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Society Awards

Our 2021 ASRS Meeting was held virtually where the following award winners were announced and acknowledged.

ASRS Professional Award Criteria Guide

William T. Plass Award

This award is the highest honor the Society has and recognizes those in research, teaching, outreach, and administration. The award is given to a person who has distinguished themselves in the field of disturbed ecosystem reclamation at the local, regional, national, and international levels.

Louis M. McDonald

Nominated by Jeff Skousen

Louis McDonald has been involved in a distinguished career in research, teaching, and practicing of mine land reclamation for over 30 years. His contributions to the field of mine land reclamation is highlighted by over 24 years of research and teaching at West Virginia University (WVU). While at WVU, he was very involved in acid mine drainage research as well as soil science and environmental chemistry work. McDonald earned his BS at California Polytechnic State University in economics, his MS at Louisiana State University in agronomy, and his PhD at the University of Kentucky at Lexington in soil science. While at the University of Kentucky, McDonald worked with Bill Evangelou, who was one of the country’s top soil scientists. Together, they published three revered journal articles and multiple abstracts and book chapters. Since then, while at WVU, McDonald published 58 peer-reviewed journal articles and authored or co-authored 7 book chapters, including a chapter in “Appalachia’s Coal-Mined Landscapes,” recently released, and he has published more than 65 abstracts at international and national meetings. He has advised numerous graduate and undergraduate students while completing 28 projects with $1.5M in funding. McDonald continues to host international scientists at WVU while excelling in teaching. He continues to add new courses and majors to the curriculum and is involved in multiple advisory committees at WVU. McDonald is very active in ASRS as well as the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative (ARRI) and the West Virginia Mine Drainage Task Force. In 2017, he co-organized the ASRS/Task Force/ARRI conference in Morgantown, West Virginia. His list of honors and awards is long and includes the ASRS Richard I. and Lela M. Barnhisel Reclamation Researcher of the Year award in 2016. Congratulations to Louis McDonald on this well-deserved honor.

2021

  • Louis M. McDonald

2020

  • Christopher Barton

2019

  • Dennis Neuman

2018

  • Dr. Robert G. Darmody

2017

  • Dr. Robert Nairn

2016

  • Dr. Carl Zipper, Virginia Tech

2015

  • Dr. Jeff Skousen, West Virginia University

2014

  • Ms. Margaret Dunn, Stream Restoration, Inc

2013

  • Dr. Neil Humphries, Blakemere Consultants Ltd

2012

  • Dr. W. Lee Daniels, Virginia Tech

2011

  • Dr. Arthur W. Rose, Pennsylvania State University

2010

  • Dr. George F. Vance, University of Wyoming

2009

  • Dr. Richard Barnhisel, University of Kentucky (Retired)

2008

  • Dr. Terry Toy, University of Denver (Retired)

2006

  • Mr. Terry Macyk, Alberta Research Council, AB, Canada

2005

  • Dr. Gerald Schuman, High Plains Grasslands Res. Sta. WY

2004

  • Dr. Robert Kleinmann, U.S. Dept. of Energy, NETL, PA

2003

  • Dr. John C. Sencindiver, University of West Virginia

2002

  • Dr. Ronald E. Ries, U.S.D.A.—ARS (Retired)

2001

  • Mr. Richard L. White, Texas Utilities, Dallas, TX

2000

  • Dr. James A. Burger, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

1999

  • Mr. Joe D. Friedlander, Coteau Properties, ND

1998

  • Dr. Gerald L. Lowry, Stephen F. Austin College (Retired)

1997

  • Dr. James De Ment, Consultant

1996

  • Mr. Alten Grandt, Peabody Coal Co. (Retired)

1993

  • Dr. Frank T. Caruccio, University of South Carolina

1992

  • Dr. William E. Sopper, Pennsylvania State University

1991

  • Dr. William C. Ashby, Southern Illinois University

1990

  • Mr. Benjamin C. Greene, West Virginia Mining & Reclamation Assoc.

Richard I. & Lela M. Barnhisel Reclamation Researcher of the Year Award

The Richard I. and Lela M. Barnhisel Reclamation Researcher of the Year award recognizes substantial contributions to the advancement of reclamation science and technology through scientific research.

