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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

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.

Brad Pinno

Dr. Brad Pinno is an Associate Professor in the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. His research focuses on the management of boreal forest ecosystems, in particular the relationships between trees, site characteristics, and operational management practices. Dr. Pinno’s background is in forestry and soil science which has been a perfect fit for forest land reclamation research. He obtained his BS and MS in Forestry from the U of Alberta, and his PhD from the U of Saskatchewan. For the past decade he has worked extensively in the mineable oil sands region of northern Alberta studying the impacts of different reclamation soils and techniques on ecosystem development. Dr. Pinno’s research has been supported by industry, government, and multi-stakeholder organizations with the goal of improving forest land reclamation. He has authored many publications (32 in the past 5 years), and co-authored publications with his students and post-doctoral candidates. Past reclamation MSc graduates from his research group have gone on to careers with industry, consulting, and government agencies. One of the things that he really enjoys about reclamation research is how we can balance operational land management questions, essentially what we can be doing with a specific piece of land, with important scientific questions related to understanding the ecological relationships.

Congratulation Dr Brad Pinno on an outstanding career in reclamation research and your continuing success in your industry endeavors.

2022

  • Brad Pinno

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.

Rich Sivils

Rich Sivils P.E. is the Reclamation Engineer at the Usibelli Coal Mine and has worked there since 2013.  He graduated in 2008 from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering. His first position after graduation was with Kiewit Mining as a reclamation engineer at the Decker Coal Mine in Montana, a surface mine producing 4 million tons per year.  He then spent 4 years working for Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold as a mining engineer in Arizona before being hired in his current role with Usibelli in Healy Alaska.   At Usibelli he directs reclamation efforts in the form of dozer regrade, works with federal and state representatives to keep the mine operations in compliance with over 70 active permits and directs special projects around the mine site related to reclamation. During his tenure at UCM he has adapted reclamation techniques and best management practices to reduce UCM’s bond liability by more than 20% in the last eight years! An outstanding achievement for a complex ecosystem in the middle of the vast interior region of Alaska.    He has a wonderful wife and three kids and enjoys hunting and flying in Alaska.

Congratulations Rich Sivils on your recognition for outstanding contributions to the reclamation of the disturbed ecosystem in your picturesque region!

2022

  • Rich Sivils

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.

Abhishek RoyChowdhury

Abhishek RoyChowdhury is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Natural Resources at Navajo Technical University. He earned his BS and MS from University of Calcutta, India. He pursued his PhD from Montclair State University, and his PhD research was geared towards developing a “green” remediation technology for remediation of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD)-impacted soil and water. He has received over $2M in grants from federal and non-federal sources including NSF, NASA, USDA, USDOI-OSMRE, USDOI-BIA, First Americans Land-Grant Consortium (FALCON), and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. His research projects include reclamation of abandoned mine sites, helping Native American communities to access clean water, and creating economic opportunities for them. One of his ongoing research projects, funded by the OSMRE Applied Science Program, involves demonstration of a field-scale sustainable reclamation technology for revegetation and stabilization of gob piles of mine spoils in the Carthage coalfield in New Mexico. His other ongoing research project involves evaluation of stream “health” in the San Juan River system impacted by 2015 Gold King Mine Spill. He has published 18 peer-reviewed journal articles, one book chapter, and 38 conference proceedings. He is serving as an Associate Editor of International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology (IJEST), and as an Academic Editor of PLOS Water. He is the elected Secretary/Treasurer of the Geology and Health Division of The Geological Society of America. He has received multiple awards and honors including the ASRS 2015 Memorial Scholarship Award (PhD level).

Congratulation Abhishek RoyChowdhury on an outstanding early career in disturbed ecosystem reclamation and keep up the good work!

2022

  • Abhishek RoyChowdhury

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

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.

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.

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.

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