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Stephen G. Carpenter

2007 Recipient of the Golden Auger Award

Steve Carpenter began his career over 30 years ago as a soil conservationist student trainee assigned to the Fairmont field office. Steve's first assignment in the West Virginia soil survey program was in Putnam County. Steve excelled in all phases of soil survey, and he was (and still is) a highly organized individual. He was always trying to find out new ways to make the soil survey program more efficient and thus, more productive. Steve continued in Putnam County until the survey was completed and then helped to complete the survey in Cabell County. It wasn't long until Steve became the project leader in Nicholas County and then later on, Webster County. Steve has always been very interested in the digital aspect of soil survey. He was a state and national leader in using the GRASS software program to convert hard copy soil survey to digital data. In fact, he became nationally known for his expertise in this program and traveled across the country giving lectures on its use. After a tour of duty in Washington, D.C., Steve returned to the state to head-up the GIS effort in West Virginia. There is no doubt that the conversion of soil surveys in general across the country and specifically the conversion in West Virginia is due to his relentless hard work and enthusiasm. The best part of Steve's career was yet to come. In 1995, SCS underwent a massive reorganization and became NRCS. With this reorganization came a buyout which resulted in the retirement of both the State Soil Scientist and the Assistant State Soil Scientist. Quite frankly, the soil survey program was thrown into chaos. Over 60 years of leadership walked out the door. The West Virginia soil survey program was fortunate to have Steve in Morgantown at this time. Serving as acting State Soil Scientist, Steve worked tirelessly to make sure that the program not only stayed afloat, but thrived. He put in many, many uncompensated hours to make things work. Since Steve has been the State Soil Scientist and the leader for MO-13, the soil survey program has excelled in West Virginia. He leads by example, and consequently West Virginia has developed one of the best soil survey programs in the country. Steve is very dedicated and motivated individual who believes in hard work and dedication to the job.

 
   
 
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