Johnson reaps benefits of success

December 12, 2002

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PLATTEVILLE- UW-Platteville student Renee Johnson received a grant of $1000 from the National Association of State Land Reclamationists(NASLR) for her efforts in the study of Reclamation.

Johnson, a native of Scandia, Minn., is a second-year senior majoring in reclamation and environmental engineering. She expects to graduate in December 2003.

As a member of the Reclamation Club, Johnson participated in prescribed burns of Roundtree Prairie in Platteville, the restoration of Hardscrabble Prairie in Hazel Green, and the clearing out of invasive species and savanna restoration at Yellowstone State Park in Wiisconsin.

Johnson has been trained and certified to fight fires and has attended a workshop on Wisconsin Department of Transportation(wisDOT) erosion control. Johnson is also a member of the Platteville Society of Environmental Engineers and the Society of Women Engineers.

Johnson earned an assistantship and, as a result, interned with the National Science Foundation at Boise State University in Idaho. There she researched soil properties, determining the uniformity of various soils.

Over the spring semester and through the summer, Johnson will be working on a co-op at Bonestroo, Rosene, Anderlick and Associates located in Mequon. There, Johnson will mainly be working with the Department of Natural Resources(DNR) on erosion control and watershed management. Johnson said that Bonestroo, Rosene, Anderlick and Associates provides a variety of services mainly providing solutions and services for public needs, including the subjects of transportation, municipal services, water and natural resources and wastewater treatment, as well as geographical information systems.

"I was ecstatic when I found out about the award. I actually found out through my parents because the letter was sent to my home address. Later I found out that I am the first person from Wisconsin to receive this award," said Johnson.

The criteria for the grant was that one grant at $1,000 would be awarded to an applicant who was a full-time junior, senior or graduate student at an accredited college. The final degree to be sought by the applicant was to be one that is directly related to mined land reclamation as judged by the Educational Grant Committee. Preference would be given to applicants from the NASLR member states or those attending colleges or universities in states that are members of the NASLR. Wisconsin is a member of this organization.

"My volunteer experience, certifications and the fact that I was a reclamation major were the qualifications the NASLR was looking for. I also had to list the classes that I had taken and would be taking in the future within the curriculum of my major," said Johnson. "The grant will help pay for the rest of my schooling, and it is comforting to know that all the classes and experiences do matter. It says something about the education at UW-Platteville."

"It's been a real pleasure to have Renee in the program. She's been a self-directed individual, who works hard, knows what she wants out of life and goes after it," said Tom Hunt, director of reclamation, environment and conservation and reclamation club advisor.

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