The Interstate Mining Compact Commission recently announced Michael Korb, P.E., Environmental Program Manager for DEP’s Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation in Wilkes-Barre, is the winner of the IMCC’s 2016 Public Outreach Award. The text of the award description follows—
Korb has enjoyed a distinguished 50-year long career working in the mining and mine reclamation field and has been committed to public outreach and education on a wide range of mining and reclamation issues.
He has been dedicated and involved member of organizations such as the Society of Mine Engineers that have focused significant efforts toward educating the public and youth about how our lives have been enriched due to the many commodities and products that required mined resources.
Korb has always strived to conduct mining and mine reclamation work in the most technically and scientifically sound manner that minimizes mining’s impact on the environment and restores mined sites to as high a use as possible following reclamation.
He is passionate about sharing with others about his successes and failures in order to enable them to learn from his experiences.
Korb also has a passion for mining history and has worked to preserve mining’s legacy near his home in Pennsylvania’s Anthracite region.
As Korb’s retirement approaches, it is especially appropriate to present this individual award as an acknowledgement of his distinguished lifetime commitment to educating the public about the benefits and necessity of mining in order to maintain our way of life and in teaching others how mining, when done responsibly, can be completed with minimal impacts to the environment and the local community.
A few of the many highlights of Korb’s accomplishments in minerals education include: outreach and talks with local communities about what a new mine or expansion of an existing mine would do for the community; involvement in community meetings about mining projects; providing talks to civic and environmental groups and public meetings; authoring several technical papers for various entities, including the Governor’s Energy Commission, the Northeast Pennsylvania Economic Development Council, the Juran Institute, the National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs, and the Society of Mine Engineers, among others; involving residents living near a mine in a collaborative effort with public and mine employees to construct a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat on a reclaimed mine area, and to construct a park and picnic area in a subsidence area unsuitable for building homes; donating old maps and drawings and obsolete mining equipment to universities, museums and historical societies; donating large pieces of coal for parks; starting a library in a community center; engaging in mining and environmental heritage development with the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, and numerous local and regional watershed, historical, and civic organizations; organizing a number of community heritage and environmental conferences; instructing sessions on coal mining and the environment at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre; serving in outreach efforts through SME, such as speaking to civic, community, heritage and environmental groups; serving as a Pennsylvania Anthracite SME Outreach Volunteer at several Boy Scouts of America Merit Badge Colleges for the geology and Mining in Society Merit Badge; serving as an SME Outreach Volunteer at the Anthracite Heritage Museum and at environmental, heritage and industry conferences; serving as a technical instructor for the federal Office of Surface Mining National Technical Training Program; and a myriad of other outreach and educational endeavors.
Korb currently works for the DEP’s Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation, where he has served for the past eight years. During that time his public outreach has focused on informing people about the good work the state’s Abandoned Mine Land Program does in reclaiming AML sites.
His speaking engagements include presentations highlighting award-winning AML projects and the “Stay-Out-Stay-Alive” campaign to advise people of the many hazards associated with abandoned mines.
Through his engagement in outreach with local colleges and local and national student-teacher and environmental conferences, Korb has shed a positive light on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and its AML Program.
Korb has received many awards and recognitions over the years, and most recently, in May of 2015, he was nominated to be elevated to the Grade of Distinguished Member of the National Society of Mining Engineers.
Recent Stories Involving Mike Korb:National Mining Hall Of Fame To Induct 3 New PA-Related Members