University of Wyoming Extension News

UW scientist receives reclamation researcher of the year honors

A University of Wyoming researcher has received the “Reclamation Researcher of the Year” award from the American Society for Mining and Reclamation (ASMR).

Lachlan Ingram, a postdoctoral research associate in the College of Agriculture’s Department of Renewable Resources, was notified of the honor during the society’s meeting June 13-19 in Richmond, Va.

“It is a great honor to receive such an award as I feel I have only been working in this area for a fairly short period of time – less than eight years,” Ingram said. “As such, I feel my contribution is only small compared to many other past award winners who may have worked in reclamation research for many decades.”

According to the ASMR, the award is given to scientists who have made substantive contributions to the advancement of reclamation science and/or technology, or contributed meaningful information relating to the economic, social, environmental or ecological effects of surface mining.

“Dr. Ingram has demonstrated a real commitment to research aimed at understanding and improving the recovery of reclaimed mine lands in Wyoming,” said Peter Stahl, an associate professor in the department specializing in soil ecology and a collaborator of Ingram’s. “Lachlan has been a crucial contributor to surface mine land reclamation research in Wyoming since his arrival in the United States.”

The award usually recognizes a compilation of work, said Ingram, a native of Australia who joined the Department of Renewable Resources in 2000.

Ingram said he believes the award may also reflect work with graduate students conducting reclamation research and “the current work I’m undertaking writing reclamation extension bulletins in my position with the Wyoming Reclamation and Restoration Center and in conjunction with the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service.”

He said much of his work is reliant not only upon scientists and students he has collaborated with but also the reclamation/environmental specialists he has worked with on numerous coal mines throughout the state and with specialists associated with natural gas development.

Stahl said Ingram has worked on research projects with the most active reclamation scientists in the western United States, including Jerry Schuman and George Vance, both of the University of Wyoming, as well as many established mine reclamation practitioners, including ASMR Reclamationist of the Year award winners Laurel Vicklund, UW graduate Scott Belden and Chet Skilbred, all working at coal mines in northeastern Wyoming.

“Research conducted by Ingram and his associates also has resulted in new recommendations for best management practices to maximize soil organic matter development and carbon accumulation in reclaimed surface mined soil,” said Stahl.

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