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Exposure Research

Human Exposure & Atmospheric Sciences Staff

Karen D. Oliver

Title: Research Chemist

EPA Division: Human Exposure and Atmospheric Sciences Division

EPA Branch: Environmental Characterization and Apportionment Branch

Karen has twenty-nine years of experience in methods development and evaluation of analytical techniques and air monitoring instrumentation (both canister and sorbent-based systems) for sampling and analysis of parts-per-billion and parts-per-trillion levels of volatile organic compounds in ambient air. Career accomplishments include contributing to the development and refinement of EPA Compendium Methods TO-14, TO-15, and TO-17. Current research activities are development and evaluation of methods for determination of acrolein in ambient air and further refinement of the use of diffusive sampling devices such as Carbopack X sorbent tubes for ambient, fence line, and personal monitoring.


  • B.S., Chemistry, summa cum laude, Western Carolina University, 1983

Professional Experience:

  • Research Chemist, USEPA, ORD, NERL-HEASD, Research Triangle Park, NC 2011-present
  • Principal Senior Scientist, Alion Science & Technology (and predecessor companies Mantech Environmental Technology and Northrop Services – Environmental Sciences), Research Triangle Park, NC 1983-2011

Select Awards and Honors:

  • Scientific and Technological Achievement Award for Sorting Volatile Organics into Source-Related Groups, USEPA, 1990

Select Presentations:

  • Brown, J.L., W.R. Betz, L.M. Sidisky, M.J. Keeler, K.D. Oliver, H.H. Jacumin Jr., E.H. Daughtrey Jr. New Carbopack X metal-passivated adsorbent tube for 24-hour diffusive sampling of 1,3-butadiene and 24 additional volatile organic compounds. Presented at PittCon 2008, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 3-6, 2008.
  • Williams, R.W., A.F. Vette, D.A. Whitaker, C.W. Croghan, P.A. Jones, H. Daughtrey, K. Oliver, H. Jacumin, D.D. Williams, C.E. Rodes, J.W. Thornburg, J.S. Herrington, and J. Zhang. The impact of passive sampling methodologies used in the DEARS. Presented at the National Environmental Monitoring Conference (NEMC), Cambridge, MA, August 20-24, 2007.
  • Williams, R.W., A.F. Vette, D.A. Whitaker, C.W. Croghan, P.A. Jones, E.H. Daughtrey, Jr., K.D. Oliver, H.H. Jacumin, Jr., D.D. Williams, C.E. Rodes, J.W. Thornburg, J.S. Herrington, L. Zhang, J. Tong, J. Zhang. 2006. Use of passive samplers in the DEARS. Presented at the A&WMA Symposium on Air Quality Measurement Methods and Technology, Durham, NC, May 9-11, 2006.

Select Publications:

  • Majestic, Brian J., Garnet B. Erdakos, Michael Lewandowski, Karen D. Oliver, Robert D. Willis, Tadeusz E. Kleindienst, and Prakash V. Bhave. 2010. A review of selected engineered nanoparticles in the atmosphere: sources, transformations, and techniques for sampling and analysis. Int. J. Occup. Environ. Health 16:488-507.
  • Mukerjee, S., K.D. Oliver, R.L. Seila, H.H. Jacumin, Jr., C. Croghan, E.H. Daughtrey, Jr., L.M. Neas, L.A. Smith. 2009. Field comparison of passive air samplers with reference monitors for ambient volatile organic compounds and nitrogen dioxide under week-long integrals. J. Environ. Monit. 11:220-227.
  • McClenny, W.A., H.H. Jacumin, Jr., K.D. Oliver, E.H. Daughtrey, Jr., D.A. Whitaker. 2006. Comparison of 24 h averaged VOC monitoring results for residential indoor and outdoor air using Carbopack X-filled diffusive samplers and active sampling – a pilot study. J. Environ. Monit. 8:263-269.
  • McClenny, W.A., K.D. Oliver, H.H. Jacumin, Jr., E.H. Daughtrey, Jr., D.A. Whitaker. 2005. 24 h diffusive sampling of toxic VOCs in air onto Carbopack X solid adsorbent followed by thermal desorption/GC/MS analysis– laboratory studies. J. Environ. Monit. 7:248-256.
  • McClenny, W.A., K.D. Oliver, H.H. Jacumin, Jr., E.H. Daughtrey, Jr. 2002. Ambient level volatile organic compound (VOC) monitoring using solid adsorbents - Recent U.S. EPA studies. J. Environ. Monit. 4:695-705.

Contact Info:
Karen D. Oliver
Human Exposure & Atmospheric Sciences Division
National Exposure Research Laboratory
US EPA Office of Research and Development
109 TW Alexander Drive
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Telephone: 919-541-2337
Email: oliver.karen@epa.gov

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