Peter D. Stahl Earns UW Faculty Award for Internationalization
April 23, 2012 — Peter D. Stahl learned the value of international relations from his grandfather, a Spaniard who worked his way to the New World by rolling cigars in Havana in exchange for a ticket.
Stahl, a professor of soil ecology and director of the Wyoming Restoration and Reclamation Center, has earned the University of Wyoming's 2012 Faculty Award for Internationalization. The award was established in 2001 by the UW International Board of Advisers to recognize excellence in promoting international activities at UW.
Putting this knowledge into action has been a hallmark of Stahl's career, as he has pursued research that has had real-world consequences for people across Wyoming and the globe, and expanded opportunities for Wyoming students to study abroad.
Through his research to improve technologies for land reclamation and ecosystem restoration in sagebrush steppe ecosystems, Stahl has developed collaborative relationships with colleagues worldwide.
Working with colleagues from the Czech Republic, he has examined recovery of soil organisms on reclaimed surface coal mines in Wyoming, Canada, Australia, Germany and the Czech Republic. He has developed, with colleagues from UW and Peabody Energy, an international exchange program to train students from Mongolia and Wyoming in the latest technologies and management practices in reclamation and restoration. Stahl and other UW scientists are developing a program on international watershed hydrology and ecosystem restoration science with faculty from Universidad del Valle de Guatemala.
Anne Alexander, director of International Programs at UW, says Stahl's most outstanding international work is a collaborative partnership he has developed with Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal. She says the partnership began as a memorandum of understanding that has grown into a model program of international cooperation.
"Through this program, the number of Nepalese students at UW has grown to the second-largest international student population on campus," Alexander says. "The research that Dr. Stahl has coordinated with his colleagues in Kathmandu has led to several major publications, visiting scholar exchanges and results that will improve reclamation practices across several continents, including in two similarly situated mountain regions, Nepal and Wyoming."
Stahl's scientific contributions in soil microbiology and restoration are rivaled only by the major impact he has had on internationalization at UW. His colleagues in the United States and abroad praise him both as a first-rate scientist and a true diplomat and ambassador of Wyoming.
"He serves as a role model for UW faculty, staff and students in his pursuit of solutions to common global problems," Alexander says.
Stahl joined the UW faculty in 2000. He received a B.S. (1978) in agriculture from Oklahoma State University, and M.S. (1982) and Ph.D. (1989) degrees in botany from UW.