Daniels is the Thomas B. Hutcheson, Jr. Professor of Soil Science in the Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences. He was awarded for his significant contributions for restoring disturbed land into environmentally and agriculturally valuable resources, which has a tremendous positive impact to every citizen in the state and extends throughout the U.S. and the world.
His research is primarily focused on rehabilitation of disturbed lands, such as mining, urbanization, and road building, and the relationship between the pre-disturbance conditions, the disturbance methods, the rehabilitation strategies, and the post-disturbance land-use potentials.
Results from his research program have been valuable in establishing state regulatory requirements for management of coal combustion products and biosolids on disturbed lands in Virginia. He is actively involved in land reclamation efforts throughout the world, providing keynote presentations and serving as a lead coordinator for the International Affiliation of Land Reclamists.