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Skousen, Jeffrey

Professor of Soil Science

Jeff Skousen is a Professor of Soil Science in the Division of Plant and Soil Sciences (Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design) and is the Extension Land Reclamation Specialist in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Unit of the West Virginia University Extension Service. He received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University, and M.S. and B.S. degrees from Brigham Young University.

Jeff has more than 40 years of experience in reclamation of disturbed lands, soil and water remediation, and agriculture. He teaches courses in soil science, environmental science, and reclamation of disturbed soils.

His research program includes acid mine drainage control and treatment and improvement of water quality, overburden and soil analyses, reclamation of oil and gas extraction sites, revegetation of disturbed lands, reforestation, native plant restoration, biomass for bioenergy, and post-mining land use development. He has published over 300 articles in journals, books, proceedings, and extension publications. He works with faculty across campus and with researchers at other institutions, guides graduate student research, and presents research results at professional meetings. He organizes the annual Acid Mine Drainage Task Force Symposium, conducts seminars and workshops on mined land reclamation, and consults with state and federal agency personnel, landowners, coal operators, and consultants. He works internationally on land reclamation issues in Asia and Europe.

He received the Applied Soil Science Award from the Soil Science Society of America, the Plass Award for Life-long Achievements in Reclamation Research and Service by the American Society of Mining and Reclamation, the Golden Auger Award from the WV Association of Soil Scientists, the Heebink Award for Outstanding Service from West Virginia University, and several outstanding teaching, research, and service awards in the department and college. He is a member of the science team of the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative and edits the American Society of Mining and Reclamation’s magazine entitled “Reclamation Matters.” He has served on numerous national committees and councils on reclamation, including the president of the American Society of Mining and Reclamation twice, and was an associate editor for the Journal of Environmental Quality for six years.

Jeff and his wife, Debbie, raised their four children in Morgantown, and live on a 120-acre farm west of Morgantown. He enjoys church service, music, and sports, and plays and tunes pianos.


  1. Skousen, J. 2023. Reclaiming mine land with bioenergy feedstocks. Materials World, December/January Issue. 
  2. Kane, J., M. Robinson, R. Schartiger, Z. Freedman, L. McDonald, J. Skousen, E. Morrissey. 2022. Nutrient management and bioaugmentation interactively shape plant-microbe interactions in Miscanthus x giganteus. GCB-Bioenergy.  
  3. Stutler, K., E. Pena-Yewtukhiw, and J. Skousen. 2022. Mine soil health on surface mined lands reclaimed to grassland. Geoderma 413:115764.  
  4. Fowler, J., Skousen, J G., S. Connolly, A. Nottingham, S. Mellor, J. Schuler, and L. McDonald. 2022. Soil response to helicopter liming in the Monongahela National Forest. Soil Science Society of America. 86:487-500. 
  5.  Zipper, C.E., and J. Skousen. 2021. Editors.  Appalachia’s Coal-Mined Landscapes: Resources and Communities in a New Energy Era.  Springer Nature. ISBN-13: 978-3030577797, 351 p.
  6. Zipper, C.E., and J. Skousen. 2021. Coal’s legacy in Appalachia: Lands, waters, and people. The Extractive Industries and Society 8:100990.  
  7. Zipper, C., and J. Skousen. 2021. Coal's legacy in Appalachia: Viewpoint. The Extractive Industries and Society 40:101005.  
  8.  Kleinmann, R., J. Skousen, T. Wildeman, B. Hedin, B. Nairn, and J. Gusek. 2021. The early development of passive treatment systems for mining-influenced water: A North American perspective. Mine Water and Environment 40:818-830.  
  9. Kane, J.L., E.M. Morrissey, J.G. Skousen, and Z.B. Freedman. 2020. Soil microbial succession following surface mining is governed primarily by deterministic factors. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 11:114.  
  10. Dallaire, K, and J. Skousen. 2019. Early tree growth in reclaimed mine soils in Appalachia USA. Forests 10:549.  
  11. Skousen, J., P. Ziemkiewicz, and L. McDonald. 2019. Acid mine drainage formation, control and treatment: approaches and strategies. Extractive Industries and Society 6:241-249.  
  12. Monteleone, A., J. Skousen, J. Shuler, L. McDonald, R. Williams, I. Holaskova. 2018. Survival and growth of 20 species of trees and shrubs on Appalachian surface mines. Land Degrad. Develop. 29:1683-1693. 
  13. Scagline-Mellor, S., T. Griggs, J. Skousen, E. Wolfrum, I. Holaskova. 2018. Switchgrass and giant miscanthus biomass and theoretical ethanol production from reclaimed mine lands. BioEnergy Research 11:562-573.  
  14. Skousen, J, K. Dallaire, S. Scagline-Mellor, A. Monteleone, L. Wilson-Kokes, J. Joyce, C. Thomas, T. Keene, C. DeLong, T. Cook, D. Jacobs. 2018. Plantation performance of chestnut hybrids and progenitors on reclaimed Appalachian surface mines. New Forests 49:599-611.  
  15. Skousen, J. 2017. A methodology for geologic testing for land disturbance: acid-base accounting for surface mines. Geoderma 308:302-311.  
  16. Cheng, L., and J. Skousen. 2017. Comparison of international mine reclamation bonding systems with recommendations for China. Int. J. Coal Sci. Technol. 4:67-79.  
  17. Caterino, B., J. Schuler, S. Grushecky, and J. Skousen. 2017. Surface mine to biomass farm: growing shrub willow ( Salix spp.) in northeastern West Virginia –First year results. J. Am. Soc. Mining Recl.: 6(1):1-14.  
  18. Skousen, J., C. Zipper, A. Rose, P. Ziemkiewicz, R. Nairn, L.M. McDonald, and R.L. Kleinmann. 2017. Review of passive systems for acid mine drainage treatment. Mine Water Environ. 36:133-153.
  19. Macdonald, E., S. Landhausser, J. Skousen, J. Franklin, J. Frouz, S. Hall, D. Jacobs, and S. Quideau. 2015. Forest restoration following surface mining disturbance: challenges and solutions. New Forests 46:703-732.  
  20. Scagline, S., J. Skousen and T. Griggs. 2015. Switchgrass and miscanthus yields on reclaimed surface mines for bioenergy production. J. Am. Soc. Mining Recl. 4: 80-90.  
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