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Urban Forestry & Natural Resource Management

Growing urban and rural development and the continuing exploration of natural resources adversely impact natural soil and water resources. Moreover, the region’s inherently acidic and nutrient-poor soils are in need of improvement in order to increase agronomic productivity and the contribution of agriculture to the local economy. Through the use of geochemical, physical and biological principles, both basic and applied research is directed at the development and dissemination of new knowledge, technologies and management practices to assure the sustainable, safe, efficient, agronomically beneficial and environmentally sound use of natural resources. This includes: 

  • Developing soil erosion mitigation and storm-water runoff management practices in urban and agricultural lands to improve soil productivity and water quality

  • Evaluating the use, performance and impact of selected woody and herbaceous vegetation in storm-water runoff management practices, such as rain gardens and/or wetlands and buffer strips in urban, agriculture and mine reclamation operations

  • Evaluating agronomic benefits and environmental impact of using biochar, a carbonaceous co-product from thermo-conversion of biomass to bio-oil, as soil amendment.

  • Developing and evaluating reclamation practices to improve post-mining land use, improving soil productivity and alleviating impact of soil disturbance operations (e.g. mining)

  • Exploring the use of alternative cover crops conducive to our soil conditions (e.g. aluminum- and manganese-resistant bio-energy crops)

  • Exploring environmentally responsible and agronomically beneficial use of agricultural waste and byproducts as soil amendments to improve soil productivity and agronomic value

The research is interfaced with end-users, landowners, and local and state government as a means to identify tangible problems associated with natural resource management, and is conducted in collaboration with commercial and academic partners as well as federal agencies to develop and integrate best management practices for soil and water resources management.

Contact


Amir Hass
304-720-1025
amirhass@wvstateu.edu
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