Our research program began in the early 1980’s and was originally focused on coal mined land reclamation and associated water quality issues. We have been continuously supported by the Powell River Project since 1979. In addition, we have worked cooperatively with Iluka Resources on mineral sands mining reclamation since 1989.

Since the mid-1990’s, we have significantly expanded our research base into wetland creation & restoration, acid sulfate soil remediation, roadside revegetation, dredge spoil utilization, manufactured soil production, by-product screening, and an array of related programs based in environmental soil science.

Our combined research program employs several scientists, along with support staff and graduate students. We maintain two support laboratories and two greenhouse facilities at Virginia Tech which offer complete physical and chemical analytical capability for soils, sediments, and mine spoils.

Our labs specialize in the preparation and analysis of soil and water samples from disturbed, mitigated and reclaimed sites. Laboratory analyses include basic soil characterization such as pH, electrical conductivity, particle size analysis, water holding capacity, cation exchange capacity, total organic carbon (Walkley-Black), total carbon and nitrogen (combustion), as well as peroxide potential analysis, calcium carbonate equivalency, total metals (microwave digestion) and extractable nitrogen.  We analyze water samples for nitrate, ammonium, ortho-phosphorus, metals and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). We also offer greenhouse experimental and bioassay support.

A complete list of our publications for all research areas is compiled into the Publications page of this website.  If you don’t see a particular publication of interest, please contact W. Lee Daniels (