James A. Kelsey, PG

KelseyJ4_webJames A. Kelsey, PG

Landfill, Vadose Zone, Soil Physics

Albuquerque, New Mexico

James Kelsey’s career at DBS&A began in 1992, working as a research and development scientist in DBS&A’s Soil Testing and Research Laboratory. Now, as President, he is responsible for leading the firm and overseeing a staff of nearly 100.

His technical and managerial experience includes extensive fieldwork, project management, research and development, work plan and cost estimate preparation, technical reporting, and interaction with state regulatory officials.

Mr. Kelsey oversees a wide variety of environmental projects for clients that range from government agencies, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) Petroleum Storage Tank Bureau (PSTB), Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Los Alamos National Laboratory, and New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT); to the Cities of Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and Las Cruces, New Mexico; and from private-sector companies, such as Waste Management of New Mexico, Southwest Landfill, U.S. Ecology, and Freeport McMoRan; to tribal entities, such as Pueblo of Jemez, Cherokee Nation, Hopi Tribe, Navajo Nation, Pueblo of Acoma, Pueblo of Cochiti, and Pueblo of Sandia.

According to a confidential waste management client, Mr. Kelsey has “been very responsive to the needs of the [client]. He has been patient and persistent in resolving delays caused by funding and regulatory issues. He has kept projects on schedule and within budget by participating in meetings, giving presentations, and continually providing technical documentation and supporting material in a timely manner.”

At a one-day workshop sponsored by the U.S. EPA, Mr. Kelsey was invited to present on the design, modeling, construction, and monitoring of water balance covers for landfills, waste repositories, and mine waste. He also presented instructional workshops in five Australian states, providing information to landfill owners and Department of Environment and Resource Management regulators regarding assessment and design techniques for ET covers as a cost-effective alternative to traditional landfill covers.


  • Education

    MS, Civil Engineering, University of New Mexico

    BS, Geology, University of New Mexico

  • Registration / Certification

    Professional Geoscientist, Texas

    Professional Geologist, Utah

    Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) Training

    OSHA Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Training (HAZWOPER)

  • Patents

    U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent No. 6,467,994 B1, 2002, Apparatus and method for beneficial use or handling of run-off or collected water

    U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent No. 6,749,368, 2004, Design monitoring and control of soil carburetors for degradation of volatile compounds

  • Specializations

    Vadose zone hydrology and investigations

    Hydraulic properties testing

    Automated data acquisition

    Water balance cover design, alternative landfill covers (evapotranspiration [ET]/phytocap)

    Infiltration and enhanced recharge studies

    Groundwater and soil testing and remediation

  • Affiliations

    National Ground Water Association

    American Water Resources Association

Select Publications and Presentations

Representative Projects

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia​

Mr. Kelsey was project manager and technical lead for borrow materials investigation, UNSATH modeling, feasibility study, and recommendations report.

Mr. Kelsey served as principal-in-charge for 2011 ACEC Engineering Excellence award-winning design and implementation of a jet grout barrier and soil vapor extraction (SVE)/hot air injection (HAI) system for contaminant and remediation of free-phase gasoline.