide range of different projects including pre-spill assessments for both inland and coastal water ways, post spill monitoring and impacts evaluation and development of data capture workflows during spill events. His previous work experiences include working for NOAA, private consulting firms, local government and the University of Washington.

Allison-headshotAlison Craig, M.S., M.P.A., Environmental Scientist

Ms. Craig provides over 20 years of experience in oceanography, environmental monitoring, ecological risk assessment, and natural resource management. For the past 10 years Ms. Craig has been involved with spill response, prevention, and contingency planning. She has assisted with the preparation of numerous integrated spill response plans for regulatory compliance, spill response tactics manuals, and designed and developed databases in support of regional, national, and international spill response planning and preparedness in the U.S., Canada, Chad, Cameroon, Qatar, and Russia. She also worked extensively on studies analyzing impacts of contaminants to aquatic biota and programs providing support to NOAA’s Natural Resource Damage Assessment Program.

Gary MausethGary S. Mauseth, M.S., Founder

Mr. Mauseth has over 35 years of experience in the management and technical aspects of a wide variety of projects in the marine and freshwater environments. He has provided scientific support to vessel interest in over ninety spills, groundings, and natural resource damage assessment cases in the United States and its territories, as well as in Canada, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Micronesia, Chile, and the Bahamas. Mr. Mauseth has authored numerous publications and presentations on oil spill, NRDA and restoration. He has also represented industry regarding the development of federal and state rules relative to NRDA and OPA 90. Click here for full bio.