William H. Strosnider

Nominated by Natalie Kruse-Daniels

William Strosnider has shown outstanding leadership in reclamation research while focusing on acid mine drainage chemistry as well as reclamation ecosystems in the mining industries in Pennsylvania and South America. Strosnider’s educational background resulted in a career in research and development, which can be highlighted by the development of the accredited environmental engineering program at St Francis University and the founding of the Center for Watershed Research and Service (CWRS). As a faculty member, while directing this program at St Francis, he continued his research while mentoring many students in the reclamation sciences. Strosnider received his BS from University of Dayton, his MS from The College of Charleston, and his PhD from the University of Oklahoma. Currently, Strosnider is the director/associate research professor at the University of South Carolina’s Baruch Marine Field Laboratory. His research in acid mine drainage in Bolivia for his doctoral dissertation resulted in twelve refereed journal articles and over 20 conference proceedings and presentations alone. He has since published 23 more journal articles and added 88 conference proceedings and presentations. His outstanding research has led to a large array of honors and awards. Strosnider was selected as the ASRS ECR award winner in 2017, and his accomplishments since then have shown that he continues to contribute to the reclamation sciences field through research and development in an absolutely positive manner. Congratulations to William Strosnider on another outstanding honor for your dedication to reclamation research.

2021

  • William H. Strosnider

2020

  • Neil Humphries

2019

  • Natalie Kruse Daniels

2018

  • Paul Eger

2017

  • Dr. Jennifer Franklin

2016

  • Dr. Louis McDonald, West Virginia University

2015

  • Dr. Chris Barton, University of Kentucky

2014

  • Mr. Jim Gusek, Sovereign Consulting Inc.

2012

  • Dr. Gwendelyn Geidel, University of South Carolina

2011

  • Dr. Robert Nairn, Oklahoma University

2010

  • Dr. Robert Darmody, University of Illinois

2009

  • Dr. Zhenqi Hu, China University of Mining and Technology, Beijing

2008

  • Dr. Lachlan Ingram, University of Wyoming

2007

  • Dr. Carl Zipper, Virginia Tech

2005

  • Dr. Peter D. Stahl, University of Wyoming
  • Dr. Jon Bryan Burley, Michigan State University

2006

  • Dr. Thomas Wildeman, Colorado School of Mines

Reclamationist of the Year Award

The Reclamationist of the Year award recognizes individuals demonstrating outstanding accomplishments in the practical application or evaluation of reclamation technology. It also rewards individuals responsible for implementing innovative practices or designs for new reclamation strategies.

Joshua Sorenson

Nominated by Pete Stahl

Josh Sorenson received his BS degree from the University of Wyoming and MS degree from Texas A&M University. Josh currently works for Jonah Energy LLC as a reclamation specialist and has spent time working for the US Forest Service as a rangeland and natural resource specialist. Josh has been a significant asset during his time at Jonah Energy by developing and advancing the reclamation process of the ecosystem disturbance of over 1,900 oil and gas wellsites and associated transportation right of ways. He has implemented a management program to control invasive plant species while reducing pesticide applications and increasing native pollinator plants. This process has significantly improved the ecosystem and reduced costs to the company. This practice has helped allow for the rollover of hundreds of acres of successful reclamation back to the Bureau of Land Management for public use. Josh works closely with the regulatory and state wildlife officials in helping improve a habitat that is declining for numerous endangered wildlife and plant species. His management practices have resulted in improved reclamation that protects the environment and can be enjoyed by the landowners. Along with his busy schedule at work, Josh is involved in his local community and is often sought to share his knowledge and experience. Congratulations Josh Sorenson on this outstanding achievement and your persistence to improve a difficult ecosystem!

2021

  • Joshua Sorenson

2020

  • William Zeaman

2019

  • Derek Launius

2017

  • Mr. Tim Danehy

2016

  • Mr. Jim Truax, Truax Co.

