I have 31 years of experience, and specialize in the field of trace metals biogeochemistry with specific knowledge in the areas of trace metals speciation, especially of mercury, arsenic, and selenium and the optimization of wastewater and gaseous emissions. I have published on such topics as the speciation and cycling of mercury in the Venice lagoon (Italy), chemical fingerprinting of archaeological objects and the source of dimethyl mercury emissions from cold-war era nuclear waste tanks. In the year 2000, I recieved a call from a mining consultant, asking if I could evaluate and give advice on a huge mercury spill high in the Andes of Peru. I said yes, and the client said “report to Continental airlines tomorrow at 11:00 am to be flown to Peru.” This was unusual–with no time to prepare or study up on the project, except what they could fax me in the next couple hours–I was transported overnight first to Lima, and then in a rattly 50 year old military transport to Cajamarca–high in the Andes. I had no time to get a malaria innoculation (they said that there is no malaria at high altitude), and nothing to prepare for working at 15,000 feet–so I chewed coca, like the natives. More surprising, as soon as I arrived (morning) with no time to rest, I was pressed into a high level meeting with the mine owners, consultants, and Peruvian government–lawyers on all sides except mine–followed after a few hours by transport to the spill site–to begin my evaluation immediately. Over the next week, I had to arrange set up of an ultra-sophisticated mercury research analytical laboratory on site–bringing in more folks, specialty equipment from friends and colleagues around the globe, and fighting an all powerful government bureaucracy to bring things into the country (chemicals, etc.) that normally take many months to get through the system. Luckily the mining company had “people who knew people…” In any case, we perservered, and we able to generate an excellent 1st world level research study of the spill (41 km long!) and its consequences within a month of its occurance (with follow-up studies after I returned home, that went on for several years). Trying to convey the scientific truth about the various situations to a room full of government and mine representatives, all of whom had their own adgenda and lawyers–all in a background or rural Peru, where people still lived in mud huts with no electricity or water–was an experience that I will never forget!