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WVU to host international mining and reclamation conference April 9-13

On April 9-13, West Virginia University scholars will join other experts in the fields of mining and reclamation for a joint conference of three prominent organizations.

Members of the American Society of Mining and Reclamation, the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, and the West Virginia Mine Drainage Task Force will gather at the Waterfront Place Hotel for the four-day event.

“This is the first time all three organizations have held a joint meeting,” said Jeff Skousen, professor of soil science in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design and WVU Extension land reclamation specialist. “All three have a similar, overarching objective – to reclaim lands that have been impacted by surface mining.”

Skousen and Louis McDonald, professor of soil science, are serving as organizers of the event.        

“It’s an honor for us at West Virginia University, the city of Morgantown, and the state of West Virginia to host this international meeting,” said Skousen, “It’s exciting to know the foremost experts in mining and reclamation will be here for the event. Given the current political attention to the state’s energy industry, this is the perfect time for scientists, regulators and the industry to share their knowledge.”

He estimates the meeting will draw over 400 attendees from across the United States, along with representatives from China, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, Venezuela and Mexico.

The meeting will feature exhibitors with mining and reclamation products and services along with workshops and field trips for the participants. It will also include over 100 presentations of research and field demonstration projects from researchers, practitioners and students.

Presenters will include experts in industry, government and higher education. Scientists and students from the WVU Davis College, Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, WVU Extension Service, and the National Research Center for Coal and Energy will present results of studies ranging from mine drainage, biomass, reforestation, mountain top mining and stream restoration.

Attendees will visit local surface mines, acid mine drainage treatment facilities, a local power plant, and the Flight 93 Memorial Site and Visitor’s Center which is being reforested as part of the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative.

For more information on the conference, please contact Skousen at Jeff.Skousen@mail.wvu.edu. A detailed conference schedule is available http://wvmdtaskforce.com.