About Us

Bert Fisher

J. Berton Fisher, Ph.D.

Dr. Fisher is a founding member and principal of Lithochimeia, Inc. He has worked in the area of environmental litigation since 1993, has written numerous expert reports, and has been qualified as an expert and given testimony before both federal and state courts as well as in administrative hearings. He has worked professionally as a research scientist on matters related to the inorganic and organic geochemistry of the Earth for over thirty years. He has worked on environmental issues arising from the land disposal of wastes from confined animal feeding operations since 1997, has had a special focus on problems related to petroleum exploration and production and other aspects of the petroleum industry since 1981, and has worked on technical environmental matters related to wastes generated by the petroleum and other industries, including the petroleum exploration and production industry since 1973. His experience in technical environmental matters includes site investigations, third-party review of site investigation data, analysis of the chemical and physical characteristics of environmental samples, geochemical mass balance, historic research on petroleum industry practices, including exploration and production operations, transportation, refining and marketing, the environmental chemistry of organic and inorganic contaminants and studies of the fate and transport of organic and inorganic contaminants in soils, sediments and water, the statistical analysis of chemical and geochemical data  and reconstruction of waste profiles at historical industrial sites

Dr. Fisher has published numerous peer-reviewed scientific papers regarding technical environmental matters, and has given numerous technical presentations regarding environmental matters at scientific meetings. He has worked on the engineering and scientific aspects of numerous litigation, regulatory and transaction matters, including, specifically, environmental matters related to the land disposal of animal wastes and petroleum exploration and production.

Prior to forming Lithochimeia, Inc. in 2004, Dr. Fisher was a principal with Exponent.  Prior to that, he was the in-house technical counsel for environmental sciences to Gardere & Wynne, LLP. Before joining Gardere & Wynne, he worked as a research scientist and research supervisor for Amoco Production Company.

Dr. Fisher holds a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from Case Western Reserve University (1979), and a M. S. degree in Earth Sciences from Case Western Reserve University (1976).  He graduated from Yale University in 1973 with a B.S. degree in Geology and Geophysics.  At Yale he won the William R. Belknap prize for undergraduate excellence in geologic studies. He is a Certified Professional Geologist, a Registered Professional Geoscientist in the State of Texas and a Registered Professional Geologist in the State of Mississippi. He has taken numerous professional education courses, including courses in parametric and non-parametric statistics, and has taught statistics, physical geology, historical geology, chemistry, geochemistry, environmental geochemistry, petroleum geology and environmental engineering at the collegiate level.

Complete Curriculum Vitae

Larry Hight

Larry Hight

Mr. Hight is a founding member and principal of Lithochimeia, Inc.  He has extensive experience with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and databases, and possesses more than 20 years of professional experience in the compilation, management and processing of electronic data.  In particular, Mr. Hight has extensive experience in producing graphic displays and constructing and managing databases to support environmental litigation.   He also has experience in planning and implementing quality assurance programs. Mr. Hight’s uses his knowledge of GIS to develop the capabilities for the assembly of environmental data into useful management tools that are used to compare, search, and view collected data in a variety of graphic formats. Mr. Hight produces GIS tools that give clients command of the data as well as the ability to produce persuasive exhibits tailored to their needs.

Mr. Hight has prepared graphics for numerous environmental and other litigation projects using both GIS software and various types of graphic software and databases.  These graphics have been used to inform the legal staff involved in environmental cases and assist them in developing appropriate litigation approaches. Mr. Hight’s graphic displays of complex data  have frequently been used as exhibits and as demonstrative aids in proceedings before both federal and state courts as well as administrative bodies.

Prior to co-founding Lithochimeia, Inc. in 2004, Mr. Hight worked as a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Graphic Support Specialist for Exponent (2000 – 2004) and for Gardere & Wynne, L.L.P. (1992-2000) and from 1991-1992 for GP Publishing.  Prior to that, Mr. Hight served as an officer in the United States Navy, and left the Navy with the rank of Lieutenant Commander in 1990. From 1986 to 1990 he was assigned to the Naval Reserve Force Staff based in New Orleans, LA where he held assignments as Reserve Officer Program Manager and earlier as Damage Control Trainer Project Manager. Prior to joining the Naval Reserve Force Staff, he served as Assistant First Lieutenant and Deck Division Officer aboard USS Cayuga (LST-1186) and prior to that as Supply, Personnel and Operations Division Officer aboard USS Moctobi (ATF-105).

