|Tom Bashara at Pavement Test Plots in Austin, TX|
Often the USGS has anonymously referred to Tom as "an astute City of Austin employee" who noticed that just above a contaminated stream tributary was a freshly sealed coal tar lot. He was the first to figure out that coal tar sealants are a potent source of pollution; the co-author of numerous papers on the subject; the first and main "boots on the ground" enforcement officer of Austin's coal tar sealant ban; and the co-inventor of the field test for determining the presence of coal tar sealant. He never wanted the limelight, only to make a difference, which he did immensely.
Update 5-24-11: Here's an edited video of the Austin City Council meeting in 2005 where Tom is acknowledged as the discoverer of this PAH source:
Much more than this, he was an example of true Christian character; a hard worker at home and at the office; forgiving and willing to help out others as much as he could; a devoted family man; a brilliant, creative man who was a tremendous resource for problem solving; and always good for a laugh or joke. It is with the spirit of laughter that I have included a copy of a video I made of him testing a parking lot. He said he laughed so hard at it, that he spilled coffee all over himself. We'll miss you my friend!