|William E. Sharpe of Port Matilda, Pa., was awarded the 2008 Ralph W. Abele Conservation Heritage Award.
A retired professor from The Pennsylvania State University, Sharpe has devoted much of his professional career to producing scientific evidence that showed how acidic deposition was harming the state’s aquatic resources, forest health, and human health through contamination of water supplies.
Dr. Sharpe's prolific publication of scientific and extension materials on the effects of acidic deposition on aquatic resources and forest health has brought national recognition to Pennsylvania.
He has led or played an instrumental role in numerous projects and studies undertaken to improve water resources in Pennsylvania.
In 1998 Dr. Sharpe organized an international symposium entitled The Effects of Acidic Deposition on Pennsylvania's Forests, which was held at Penn State's University Park campus. The symposium attracted scientists from across the nation and from Canada and Europe. The publications that resulted from this symposium have been widely cited in scientific publications.
Dr. Sharpe has supervised the graduate research on acidic deposition related topics by more than 40 masters and doctoral students and obtained over $7 million in support of these students.
He is a past chair of the Public Service Committee, Universities Council on Water Resources and a past member of the Board of Directors, Penn State University, delegate. Affiliations include the Pennsylvania Forestry Association, Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association, American Geophysical Union, American Fisheries Society and Penn FUTURE.