James (Jim) Mercer, a former SERDP Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) member and advisor in the SERDP/ESTCP Environmental Restoration program area, passed away on March 11, 2015, after a seven-month battle with cancer. Jim was a world renowned expert in modeling groundwater flow and transport and published more than 100 articles.

Jim received his Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Illinois, and joined the U.S. Geological Survey where he worked as a hydrogeologist with a focus on groundwater research. In the late 1970s, Jim taught at George Washington University. In 1979, he co-founded GeoTrans, an environmental consulting firm, where he worked on a variety of Environmental Protection Agency projects cleaning up Superfund sites, most notably Love Canal for which he won the prestigious Wesley W. Horner Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1985. In the late 1980s, GeoTrans was purchased by Tetra Tech, where Jim remained until his passing.

Through his work, Jim supported many different governmental organizations including the Department of Energy, Department of Defense, and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He chaired and participated in numerous committees and expert panels advising best methods and technologies to clean up contaminated sites. In 1994, he received the American Institute of Hydrology’s Thesis award for significant contributions to groundwater hydrology.

Jim served as a SERDP SAB member from 2006 to 2013 and provided numerous recommendations and key insights to the SERDP Council regarding technologies, research, projects, programs, activities, and funding. He participated in several SERDP/ESTCP strategic planning workshops (Workshop on the Long Term Management of Contaminated Groundwater Sites, 2013; Expert Panel Workshop on Reducing the Uncertainty of DNAPL Source Zone Remediation, 2006; Expert Panel Workshop on Research and Development Needs for Cleanup of Chlorinated Solvent Sites, 2001), and helped author the workshop summary reports. Jim also consulted on numerous SERDP and ESTCP research and demonstration projects over the years.

Later in life, Jim authored several novels featuring a geologist as the protagonist: The Scrolls, The Volcano, and The Tsunami. A fourth novel is in the works and will be published posthumously.

We at SERDP and ESTCP fondly remember Jim; he will be missed.