Dr. Scott Becker is an ecotoxicologist specializing in sediment quality evaluations, sediment toxicity testing, benthic ecology, fish ecology, and fish pathology. He holds professional certifications as a Fisheries Scientist by the American Fisheries Society and as a Senior Ecologist by the Ecological Society of America. Dr. Becker has directed a wide variety of projects related to the ecological effects of toxic chemicals in freshwater, estuarine, and marine sediments throughout the United States. Dr. Becker has conducted numerous ecological risk assessments (ERAs) and natural resource damage assessments (NRDAs) to evaluate potential injuries to benthic macroinvertebrates, fishes, and aquatic-dependent wildlife at a variety of Superfund, RCRA, and other kinds of sediment sites. He is a co-developer of the apparent effects threshold (AET) approach for establishing sediment quality guidelines (SQGs), and he used that approach to help develop the sediment management standards for Washington State. Dr. Becker has used the most recent advances in sediment science to evaluate chemical toxicity at various sediment sites, including development of site-specific SQGs, use of the SQG quotient approach, use of toxicity identification evaluations (TIEs), and evaluation of metals bioavailability using acid volatile sulfide (AVS), simultaneously extracted metals (SEM), chemical speciation and electron microprobe analysis.
Dr. Becker has also evaluated the ecological effects of oil spills, sewage disposal, pulp mill effluents, and dredge-spoil dumping. He has authored a variety of journal publications and technical reports, and has chaired regional workshops to develop standardized environmental sampling protocols for Puget Sound. Dr. Becker has given technical presentations to numerous state and federal agencies, and he has participated in negotiations of remedial actions with multiple stakeholder groups. He has helped design remediation plans that included dredging, containment capping, thin layer placement, and monitored natural recovery (MNR). He has also helped design remedial plans that optimize habitat, including enhancements of macrophyte beds, soft-bottom benthic habitat, fish spawning and nursery areas, wetlands, and shoreline stabilization.