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Staff

  • Paul Ziemkiewicz

    Ph.D., Director

    (304) 293-6958

    Dr. Ziemkiewicz, a native of Pittsburgh, received his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia and an MS and BS from Utah State University in the biological sciences. After graduation, he worked for ten years with the Alberta Department of Energy before coming to West Virginia University in 1988 to serve as the Water Research Institute director. The Institute develops and carries out environmental research projects in the region and nationally. Research focus areas include managing and treating waste streams from coal mining and oil and gas development. Major research programs include acid mine drainage, critical mineral and rare earth recovery, coal ash, water use in power generation, coal mine reclamation, industrial water treatment, and watershed restoration.

  • Melissa O'Neal

    Associate Director

    (304) 293-7006

    Melissa O’Neal is the Associate Director for the West Virginia Water Research Institute, where she is responsible for program oversight and supervision of lead managers and Directors of WVWRI divisions. As the Associate Director, she manages the USGS-funded 104b, 104g, and student internship program allocated to the WVWRI as one of the 54 institutes that comprise the National Institutes for Water Research. Melissa started her career with WVWRI as an Environmental Technician in 2008, performing water sample collection for various water quality projects throughout Appalachia. Advancing in her career at WVWRI, Melissa served as a Project and Program Manager between 2014-2019, where she developed and managed a variety of water monitoring projects, building relationships with stakeholders and securing funding for new initiatives. Melissa obtained an Associate of Science degree through the Garrett College Natural Resources and Wildlife and Technology Program and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Resources from West Virginia University.

  • Carrie Staton

    Director, Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center

    (304) 293-7071

    Carrie M. Staton is the Director of the Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center at West Virginia University. Carrie provides strategic direction and oversight for the Center and its programs, including development and management of internal processes; program development and implementation; financial and administrative oversight; and partnership development and management. She also manages programs and projects related to community engagement, education, research, and collaborative redevelopment. She has published case studies on brownfield redevelopment in industry publications and textbooks and has presented at national and international conferences on brownfields and community development. She has also co-authored published research in public administration journals and an edited volume on organizational management. Carrie is a proud alum of Bethany College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Nonprofit Administration, and West Virginia University, where she received a Master of Public Administration.

  • Raymond Moeller

    Economic Redevelopment Specialist

    (304) 293-0390

    Ray Moeller was born and raised in Michigan and went to college at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI, where he received his B.S in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics with a minor in Chemistry. After an extensive career in the pharmaceutical industry, he secured an AmeriCorps VISTA position in West Virginia, leading him into the community and economic development field. As an Economic Redevelopment Specialist, Ray works with communities around the state, focusing on downtown / Main Street redevelopment strategies. When Ray isn’t working, he and his wife Connie enjoy time together hiking, kayaking, biking, and reading.

  • Katie See

    Brownfields Redevelopment Specialist

    (304) 293-6984

    Katie is the Brownfields Redevelopment Specialist for the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center (NBAC). In this role, she serves as the project lead providing technical assistance on industrial legacy sites throughout the state, assisting communities with proposals and site development support to establish sustainable economic development initiatives for West Virginia. Before joining the NBAC, Katie worked as a city and county planner since 2006, starting her career as the city planner for Charles Town, WV, where she had the opportunity to work with brownfield sites. Katie also served as a long-range planner for the City of Clearwater, FL, and a senior planner in the Charlotte, NC, metro area. Throughout her career, Katie has worked with communities and stakeholders to create plans to achieve their vision. Katie received her undergraduate degree in urban affairs and planning from Virginia Tech and her master's from American Public University in environmental policy & management. Katies also received her AICP certification in 2019.

