The Appalachian Research Initiative for Environmental Science (ARIES), a university consortium, managed at the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research, affiliated with the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, presented its inaugural ARIES award to Leigh-Anne Krometis of the Department of Biological Systems Engineering and Emily Sarver of the Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering.

Sarver and Krometis received the award due to the exemplary quality of their research and their research partnership, said John Craynon, Appalachian Research Initiative for Environmental Science project director.

The Appalachian Research Initiative for Environmental Science program focuses on collaborative work investigating key issues from various energy production and environmental science disciplines. Over the course of their grants, Sarver and Krometis grew their initial single subject investigations into transdisciplinary projects, meeting the demand of complex issues with a depth of understanding provided by multi-level multi-disciplinary research, Craynon said.

Since 2011, Appalachian Research Initiative for Environmental Science has supported more than 60 academic researchers in energy and the environment and over 75 student researchers at Virginia Tech, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Pittsburgh, West Virginia University, the University of Kentucky, Ohio State University, Marshall University, St. Francis University, the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, and consultants at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown.

The research initiative has sponsored several investigations by Sarver and Krometis including research reviewing corporate social responsibility in Appalachia and research regarding bacterial and biological impairments in Central Appalachia, sustainability and water quality, and bacterial impairments in surface waters as an obstacle to sustainable water quality solutions.

Written by Crystal Cook Marshall.