• Ph.D., Syracuse University, Department of Earth Sciences, February 2005
  • Master of Science, University of Bern, Geological Department, Switzerland, January 1998
  • Bachelor of Modern Languages, University of Zürich, Switzerland, March 1992

Professional Experience

2006 – present

Owner of Nano Trace TechnologiesTM, former Otzhydro, Switzerland

2004 – 2006

Environmental Resources Management (ERM), freelance since 2006

2002 – 2004

Teacher for University College Continuing Education (Introduction to Geology; Earth System Science; Earth Sciences and Environmental Geology) at Syracuse University, NY, USA

1999 – 2002

Research Assistant, Prof. Dr. Donald I. Siegel at Syracuse University, NY, USA Croton Watershed Project

1997 – 1999

Research Laboratory Assistant, Prof. Dr. W. Shotyk at University of Bern, Switzerland (Etang de la Gruère, Solovetsky, Nebuga, Babyn Moh, Hagenmoos, Mautschas)

1986 – 1999

Part-time Field and Laboratory Assistant, Otzhydro in Switzerland (Specialized in FDT in organic-poor environments)

Most Important Tracing Projects

  • Large scale FDT done to asses construction and accidental operational impact of a planned wind mill park in a Karst setting, Jura Mountains, Switzerland, 2013
  • BFA used to trace LNAPLs from an oil field to coastal waters, WA, Australia, 2013
  • BFA-FDT applied for a low-level radiation disposal site, New York, USA, 2013
  • FDT used to assess infiltration of mountain creek water to fractured rock formation to optimize its stabilization above main railway corridor, Swiss Alps, 2013
  • FDT used to evaluate entrainment percentage of a cooling system of a factory, Chesapeake Bay, USA, 2012
  • Large-scale BFA-FDT done to evaluate anthropogenic impacts (well-head protection) for the city of Dietikon, Switzerland, 2011-2013
  • Large-scale FDT well-head protection project done for one of the most prestigious mineral water companies in the Swiss Alps, 2010 – 2011
  • Multiple tracing test done for an active gold mine in the Black Hills, South Dakota, USA; acid mine drainage tracing, liner and retention pond integrity evaluations, 2010-2013
  • BFA and FDT done prior in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) in a DNAPL-contaminated Triassic sandstone aquifer, Germany, 2009-2010
  • FDT done to evaluate anthropogenic impacts (well-head protection) for a prestigious mineral water company, Switzerland, 2009-2010
  • Multiple BFA and FDT done for a global oil company for risk assessment purposes, Australia, 2008-2013
  • BFA and FDT test done prior bio-enhancement injection in a fractured bedrock aquifer, USA, 2006-2007
  • BFA and FDT test done in a LNAPL-contaminated fluvial aquifer, USA, 2002-2003
  • FDT test done in a karst aquifer to assess impact risk of large mining operation, Venezuela, 2001
  • FDT tests done in the Triassic Piora Aquifer for the longest railway tunnel on Earth, Switzerland, 1993-1998
  • Construction of mineral water wells, Iceland, 1993-1994
  • FDT done prior construction of the Mohamed V water dam, Morocco, 1992

Most Important Research done by M.H. Otz:

  • Developed methods to use the intrinsic 2D-fluorescence of a site to locate, delineate and separate organic contaminants and outline its preferential ground water flow paths without the placement of tracer materials, 1999-present
  • Developed methods to successfully detect fluorescent dyes in the ppt-range in heavily DNAPL- and LNAPL-contaminated aquifers, 2002-2010
  • Investigated leaching of organics from common laboratory plastics and filters using background fluorescence analysis, 2003
  • Used fluorescent dye-tracing to identify lake currents in meromictic lakes, 2000-2002
  • Characterized the intrinsic fluorescence of natural dissolved organic carbon from different wetland types and vegetation communities, 2000-2002

Certification and Training

  • 10-hour OSHA Construction Safety, 2013
  • 40-hour OSHA Training, 2004

Professional Affiliations

  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • Geological Society of America (GSA)
  • International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH)
  • Swiss Geological Society (SGS)
  • Swiss Hydrogeological Society (SHS)
  • The National Geographic Society (NGS)


  • Chairman's Award, Syracuse University, 2004
  • Graduate School Travel Grant Award, Syracuse University, 2001 and 2003
  • John James Prucha Award, Syracuse University, May 2001
  • Tuition Syracuse University, Fall 1999-2004