  • Nicole Dias

    BAD Buildings Project Associate

    (304) 293-6990

    Nicole Dias is a Project Associate at WVU BAD Buildings. Within the program, Nicole helps communities establish sustainable community development initiatives that will enhance the well-being and quality of life for the people of WV, attract investment to communities, and maximize resources in the state. With Nicole's experience with ArcGIS and comprehensive planning, Nicole facilitates the implementation of community development strategies on abandoned and dilapidated properties. Her work includes coordinating stakeholder groups, project identification, project prioritization, site redevelopment plans, and pursuing public and private sector funding opportunities. Nicole also has experience with ArcGIS mapping and Comprehensive Planning. Nicole grew up in Morgantown, where she earned a Bachelors in Multidisciplinary Studies from WVU, specializing in Public Relations, Sustainable Design, and Communication Studies. In May of 2018, Nicole earned her Master's degree in Urban Planning at Texas A&M with a specialization in Environmental Hazards.

  • Cristyn Bauer

    Outreach and Education Coordinator

    (304) 293-7002

    Cristyn is the Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center (NBAC) and the West Virginia Water Research Institute (WVWRI). In this role, Cristyn helps to support all outreach activities of the NBAC and the WVWRI, including organizing and managing events and coordinating educational materials such as newsletters and website/social media content. Cristyn earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies from Shepherd University, focusing on Sustainable Resource Management. She is currently working towards her Master of Science degree in Environmental Policy and Management from American Public University. Cristyn enjoys hiking with her dogs, kayaking, rock climbing, and trail running in her spare time.

  • Drew Bucy

    Project Manager

    (304) 293-7003

    Drew Bucy is a Project Manager for the West Virginia Water Research Institute. In this role, she provides project and budget coordination as well as proposal management support across WRI’s portfolio of projects. Drew specializes in business development and communications and has worked in the federal contracting sphere across a wide variety of fields, including energy and environmental support, international development, and national security. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont and a Master’s from WVU.

  • Kelli Andrew

    Project Manager

    (304) 677-8495

    Kelli Andrew is a Project Manager working in the Office of Research Program Management (ORPM). In the past, Andrew successfully managed projects focused on biometric research through the FBI and various addiction research projects in conjunction with the WVU Health Science Center. Before coming to the Research Corporation in 2019, Kelli worked in several industries, including higher education, aerospace engineering, energy, national security, and government contracting. Currently, Kelli works with the West Virginia Water Research Institute (WRI) team. In this role, she provides proposal and project management support. She says her favorite part of working at WRI is knowing that she contributes to making the earth a cleaner and safer place for future generations. Kelli, a West Virginia native, and proud Prestonian, holds B.S. degrees in Business Administration and Marketing. She also received an M.A. in Communications from West Virginia University. When not working, Kelli enjoys time with her husband and son. She can typically be found walking her dogs, in a golf cart following her son around at golf competitions, or in the bleachers watching her son play baseball.

  • Terry Polce

    Program Assistant II

    (304) 293-7041

    Terry has worked for West Virginia University for 28 years. She first began working at WVU Extension Service in 1994, where she worked for Family, 4-H, and Youth Development. After that, she worked for the wonderful kids' program through Extension, Energy Express, and the Alternative Fuels Training Consortium, a National Resources for Coal and Energy program. Terry began working with the West Virginia Water Research institute in 2005 and has helped make the entire office run smoothly for the last 17 years. In Terry's spare time, she enjoys sun tanning and swimming at her best friend's swimming pool, going on cruises to exotic places and beaches, kayaking (just a beginner), walking, and spending time with her grandchildren. Terry also enjoys spending time walking with her lab/boxer mix, Elliott.

  • Jim Constant

    Critical Materials Program Director

    (304) 293-7009

    Jim is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mining Engineering. With extensive experience in the mining industry, Jim has worked on the design and installation of selenium reduction technologies for mine induced waters and biochemical reactors. Jim is the Critical Materials Program Director at WRI and leads our team in the recovering rare earth elements from acid mine drainage.

  • David Hoffman

    Critical Materials Scientist

    (304) 293-6894

    David is a graduate of Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA, where he obtained a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Chemical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. David has served as a Critical Materials Scientist at WRI since July 2020. David’s primary responsibility is to aid in developing acid leaching and solvent extraction circuits to recover rare elements and critical materials from acid mine drainage treatment. David has a passion for the environment and hopes his work will incentivize landowners to treat their acid mine drainage to help create a better environment for wildlife and local communities.

