Artistic computer drawing of 31st Bridge in Pittsburgh, with steel mills in the background.

Plenary Speaker Bios

Jim Burger       Nicholas J. Deluliis       Charles McCollester       Dennis Neuman      
Joseph Pizarchik
      Melissa Reckner       J. Scott Roberts      


Jim Burger
Professor, Emeritus of Forestry and Soil Science, Virginia Tech

James A. Burger is Garland Gray Professor Emeritus of Forestry and Soil Science in the College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech University where he taught and continues research on topics including mined land reclamation, soil quality, and restoration ecology. He has a B. S. degree in Agronomy and an M. S. in Forestry from Purdue University, and a Ph. D. in Soil Chemistry from the University of Florida. He has done land reclamation and reforestation research for the past 30 years in the Appalachian coalfield region. He has published 100+ articles on original reclamation research and supervised the work of 17 graduate students whose theses dealt with mined land reclamation issues.  Dr. Burger has served as president of the American Society for Mining and Reclamation; chair of the Society’s Forestry and Wildlife Technical Division; and is a recipient of the Society’s William T. Plass Award for career-long contributions to reclamation science and practice. He is co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative Science Team, an elected Fellow in the Soil Science Society of America, and a long-time member of the Society of American Foresters.

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Nicholas J. Deluliis
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, CONSOL Energy INC.

After graduating with a degree in chemical engineering from Penn State, Mr. DeIuliis began his career in CONSOL Energy’s research and development group in 1990. While at CONSOL Energy, he obtained a master’s degree in business administration and a juris doctorate degree, both from Duquesne University. He became the Vice President of Strategic Planning of CONSOL Energy where he was responsible for optimizing the value of CONSOL Energy’s assets which, among other things, resulted in the creation of CNX Gas Corporation. He served as the President and CEO of CNX Gas from its inception in 2005 until early 2009.

Mr. DeIuliis is vice chair of the board of directors of the World Coal Institute, Director At-Large of the board of directors of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, a director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and a director of the Bituminous Coal Operators’ Association, Inc. Regionally, he serves as a trustee of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh and the vice chairman of Carnegie Science Center; he is a director of the Allegheny Conference, and a director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. He is a registered professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a member of the Pennsylvania Bar.

Nicholas J. DeIuliis is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of CONSOL Energy Inc. and President and Chief Operating Officer of CNX Gas Corporation. His responsibilities include all coal and gas production at CONSOL Energy and CNX Gas.

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Charles McCollester
Professor, Industrial and Labor Relations, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Charles McCollester recently retired as a professor of Industrial and Labor Relations and the director of the Pennsylvania Center for the Study of Labor Relations at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He received a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Louvain, Belgium in 1970. Upon his arrival in Pittsburgh in 1973, he worked in restaurants, in construction, and as a machinist at the Union Switch & Signal in Swissvale PA where he was elected chief steward of the union (UE Local 610). He is the author of The Point of Pittsburgh: Production and Struggle at the Forks of the Ohio and editor of Fighter with a Heart: Writings of Charles Owen Rice, Pittsburgh Labor Priest. He is president of the Battle of Homestead Foundation and president emeritus of the Pennsylvania Labor History Society. 

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Dennis Neuman
President, American Society of Mining and Reclamation

Dennis R. Neuman is currently the President of the American Society of Mining and Reclamation (2009-2010) and Co-Principal of the Reclamation Research Group. For over 35 years, he has been involved in land reclamation/restoration research and policy issues on drastically disturbed sites in the West. These lands include semi-arid areas strip mined for coal, historic hard rock mines, abandoned mineral mines, transportation corridors, and some of the nation’s largest Superfund sites. Emphasis has been on ameliorating plant limiting conditions (acidity, phytotoxicity, and fertility), species selection, and monitoring vegetation and soil response variables. Soil column studies, greenhouse investigations, and large scale field studies have been conducted. Neuman has helped establish reclamation/restoration policy for State and Federal land management (US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management) and risk management (US Environmental Protection) agencies. Neuman retired as Director and Research Scientist in the Reclamation Research Unit, and as Assistant Research Professor in the Land Resources & Environmental Sciences Department at Montana State University after a 33 year career. He continues to have an academic appointment. Neuman was the Chairman and Co-Convener of the Billings Land Reclamation Symposia series from 1996 to 2009, and was former Chairman of the Western Coordinating Committee (USDA) on Revegetation and Stabilization of Deteriorated and Altered Lands. Mr. Neuman is continuing his land reclamation career as a principal in the environmental consultancy firm, Reclamation Research Group, LLC.

Neuman has helped establish reclamation/restoration policy for state and federal land management (US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management) and risk management (US Environmental Protection) agencies. Neuman retired as Director and Research Scientist in the Reclamation Research Unit.

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Joseph Pizarchik
Director, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement
U.S. Department of the Interior

Joseph Pizarchik is the 10th Director of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. Prior to joining OSMRE, Mr. Pizarchik served more than 17 years with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP), rising to Assistant Director in the Bureau of Regulatory Counsel before his appointment as Director of the Bureau of Mining and Reclamation. While at PADEP, he co-authored Pennsylvania’s Environmental Good Samaritan Act, helped develop Pennsylvania’s program for volunteers to clean up abandoned coal refuse sites and provided key legal support in the development of Pennsylvania’s program for mine operators to establish trust funds to meet their financial obligation to perpetually treat the discharges caused by their mining. Mr. Pizarchik is also credited with helping clear the way for the sale of private mining property to the Families of Flight 93 to enable the construction of the memorial.

Mr. Pizarchik began his public service working as legal counsel with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, dealing with contracts, mass transit, aviation, contractor qualifications, and minority business enterprises. The product of a rural Pennsylvania farm, Mr. Pizarchik’s experience with mining began early, as family members worked in the coal industry. Mr. Pizarchik earned a B.A. from the Pennsylvania State University and a law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law.

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Melissa Reckner
Director, Kiski-Conemaugh Stream Team

Melissa Reckner is the director of the Kiski-Conemaugh Stream Team, a program of the Conemaugh Valley Conservancy that educates and engages a citizen volunteer corps who collects valuable water quality data for use in Abandoned Mine Drainage remediation and teaches youth positive stewardship actions.  She actively serves on numerous boards and committees, including those of the Stonycreek Conemaugh River Improvement Project and the Paint Creek Regional Watershed Association, and was recently presented the Cambria County Conservation District’s Special Conservation Service Award for 2010.

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J. Scott Roberts
Deputy Secretary, Mineral Resources Management, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources

Scott Roberts oversees five program areas within Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Office of Mineral Resources Management, encompassing 555 employees, with an annual operating budget of $110 million. Mineral Resources is responsible for developing and implementing Pennsylvania's policies and programs for surface and underground coal and industrial mineral mining, oil and gas exploration and production, mine safety and the reclamation of abandoned mines and wells. The direct economic impact of these programs in Pennsylvania exceeds $2 billion annually.

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