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Paul Ziemkiewicz is the Director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute (WVWRI). The WVWRI has a staff of thirteen and works with the faculty of WVU and other universities to manage programs that range from local, regional, national, to international in scope. Major programs include mine drainage, watershed management, biofuels, industrial site restoration and treatment of drilling brines. Dr. Ziemkiewicz’s responsibilities focus on addressing high priority environmental issues by developing research opportunities, assembling and managing research teams and responding to the needs of sponsors. In addition to his research roles, Dr. Ziemkiewicz serves on both state and federal policy advisory committees focusing on energy and water. Dr. Ziemkiewicz is a member of the West Virginia Acid Mine Drainage Task Force, the Eastern Mine Drainage Federal Consortium, the West Virginia Special Reclamation Trust Fund Advisory Council and the Ohio River Basin Water Availability and Management Work Group. Dr. Ziemkiewicz received the E.M. Watkin Award in 1985 for Outstanding Contribution to the Betterment of Land Reclamation in Canada, presented by the Canadian Reclamation Association. In 2005, he received the Environmental Conservation Distinguished Service Award, presented by the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration. In 2017, he received the Pioneers in Reclamation Award presented by the American Society of Mining and Reclamation. He holds a Bachelor’s in Biology and a Master’s in Range Ecology from Utah State University, and Doctorate in Forest Ecology from the University of British Columbia.
Ms. Vandivort is an Environmental Geologist and, since 1999, a Program Coordinator with the West Virginia Water Research Institute at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. Ms. Vandivort administers and manages WVWRI programs and projects, conducts research, and oversees outreach activities. She administers the Brownfields Program and the Water Resources Research program. She coordinates the activities of the West Virginia Advisory Committee for Water Research who is tasked with identifying and addressing water-related issues in the state. Her range in environmental research includes water quality, wastewater, brownfields remediation, sustainable energy, coal slurry injection, and reutilization of coal combustion byproducts. Ms. Vandivort holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Environmental Geology and an MBA certificate from West Virginia University.
Director, Northern Brownfields Assistance Center
Patrick Kirby is the Director of the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center at West Virginia University. He has collaborated on brownfields projects across the state, attracting millions of dollars in federal brownfields grants, private foundation funding, and private investments in revitalization projects. Through the launch of many successful redevelopment initiatives including the statewide WVU BAD Buildings Program, and the Downtown Appalachia Program, Patrick has brought brownfields resources directly to West Virginia communities. Patrick also serves as the Executive Director of the West Virginia Land Stewardship Corporation responsible for the growth of the WVLSC’s three signature programs – Voluntary Land Stewardship, Site Certification, and a Land Bank. Patrick has been involved in regional and national brownfields policy issues, as well as provided expert testimony to Congress on brownfields legislation. Patrick earned a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from West Virginia University and received his B.S. degree in Political Science from Shepherd University. His interest in community and economic development was driven in part by his experiences in the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps and as Rotary Exchange Student. Enter a brief description of the person. This will be pulled into the profile index page(s). Only enter a sentence or two in this region.
Associate Director, Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center
Carrie M. Staton is the Director of WVU BAD Buildings, which provides technical assistance and resources to communities to address abandoned and dilapidated properties. Carrie provides strategic leadership and management, program development, partnership development, education and outreach, and develops research priorities, policies, and publication strategies on blight in rural Appalachia. Carrie also serves as Associate Director of the Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center at West Virginia University. Carrie provides operational leadership, including development and management of internal processes; program development and implementation; financial and administrative oversight; and partnership development and management. She also manages programs and projects related to community engagement, education, research, and collaborative redevelopment. Carrie oversees the identification and pursuit of research priorities and opportunities for the Center, including facilitating collaboration with faculty and communities. She has published case studies on brownfield redevelopment in industry publications and textbooks, and has presented at national and international conferences on brownfields and community development. She has also coauthored published research in public administration journals. Carrie is a proud alum of Bethany College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Nonprofit Administration, and of West Virginia University, where she received a Master of Public Administration. She is a member of the Leadership WV Class of 2016 and was named one of Generation Next’s Top 40 Under 40 Leaders in 2018. She currently serves as the Board Secretary of PopShop, Inc., a nonprofit music academy dedicated to providing quality music education while working to nurture artistic and personal growth in students of all ages
Melissa O’Neal is a Program Manager for the West Virginia Water Research Institute, where she manages data entry, conducts water sampling events, and is responsible for utilizing GPS/GIS technology to create and manage static and website mapping applications for various water quality projects. Mrs. O’Neal has over six years experience in the field of environmental science and her background includes work in acid mine drainage remediation monitoring, GIS mapping and management, and mercury water column and fish tissue analysis. She also served as an OSM/VISTA for several watershed associations, and remains active as a volunteer for the Youghiogheny River Watershed Association. She holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Natural Resources and Wildlife Technology from West Virginia University.