  • Jason Fillhart

    M.S., M.Ed., Watershed Project Manager

    (304) 293-7066

    Jason Fillhart is the Watershed Project Manager for the West Virginia Water Research Institute. He is charged with managing various projects under the banner of the National Mine Land Reclamation Center at WVWRI. Previously, he worked as the STEM Program Coordinator for WVU Extension Service, and he spent time in an industry setting with Williams Energy, where he was an Environmental Specialist. Mr. Fillhart has over 20 years of experience in the field of environmental science and management of water quality and extensive non-formal teaching experience. Jason was also a Project Coordinator for WVWRI from 2012 to 2018, where he managed projects and was the Primary Investigator for Acid Mine Drainage projects. Mr. Fillhart holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Environmental Science from Thiel College, a Master of Science Degree in Park and Resource Management, and a Master of Education Degree in Environmental Education, both from Slippery Rock University. Jason lives on a 12-acre hobby farm in Washington County, PA, with his wife, son, and chocolate lab.

  • Rachel Pell

    Water Resources Specialist

    (304) 293-6968

    Rachel is a Water Resources Specialist for the West Virginia Water Research Institute. In this role, she provides general support for the coordination and implementation of WVWRI programs such as the Three Rivers QUEST (3RQ) REACH program and acid mine drainage programs. Her work includes conducting field sampling and assisting with outreach efforts. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Penn State Behrend in Erie, Pa. Her recent experiences serving as an AmeriCorps member at Mountain Watershed Association (Laurel Highlands, PA) and Friends of Deckers Creek (Morgantown, WV) have inspired her to protect communities’ water resources. She hopes to accomplish just that through her work at WVWRI.

  • Jude Platz

    Water Resources Technician

    (419) 540-2546

    Jude Platz is a temporary Water Resources Technician and has formerly worked as an undergraduate student worker on the Three Rivers Quest (3RQ) Project. In this new role, Jude will work extensively with WVWRI’s online ArcGIS maps, conduct routine and targeted water sampling, work with water data, and help advise other undergraduate students as needed. Jude graduated from West Virginia University in December 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics and a minor in Mathematics. Outside of the office, Jude is an avid runner, and is currently training for a marathon. He also enjoys hiking, cooking, and video games. Jude will be pursuing a Ph.D. in environmental economics beginning in Fall 2022 and is interested in studying sustainability issues in developing economies.

  • Caitlin Glascock

    Critical Materials Engineer

    (540) 323-4184

    Caitlin is a recent graduate of West Virginia University, where they received their Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Caitlin was formerly an undergraduate student worker within the Critical Materials Program and has since been recruited as the Critical Materials Engineer. Caitlin is responsible for the operation and monitoring of rare earth element recovery processes.

  • Eliza Siefert

    Water Resources Data Technician

    Eliza is a temporary Water Resources Data Technician working within the Waters and Critical Materials divisions. Eliza has been working with WVWRI since May 2021; initially, a student worker focused on Waters and Outreach materials. Her current duties include data upload, developing outreach materials, and water sampling. In May 2022, Eliza graduated from West Virginia University, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Eliza grew up in Parkersburg, WV, where water quality issues first piqued her interest, further driven by the movie Dark Waters (2019), a true story focusing on their hometown. WVWRI is not their first taste of waters experience, and has previously interned for the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge (Williamstown, WV).

  • Deb Dubois

    Part-Time Administrative Assistant

    Deb DuBois joined the WVWRI as a part time office assistant in May 2022. A native of Pittsburgh, Deb now calls West Virginia home. Deb has worked in various industries in administrative assistant roles and most recently worked for one of the region’s largest mining companies in Pennsylvania. WRI’s research and projects are of great interest to Deb, having come from the mining industry. In her spare time, Deb and her husband, Gary, enjoy summers on Tygart Lake, and snow skiing in the winter. Her true passion is training and competing in agility with her border collie, Frankie.