2015

  • Dr. Brenda Schladweiler, BKS Environmental Associates

2014

  • Mr. Paul Eger, Golder Associates, Roseville MN

2013

  • Mr. Paul Griswold, Peabody Energy

2012

  • Mr. Keith E. Lindbeck, Keith Lindbeck & Assoc., Bullcreek, Australia

2011

  • Dr. Robert Hedin, Hedin Environmental Inc., Pittsburgh PA

2010

  • Mr. Jim Luther, BHP Billiton, Waterflow, NM

2009

  • Mr. Roy Karo, Peabody Energy, Hayden, CO

2008

  • Mr. James Gusek, Golder & Associates, Lakewood, CO
  • Mr. Frank Russell, Glenn Springs Holding, Inc., Ducktown, TN

2007

  • Mr. Vern R. Pfannenstiel, Peabody Western Coal Co., AZ

2006

  • Mr. Billy Nicholson, Trapper Mining Co., CO

2005

  • Mr. William R. Kirk, Coteau Properties Co., ND

2004

  • Mr. Scott E. Belden, Powder River Coal Co., Gillette, WY

2003

  • Mr. Clint Skilbred, Glenrock Coal Co. Glenrock, WY

2002

  • Ms. Margaret H. Dunn, Stream Restoration, Inc., Cranberry Twp., PA
  • Ms. Laurel E. Vicklund,, Belle Ayr Mine, Gillette, WY

2001

  • Mr. Tim Ramsey, BHP World Minerals, La Plata Mine, La Plata, NM

2000

  • Mr. Reginald Hoff, Big Sky Coal, Peabody, Colstrip, MT

1998

  • Mr. Wayne R. Erickson, Habitat Management, Inc.

1997

  • Mr. Stuart A. Bengson, ASARCO Inc., Copper Operations, AZ

1996

  • Mr. Darryl Maunder, Kerr-McGee Coal Company

1995

  • Mr. Brent Gray, Peabody Coal Company

1994

  • Mr. Dave Nilson, Basin Electric Power Cooperative

1984

  • Mr. James White, Pioneer Fuel Company (Retired)

1993

  • Mr. Robert Moore, Thunder Basin Coal Company

1992

  • Dr. David S. Ralston, Amax Coal Company

1990

  • Mr. David C. Porterfield, Carbon Coal Company

1989

  • Mr. Dwight Hicks, Drumond Coal Company

1988

  • Mr. Jack A. Muncy, Tennessee Valley Authority

1987

  • Dr. Thomas H. Peters, International Metals (Retired)

1986

  • Mr. Kenneth Spurlock, Kentucky Reclamation Association (Retired)

1985

  • Mr. Alten F. Grandt, Peabody Coal Company (Retired)

Early Career Award

This award is intended to recognize an early career member of ASRS that is involved in reclamation research, teaching, and/or on-the-ground reclamation practices within academics, regulatory oversite, or in an industry position. The nominee must have been employed in their field for a minimum of three years but not more than ten years.

Kenton L. Sena

Nominated by Chris Barton

Kenton Sena has started the early stages of his career with a passion to help others with their advanced learning endeavors. He obtained his BA from Ashbury University and his MS and PhD from The University of Kentucky. He is now a revered lecturer in the Lewis Honors College at the University of Kentucky. Based on his letters of recommendation, he was strongly recommended for his teaching and research based on his work ethics and performance at University of Kentucky. His research performance has been exceptional, with over 16 journal articles, along with multiple proceeding papers and book chapters. He has been honored with a vast range of research and talent awards throughout various programs involved in forestry research, including close to $300,000 in grants and fellowships. He is very involved with the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative and the Green Forests Work program, forestry reclamation advisories, and mentoring programs. Kenton has also been a very active member of ASRS while co-chairing the Forestry and Wildlife TD and serving as an associate editor of the Journal of The American Society of Mining and Reclamation. Sena has made outstanding contributions to reclamation sciences in his early career profession while his future looks bright and promising. Congratulations and keep up the good work!

2021

  • Kenton L. Sena

2020

  • Wu Xiao “Jeremy”

2019

  • Cody "Buck" Neely

2018

  • Julie La Bar

2017

  • Bill Strosnider

2016

  • Melissa Van Scoyoc, Salmon River Restoration Council

Distinction in Reclamation Award

This award recognizes a specific project in which a company has demonstrated excellence in reclamation design, implementation, and overall success, resulting in the conservation of natural resources and the ecosystem.

