Not only was Dr. Kenton Sena recognized as a 2023 Great Teacher by The University of Kentucky Alumni Association but he also was selected to receive the 2023 American Society of Reclamation Sciences Richard I. and Lela M. Barnhisel Reclamation Researcher of the Year Award. This award reflects Sena's achievements in the field of reclamation research.
Sena's research involves reclamation of degraded spaces in both coal-mining and urban situations. “In mine sites in Appalachia, I’ve done work seeking to improve reforestation success; in Lexington, I’m collaborating with the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government to better understand how/whether tree planting projects develop into forests over time,” he said.
Sena involves students whenever possible by hiring them as research assistants or including them during class field trips of Honors classes such as “Appalachian Natural History,” “Restoration Ecology,” and “The Ecology of Middle-Earth.”
“Prior recipients of the award are basically a ‘Who’s Who’ of researchers in reclamation science, and I’m honored and humbled to have my name added to the list. I look forward to a long career studying restoration and reclamation of urban and mined sites in Kentucky and beyond,” Sena said.
Sena especially appreciates Dr. Dick Barnhisel (retired UK professor) for nominating him for this award, and thanks Chris Barton, Jeff Skousen, and Michele Coleman for writing letters of support. "The American Society of Reclamation Sciences (ASRS) has generously supported my professional development since I was a graduate student, and I am honored to continue to be involved in the society," Sena added.
This award includes a plaque, cash stipend of $500, and complimentary conference registration for the successful nominee and nominator. This year the conference will be held on June 5th in Boise, ID.