Karessa has a M.S. in Geography with a minor in Computational Sciences and B.S. in Geology and Environmental Studies with a minor in Geography from the University of Tennessee. She is an environmental risk analyst in the Environment Risk and Energy Analysis Group in the Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Her primary work consists of environmental model development and application in addition to quality assurance management protocols for model implementation. Karessa manages and executes quality assurance protocols and model development for online tools funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These tools measure exposure risk in diverse scenarios, including resident, recreator, farmer, and worker exposure to radionuclides and chemicals.
Notable tasks include: website quality assurance management for the Risk Assessment Information System (RAIS), EPA’s Regional Screening Levels for Chemical Contaminants at Superfund Sites (RSL), EPA’s Regional Removal Management Levels for Chemicals (RML), EPA’s Preliminary Remediation Goals for Radionuclides (PRG), EPA’s Dose Compliance Concentrations for Radionuclides (DCC), EPA’s Building Preliminary Remediation Goals for Radionuclides (BPRG), EPA’s Dose Compliance Concentrations for Radionuclides in Buildings (BDCC), EPA’s Surface Preliminary Remediation Goals for Radionuclides (SPRG), EPA’s Dose Compliance Concentrations for Radionuclides in Outdoor Surfaces (SDCC), and chemical PRG and risk tools for the State of Alaska. In addition, she writes technical memoranda, as necessary, for major website model updates and collaborates with many sponsors including ORNL, EPA, and the Army.