Dr. Steven Richardson leads the reclamation, hydrology and environmental research programs at the Institute and coordinates the solicitation and review of research proposals related to reclamation of mined lands. He serves as contract manager for funded projects and provides reports to the FIPR Institute’s Advisory Board.
Dr. Richardson chairs the FIPR Institute’s Reclamation and Hydrology Technical Advisory Committees. He develops proposals and directs in-house research projects on mined land reclamation, reforestation of mined uplands and wetlands, and control of exotic weeds on mined and unmined areas. In addition, he supervises the senior research biologist, senior research technicians and subcontractors. He has served as Reclamation Research Director since 1988.
Prior to joining the research institute, he was involved in mine reclamation research, regulation and planning associated with various oil shale, coal, uranium, and sand and gravel projects while employed at Utah State University’s Institute for Land Rehabilitation, the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, and Mobil Oil Corporation’s Mining and Coal Division.
He earned a Ph.D. in Plant Ecology and Physiology in 1979 from Utah State University, where he researched drought and salinity problems associated with the reclamation of processed oil shale. His M.S. in Plant Science also is from Utah State, while his B.S. degree in Botany and Chemistry was received from Weber State College (now Weber State University) in Ogden, Utah. He did graduate work at North Dakota State University in weed biology and control and post-doctoral work at Texas A&M University and the University of Missouri on environmental stress physiology of crops and native plants.
Dr. Richardson is a member of the American Society of Mining and Reclamation and the Society for Ecological Restoration. He has authored numerous publications and professional papers, which cover a broad range of topics, including management of nuisance and exotic vegetation, hydrology of clay settling areas, establishment of vegetation cover on phosphogypsum, and ecological studies of flora and fauna on reclaimed lands.