Mr. Hight holds a B.A. degree in English from Oklahoma City University (1975). In addition he completed three years of a Master’s Program in Chinese Studies with special emphasis in history, culture and political development, including three years of Chinese Language Study, and has a working knowledge of conversational and written Chinese.  Mr. Hight also lived in Japan for two years and has working knowledge of Japanese Language and culture. He also has competency in conversational French.

Mike Smolen

Michael D. Smolen, Ph.D.

Dr. Smolen joined Lithochimeia, Inc. after his retirement from Oklahoma State University, where he served for approximately 20 years as Professor of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering and Water Quality Coordinator for the Division of Agricultural Science and Natural Resources. Dr. Smolen’s experience includes research and teaching in the area of water quality, watershed hydrology, watershed modeling, sediment and erosion control, and storm water management. He has conducted research on agricultural water quality, evaluating cropland and animal waste management practices and their water quality impacts. Dr. Smolen has worked as a consulting expert and an expert witness on several occasions in Oklahoma, giving depositions and testimony at trial.

Prior to coming to Oklahoma in 1990, Dr. Smolen worked in Virginia and North Carolina. As a graduate research assistant in the early 1970s he developed monitoring protocols for the Occoquan Watershed Monitoring Laboratory in Northern Virginia. From 1975 to 1983 he established the agricultural water quality research program at Virginia Tech. From 1983 to 1990 at NC State University, he led the Water Quality Group and directed the National Water Quality Monitoring Program,which was jointly sponsored by the U.S. EPA and the U. S. Department of Agriculture. In this capacity he provided technical assistance and review to EPA and USDA in the management of 20 Rural Clean Water Program projects around the country. In 1987 he developed the initial EPA guidance for targeting 319 Nonpoint Source Projects. While at NC State University he developed the North Carolina Erosion and Sediment Control Planning and Design Manual and the North Carolina Erosion and Sediment Control Field Manual, documents that are frequently referenced by EPA in their guidance for stormwater management. In Oklahoma he conducted research and educational programs on poultry waste application, agricultural nonpoint source, management of runoff from nurseries, and groundwater protection. In addition he has conducted short courses on stormwater management for engineers, managers, and developers.

Dr. Smolen holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering from Virginia Tech, a MS from University of Tennessee, and a BS from the University of Rochester. He has numerous publications on water quality, watershed management, stormwater management, and other areas of water resources. He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his work in water quality and water resources.

Mike Smolen

Kumar Ramachandran, Ph.D.

Dr. Kumar Ramachandran serves as geophysical advisor for Lithochimeia, LLC. In this role, he provides environmental geophysical data acquisition design, data processing and data interpretation services. Dr. Ramachandran is currently assistant professor of geosciences at the University of Tulsa, but previously worked for more than 15 years in exploration geophysics for the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (India).

At the University of Tulsa, Dr. Ramachandran teaches courses in Petroleum Geophysics, Physics of the Earth, Applied Geophysics, Field Methods in Geophysics, Exploration Seismology, Integrated Seismic Data Interpretation, Time Series Analysis and Inverse Theory, and Advanced Seismic Data Processing.

Dr. Ramachandran's has active research foci in seismic tomography (reflection and refraction) and the application of electrical methods (resistivity, electromagnetic methods (EM) and ground penetrating radar (GPR)) for the solution of problems in environmental geology, hydrogeology and mineral exploration.

Dr. Ramachandran is the recipient of the Dr. Hari Narain Medal from the Mining, Geological and Metallurgical Institute of India for best student in geophysics in 1985 and in that year was also the recipient of the Indian School of Mines medal for first position in Applied Geophysics. He was also the recipient of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada Visiting Fellowship(2003-2005).

Dr. Ramachandran holds a Ph.D. in Earth Science from the University of Victoria, Canada, an M. Tech. in Petroleum Exploration from the Indian School of Mines and an M. Sc. Tech. in Applied Geophysics from the Indian School of Mines.

Additional information concerning Dr. Ramachandran's work, including his list of publications and conference presentations is available at