Robert N. "Rob" Pate
2010 Recipient of the Golden Auger Award
Rob Pate has spent over 25 years as a soil scientist in West Virginia. He began his career working on the Soil Survey of Braxton County, WV, and has since gone on to work on soil surveys in West Virginia, Florida, and Virginia. He has excelled as a field mapper, and has been recognized by the USDA-NRCS as a “Million-Acre Mapper”—an achievement unmatched by any other soil scientist in West Virginia.
Rob has an exceptional understanding of soil morphology and a keen interest in the National Cooperative Soil Survey Program. Over the years he has committed his time and energy to the training and development of younger soil scientists, providing mentoring on field mapping, use of NASIS, map compilation, and other day-to-day duties of a professional soil scientist.
Rob is currently an Area Resource Soil Scientist in Beckley, WV, where he services the soil needs of the southern part of the state (approximately 20 counties). Rob Pate has contributed greatly to the wise use of soil resources in southern West Virginia and to the state as a whole. He has been an active supporter of land judging contests, the annual WV Grassland Evaluation Contest, Envirothon, and many other outreach activities.
Rob is a tireless supporter of soil science and a promoter of the wise use and proper understanding of our soil resources. He has been active in sharing his soil knowledge, skills, and expertise with others both inside and outside the NRCS. Rob played an integral role in getting the Monongahela soil recognized by the WV State Legislature as the West Virginia State Soil. He has been a member of the West Virginia Association of Professional Soil Scientists (WVAPSS) for many years, and served as the President twice. He has been an advocate for certification of professional soil scientists in West Virginia. He has been directly involved in the collection of numerous soil monoliths for display in the state, as well as a monolith of the Monongahela soil that was on display at the Smithsonian Institute.