Catherine Sloan graduated magna cum laude from the University of Washington with a B.S. in chemistry. She began working at the NWFSC in 1983 as a chemist in the Organic Analyses group. In 1989, she began supervising the Organic Analyses sample preparation and the gas chromatograph laboratory within the group. Prior to the Center's reorganization, she held the position of Supervisory Research Chemist from 1991 to 1997, supervising a team of up to 13 chemists and technicians in the Organic Analyses laboratories within the Environmental Assessment Program. Subsequently, she participated in developing and improving methods to analyze for environmental contaminants and fatty acids.
Catherine is involved in the quality assurance of analyses for organic contaminants and in developing, testing and evaluating new analytical methods. These analyses include the operation of accelerated solvent extractors, high-performance liquid chromatographs, gas chromatograph-mass spectrometers and liquid chromatograph-triple quadrupole mass spectrometers for precisely measuring concentrations of anthropogenic contaminants, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, chlorinated pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in various environmental samples, including biota, water and sediment.