Planning and Preparing an Ecological Risk Assessment

More Information
Understanding the Approach and Strategy in Performing ERA's
Course Title: Planning and Preparing an Ecological Risk Assessment
Course ID: REM-405
Status: CLOSED
Date(s): November 5, 2014: 8:30am - 4:30pm
November 6, 2014: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Location: Courtyard Marriott Sacramento Midtown
4422 Y Street
Sacramento, CA
Instructor: Charles R. Harman, P.W.S.
Tuition: $645 / $595*
$545 / $495* (Before October 4, 2014)
Class is Closed




In this 2-day course, attendees will learn and review both the technical and regulatory approaches to completing ecological risk assessments. Participants will come away with an understanding of the planning and preparation process for the completion of an ERA, including data development needs, selection of endpoints, and the development of lines of evidence. Understanding the topics covered will give attendees the ability to accurately assess the potential for ecological risk, which is paramount to the remedial decision-making process. In today’s environmental project planning, this can make the difference between the success or failure of a recommended action or approach.

During the course, attendees will examine the development of ERAs in both aquatic and terrestrial settings, and will receive a broad overview of the ecological risk assessment (ERA) process as it is used in evaluating potential environmental risks and liabilities associated with hazardous waste sites. Emphasis will be placed on providing a hands-on understanding of ecological risk assessment using the basic ERA paradigm as outlined in USEPA’s Ecological Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund (ERAGS). Case studies and active engagement with the attendees will be used to reinforce the points presented in lecture.

"Very knowledgable instructor…[liked] case studies and field trip." N. Bland, July 31-Aug.1, 2013

"Knowledgable/experienced and a good presenter..[liked] intro to a subject I need to understand." A. Kapell, July 31-Aug.1, 2013

"The information was presented/taught very well.  I have a better understanding of ERA's.  I am very impressed with the course." C. Marchand, September 2013

"The instructor was great! He was very knowledgable of the subject and explained it well.  Very Helpful – even for someone involved in a ERA for the last four years." C. Marchand, September 2013

*Reduced tuition is available for Native American tribes, government employees, nonprofits, students and AFS, NAEP, NEBC, TAEP members.

You may register online or by calling the Northwest Environmental Training Center at (425) 270-3274. Online registration is strongly encouraged.

Please wait to receive a course confirmation email, roughly one month prior to the class, before making any travel arrangements.

Intended Audience:

This course is intended for environmental professionals including, but not limited to government and contractor personnel involved in site cleanup, environmental consultants, environmental lawyers, engineers, remedial managers, and environmental students.

Continuing Education Units: 1.20 CEUs

Course Materials:

Attendees will receive a course manual containing workshop proceedings and reference material.

More Information

Course Topics

  • Regulatory requirements
  • General overview of ecological risk assessment
  • Review of the 8-step ERAGS process
  • Regional and/or state approaches and perspectives
  • Problem formulation
  • Conceptual site models
  • Characterization of exposure
  • Characterization of ecological effects
  • Risk characterization
  • Uncertainty analysis
  • Special circumstances
  • Conclusion



About the Instructor

Charles R. Harman, P.W.S.

Charles R. Harman, P.W.S.

A terrestrial ecologist, Charles Harman has over 23 years of experience in the environmental consulting field. Chuck specializes in natural resource related assessment and management activities, including ecological risk assessments, sediment evaluations, biological assessments, natural resource damage assessments, wetlands management and ecological restorations. He is responsible for the completion of ecological risk assessment projects and wetlands evaluations at hazardous waste sites and industrial facilities around the country. He utilizes his expertise in vertebrate zoology and physiology, botany, and applied and systems ecology in the development of ecological risk assessments at CERCLA, RCRA, and other hazardous waste sites. Chuck has conducted ecological risk assessments using a variety of USEPA headquarters, regional, program, and State methodologies and has been involved at sites ranging in physical location from New England to the tropics and has focused on terrestrial, aquatic, and wetland systems.

Chuck has also managed the assessment of potential impacts to natural resources as part of complex Environmental Assessment (EA) projects under NEPA or Department of Defense related regulations. Projects have included energy related activities such as wind farm development and LNG terminal siting, as well as large scale construction and development. He has been actively involved in the design and construction of both mitigation wetlands and constructed wetlands for treatment purposes. He has designed and managed wetland restoration projects as part of remediation activities including red maple swamps, freshwater marshes and coastal emergent marshes. Chuck has assisted clients in the evaluation of potential NRD claims at both the Federal and the State level. He has extensive experience in designing and directing complex environmental investigations and negotiating with state and federal regulatory agencies and is actively involved in many aspects of natural resource damage assessment, including the verification of injuries and lost services, and the development of detailed restoration plans. His duties include client and project management, supervision of junior staff, as well as technical completion of work assignments.

What to Bring

Pen or pencil to take notes.  Lunch will be on your own but drinks and snacks will be provided throughout each day. 

Billing Information

In order to guarantee a space in a course, the tuition must be paid in full TWO WEEKS before the first day of the course by either check or credit card. State and government agencies paying with a purchase order are allowed payment under the two-week time frame if a copy of the purchase order is received by NWETC.

If You Need to Cancel


  • With 31 or more days notice, we will offer a 100% refund or credit towards a future course. The credit is good for one year and may be applied to any course.
  • With 30-8 days notice, we will offer a course credit towards a future course. The credit is good for one year and may be applied to any course.
  • With fewer than 8 days notice, there is no course credit available

*Please note that attendee replacement is welcome at any time

Disability Accommodations

Disability Accommodations:

To request disability accommodations, please contact us at or 425-270-3274 at least 30 days prior to the event.


  • From:

  • To:
  •   4422 Y Street Sacramento, CA 95817



*Reduced tuition available to employees of Native American tribes, nonprofits, and government agencies; students; and NAEP members.

If you have any trouble registering please call (425) 270-3274 ext 103
Please wait to receive a course confirmation email, roughly one month prior to the class, before making any travel arrangements. Please review what to bring!


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