Teck American Inc. and Halliburton

Nominated by Mariah O’ Brien

The Magmont Mine is in Southeast Missouri in the Viburnum Trend Lead District, located in the Ozark-St. Francois mountain range. The facilities extracted lead, zinc, and copper from the mined ore. This underground mine was in operation from1968 to 1994, leaving a 24,500,000-ton tailings deposit impoundment to be mitigated starting in 1992. The Teck American Inc and joint venture partner Halliburton took on the challenge of this large-scale tailing’s impoundment reclamation mitigation with notable success. The native wildlife species did not take long to return to this reclaimed ecosystem, including amphibian and migratory waterfowl as well as raptors and larger ungulates. Sixty-six native vegetative species are now found on site, and there is minimal routine maintenance required of the self-sustaining ecosystem. In December of 2017, the site was released from regulatory oversite, which allowed the landowner to manage the property without regulatory control. The challenges were overcome, and the results show a true reflection of the practical side of “excellence in reclamation.” Congratulations to Teck American Inc. and Halliburton on this outstanding accomplishment.

2021

  • Teck American Inc. and Halliburton

2020

  • BioMost Inc.

2015

  • William R. Kirk, The Coteau Properties Company Freedom Mine

Pioneer of Reclamation Award

This award is intended to recognize a member of ASRS who has spent most of their career in reclamation subject areas. This particular designation is not awarded every year.

2020

  • Bill Locke

2019

  • Tom Henderson

2018

  • Dr. Zhenqi Hu

2017

  • Paul Ziemkiewick

2016

  • Peter Beckett

2014

  • Wayne Erickson

2011

  • Robert Dunker

2005

  • Terry Macyk
  • Martin Fung

2004

  • Sy Brayley
  • Ben Green
  • Jarvis Harper
  • Sam Lyle
  • Jack Muncy
  • Jim Sandusky

2003

  • Stuart A. Bengson
  • James A. Brown
  • Larry F. Brown
  • Ray W. Brown
  • C. Wayne Cook
  • Alton D. Day
  • Eugene E. Farmer
  • Thomas Gwynn
  • Rodney R. Krause
  • Gerald Lowry
  • Kenneth L. Ludeke
  • Frank F. Munshower
  • Ed Pommerenning
  • Paul Rokich
  • Ed Temple
  • John Thames

2002

  • Richard I. Barnhisel
  • William A. Berg
  • James F. Boyer, Jr.
  • Kenes Bowling
  • Frank T. Carruccio
  • Willy Curtis
  • Jimmy Dean
  • Samuel Dickinson
  • David Funk
  • Alten F. Grandt
  • Willard D. Klimstra
  • Thomas H. Peters
  • Joe Ruffner
  • Stephen G. Shetron
  • Richard Meriwether Smith
  • Shawn T. Sorrell
  • Willis Vogel
  • Tom Zarger

2001

  • Earl Alden
  • Robert G. Beverly
  • Stephen G. Boyce
  • W.C. Bramble
  • A. G. Chapman
  • Bryan F. Clark
  • John Crowl
  • W. C. Croxton
  • Karl C. Dean
  • Dan DenUyl
  • Glenn Deitschmann
  • Dean Eisinphar
  • Louis E. Engstrom
  • Raymond Finn
  • Frank Glover
  • Richard C. Havens
  • Tom Higgins
  • Ron Hill
  • Richard Hodder
  • Bob Hughes
  • Lyle Knutson
  • John F. Knudsen
  • Gus Limstrom
  • Harith Loqua
  • James H. Lundy
  • A. L. McComb
  • Robert W. Merz
  • Rex F. Neilson
  • H. B. Peterson
  • Bland Z. Richardson
  • Charles V. Riley
  • Nelson Rogers
  • Don Russell
  • L. E. Sawyer
  • Paul N. Seastrom
  • Monte B. Shirts
  • C. A. "Tony" Sjogren
  • Paul Sutton
  • E. H. Tyner
  • John P. Vimmerstedt
  • Louis Weber

1999

  • Paul Borden
  • Mike Coats
  • Jesse Mitchell

1998

  • William T. Plass

1997

  • Clark Ashby