Technical Assistance Program Manager
Anna Withrow is a Brownfield Design Specialist at the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center, where she manages programs and assists with various redevelopment projects. Anna currently manages NBAC’s Technical Assistance Program, Mon River Town Program, and special projects. Much of her work focuses around rivers, trails, and large industrial sites as community assets. Anna helps local project champions to manage site assessment and remediation process, serving as the liaison between community groups and brownfield resource providers. Anna works with local project stakeholders to preform site analyses, facilitate visioning meetings, create conceptual plans, define projects, and develop proposals, along with various other tasks to move redevelopment projects forward. Anna has experience with hand rendering, site mapping, place analysis, parcel search, stakeholder engagement, mixed-media design, construction drawing, meeting and event facilitation, document layout and printing, and narrative photography. Her professional interests include participatory design, riparian restoration, stormwater management, whole-systems thinking, urban agriculture, and historic preservation. Anna earned her master’s degree in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design at West Virginia University. She also has a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Mathematics Education, and has experience teaching in Southern West Virginia.
Environmental Education and Outreach Coordinator
Megan Kruger is the Environmental Education and Outreach Coordinator for the West Virginia Water Research Institute where she works to develop and implement curriculum for WVWRI outreach and educational programs. Megan attended West Virginia University where she earned her B.S. degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Resource Management. During her time at WVU, she focused on environmental education, conservation, and wildlife biology. She is currently finishing her master’s degree in environmental education. Megan is a West Virginia native and her passion is to promote environmental conservation, ecological understanding and a respect for nature and science, especially to the younger generations. In her spare time, she spends time with her family, taking the dog for walks, exploring the lake on her kayak, and birdwatching.
Chris Vass is the ALSX Facility Manager for the West Virginia Water Research Institute. Chris attended West Virginia University where he received a mining engineering B.S. in 2001. After college, he worked within the aggregates, lignite, and CAPP coal mining industries for 13 years. While working in industry, he held various roles, from production foreman to chief engineer. Later In his career, Chris returned to WVU to acquire a M.B.A. and a M.S. degree in mining engineering. Chris’ current research interests are supporting his efforts to obtain a Ph.D. in mining engineering. Chris is a Summersville, West Virginia native. When he is not working, he is usually found outdoors hunting, fishing, camping, and doing photography.
Ben has an Associates in Aviation Maintenance from Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics, two bachelors of science degrees in Industrial Technology and Environmental Science, and a minor in Chemistry from California University of PA. Currently working at the WV Water Research Institute as an Environmental Scientist to improve water quality by treating abandon mine drainage. He served in the United States Air Force at the 911th Civil Engineering Squadron in Pittsburgh, PA as an Electrician. While serving with the Air Force, Ben got to travel to Italy, Hawaii, and Gallup, NM to build houses for the Native Americans. As a Field Supervisor in the oil and gas industry, he supervised coal bed methane drilling operations, natural gas production operations, and fracking of the Marcellus shale gas. As an Environmental Scientist in NC, Ben delineated streams and wetlands for housing, commercial, and solar farm developers, GIS mapping, and habitat assessments for threatened and endangered species. In his free time, he enjoys learning about all the disciplines of science, hiking, and riding ATV’s.
Economic Redevelopment Specialist
Ray Moeller was born and raised in Michigan and went to college at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI. He received his B.S in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics with a minor in Chemistry. After an extensive career in the pharmaceutical industry, he secured an AmeriCorps VISTA position in West Virginia which led him into the community and economic development field. As an Economic Redevelopment Specialist, Ray will be working in communities around the state, with a focus on downtown commercial redevelopment strategies. When Ray isn’t working, he and his wife Connie enjoy time together hiking, kayaking, biking, and reading.
Wesley Edge is a Materials Scientist for the West Virginia Water Research Institute where he assists recovering Rare Earth Elements from AMD precipitates. Wesley holds both B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mining Engineering from Virginia Tech and West Virginia University, respectively. During his time at Virginia Tech and WVU, he was a member of collegiate robotics teams and was a member of the collegiate mine rescue team. Wesley comes from Mt. Holly, North Carolina and in his spare time he loves to hike, travel to new places, and watch Mountaineer football.
BAD Buildings Project Associate
Nicole Dias is a Project Associate at WVU BAD Buildings. Within the program, Nicole helps communities establish sustainable community development initiatives that will enhance the well-being and quality of life for the people of WV, attract investment to communities, and maximize resources in the state. Nicole facilitates the implementation of community development strategies on abandoned and dilapidated properties, including coordinating stakeholder groups, project identification, project prioritization, site redevelopment plans, and pursuit of public and private sector funding opportunities. Nicole also has experience with ArcGIS mapping and Comprehensive Planning. Nicole grew up in Morgantown where she earned a Bachelors in Multidisciplinary Studies from WVU specializing in Public Relations, Sustainable Design, and Communication Studies. In May of 2018, Nicole earned her Master's degree in Urban Planning at Texas A&M with a specialization in Environmental Hazards
Drew Bucy is a Project Manager for the West Virginia Water Research Institute. In this role, she provides project and budget coordination as well as proposal management support across WRI’s portfolio of projects. Drew specializes in business development and communications and has worked in the federal contracting sphere across a wide variety of fields, including energy and environmental support, international development, and national security. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont and a Master’s from WVU.