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CSES 5874: Reclamation of Disturbed Lands

Concentration: Environmental Science
Credits: 3 graduate credit(s)


Human disturbances of soils and landscapes and various remediation strategies. Environmental impacts of coal and metal mining, mineral processing, highway or utility corridor development, and urbanization. Field and lab testing protocols; development of site-specific revegetation protocols. Acid mine drainage and treatment, including use of artificial wetlands.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the history and development of the environmental regulatory framework of post-mining reclamation in the United States.
  • Relate the chemical, physical, and biogeochemical properties of mine spoils and mineral processing wastes to their effects on water quality and revegetation success.
  • Develop and specify an optimal pre-disturbance sampling protocol and post-disturbance reclamation strategy for a wide array of mining, highway construction, and urbanization impacts.
  • Discuss the principles of acid mine drainage formation and treatment.
  • Prescribe optimal soil landscape reconstruction designs for the return of mined lands to agricultural, native vegetation, residential, and industrial uses.
  • Describe the processes whereby local citizens, governments, regulatory agencies, environmental advocacy groups, and the mining industry can successfully develop a framework for sustainable mining practices.

Prerequisites and Corequisites

A course equivalent to CSES 5114, Soils for Professionals (or CSES 3114, Soils) should be taken prior to entering this course to ensure all students possess an adequate background in basic soil science, applied geology, and environmental regulatory history.


Lee Daniels