Lee Daniels


  • T.B. Hutcheson Jr. Professor of Environmental Soil Science


Ph.D., Agronomy - Soil Mineralogy & Geomorphology, Virginia Tech, 1985

M.S., Agronomy - Soil Genesis, Virginia Tech, 1980

B.S., Forestry, Virginia Tech, 1978


1998 - Present - Professor, Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech

1989 - 1998 - Associate Professor, Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech

1987 - 1989 - Assistant Professor, Department of Agronomy, Virginia Tech

1982 - 1987 - Instructor, Department of Agronomy, Virginia Tech

1981 - 1982 - Research Associate, Department of Agronomy, Virginia Tech

Link to curriculum vita

Courses Taught

  • CSES/ENSC 3114 - Basic Soils*
  • CSES/ENSC 3134 - Soils in the Landscape*
  • CSES/GEOG/GEOS 3304 - Geomorphology*
  • CSES/ENSC 4644 - Land Based Systems for Waste Treatment
  • CSES/ENSC 4774 - Reclamation of Drastically Disturbed Lands
  • CSES/ENSC 4854 - Wetland Soils and Mitigation*
  • CSES 5114 - Soils for Professionals
  • CSES 5124 - Topics in Soil Genesis
  • CSES 5774 - Advanced Reclamation of Disturbed Areas
  • CSES 5854 - Advanced Wetland Soils*
  • CSES 5864 - Advanced Wetland Soils and Mitigation
  • CSES 5874 - Reclamation of Disturbed Lands

*Team-taught courses

Other Teaching and Advising

  • Advisor to ~20 ENSC undergraduates
  • Graduate Program Director for ~50 graduate students

Program Focus

Integrated interdisciplinary research program focused on mined land reclamation, highway and construction site stabilization, wetland restoration, and evaluation of residuals as soils amendment. Primary responsibility is the development of cost-effective and reliable reclamation/revegetation/remediation strategies for the full range of disturbed lands in the mid-Atlantic Region. Secondary responsibilities include providing expertise to state and federal agencies on land application of wastes and appropriate lab, greenhouse and field screening criteria.

Role of Graduate Students

Our research program supports three post-docs, three graduate students, a laboratory specialist, and a research and outreach coordinator on sponsored funds.  Graduate students work at the M.S. and Ph.D. level on a wide range of mined land reclamation, wetland studies and soil genesis programs.

Future Research

Ongoing and future research will be concentrated in several areas. First we will continue our intensive dredge spoil characterization and upland utilization program with a particular focus on finding the most effective ways to convert these high volume “waste sediments” to productive agricultural uses. We will also continue to devote significant research effort on developing more accurate procedures for modeling the water budgets and associated wetness regime of constructed wetlands along with effective strategies for reconstructing root limiting soil profiles in those systems.  Finally, we have recently initiated a major new program focused on the prediction of weathering reactions in Appalachian coal mine spoils and refuse that will allow us to predict their release of total dissolved solids and constituents of concern like Se over both the short- and the long-term.

Extension Program

I have no formal Extension appointment, but I assist various groups and individuals across the Commonwealth in a variety of ways. We offer a wide array of short courses and workshops in various venues and I have assisted the VDH and DEQ in regulatory development for land application of biosolids and structural use of coal combustion products.  One of my more important outreach activities involves working with homeowners and local government personnel from the Stafford and Spotsylvania County area who are being negatively affected by acid sulfate soil processes in newly developed subdivisions, shopping centers and public facilities. I routinely assist mining companies and mined land owners in the development of site-specific reclamation strategies and I continue to assist VDOT in training their environmental specialists in wetland science.


Dr. Lee Daniels
  • (540) 231-7175
  • wdaniels@vt.edu
  • 185 Ag Quad Lane
    244 Smyth Hall
    Blacksburg, VA