Eastern Recipient - Bethany Witter, Virginia Tech
Bethany Witter, is entering her third year at Virginia Tech, majoring in Mining and Minerals Engineering with a minor in Green Engineering. Working towards entering a master’s program to specialize in mine reclamation. “In the summer of 2017, I had an incredible engineering internship with Newmont Mining Corporation at the Carlin Surface Location. In the future, I intend to have more internship experiences to broaden my perspective, including dredge mining. I am excited to see their environmental implications and potential. I am interested in making innovative, new techniques for remediating severely disturbed lands, returning them to a beautiful and productive state.”
Mid-Continent Recipient - Kyle Wagner, Southern Illinois University
Kyle Wagner is a senior at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale studying Environmental Engineering, with a current GPA of 3.853. He will graduate in May, 2018, and wants to pursue a career in the area of land reclamation and environmental engineering. He has completed two summers interning for Peabody Energy in Evansville, Indiana. His duties included land and reclamation, topographical mapping, stream layout and design and various other duties in the area of reclaiming land from closed mining sites. He is an avid hunter and fisherman and has competed in two national competitions with the bass fishing team for SIU Carbondale. He has held numerous leadership roles in his fraternity, Alpha Gamma Rho, as well as with the bass fishing team.
Western Recipient - Jeana Ratcliff, Montana State University
Jeana Ratcliff is entering her final year as an undergraduate at Montana State University, earning degrees in Civil Engineering (Bio-Resources focus) and Land Rehabilitation. For the past two summers, she has worked in Wyoming at large surface coal mines as an environmental engineering intern, gaining valuable and relevant industry experience. During her time as an intern, Ms. Ratcliff worked on many facets of mine site environmental management, including designing a pilot program to optimize revegetation of tree species utilizing GIS programs and existing soils data. Ms. Ratcliff has also worked with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services as a technician, conducting rangeland grasshopper surveys and working with bio-control insect species. She has further experience working with bio-control insects in the MSU Insect Quarantine Lab as a research assistant. In addition, Ms. Ratcliff is heavily involved with her university’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders, and traveled to western Kenya in 2016 to serve as the technical lead for implementation of a community water supply project. Ms. Ratcliff is looking forward to a career that will support sustainable resource extraction for generations to come.