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Joseph Nicolette

Senior Principal

Joseph Nicolette is an ecologist with over 30 years of experience in the environmental consulting field with a focus on site risk and remedial alternative management, natural resource damage assessment (NRDA), net environmental benefit analysis (NEBA), human health and ecological risk assessment, oil spill response and tactical planning, compensatory mitigation and site restoration valuation (ecological and human use), project permitting and coordination support (e.g., EIS, EA, ESA), ecosystem service valuation, fisheries, and aquatic ecology. He is Senior Principal and Ecosystem Services Practice Leader at Environmental Planning Specialists, Inc. (EPS).

He provides strategic advice and oversight for projects to help balance the risks, benefits and tradeoffs associated with competing alternatives (e.g., remediation actions, oil spill response, compensatory mitigation/restoration, and decommissioning actions). His role has been to provide technical direction and assist clients in coordination with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), state agencies, and other stakeholders through the CERCLA process from RI, to FS, to RDRA, and post closure issues, including the NRDA process.

He has served as the Project Coordinator and/or risk management lead on behalf of the responsible party at multiple Superfund (CERCLA) sites. He has experience with sites in EPA Regions 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10.

Joe co-authored the first formalized NEBA framework for risk management of site remediation recognized by the USEPA, the USEPA Science Advisory Board (USEPA SAB), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Mr. Nicolette has been involved in numerous remediation, NEBA, and NRDA related projects.

Areas of Expertise

  • Net environmental benefit analysis (NEBA)
    • Site remediation alternatives analysis
    • Offshore O&G decommissioning alternatives analysis
    • Land development alternatives analysis
  • Natural resource damage assessment (NRDA)
    • Baseline development and analysis
    • Injury determination and studies
    • Ecosystem service valuation and habitat equivalency analysis
    • Compensatory restoration analysis including implementation and oversight
  • Oil spill response tactical planning, emergency response, and post-spill assessment
  • Permitting support and mitigation alternatives analysis
  • Ecological and human health risk characterization
  • Environmental assessment oversight, including agency relations
  • Fisheries and aquatic ecology
  • Complex database design and management


  • M.S. Fisheries Management, 1983. University of Minnesota
  • B.S. Environmental Resource Management, 1980. Penn State University

 Certifications or Training

  • Certified Fisheries Scientist, No. 2,042: 1992
  • Scientific Information Retrieval (SIR) Database System Design and Management
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