Scott Simonton (center, with actress Daryl Hannah and climate activist Jerry Cope) was born in Huntington, WV and raised there and near Fredericksburg, VA. He spent 4 years in the Marines as an enlisted infantryman, and another 7 as an armored cavalry officer in the Army National Guard. He completed a BS in Civil Engineering at WV Tech, an MS in Environmental Engineering from Marshall University, and a PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of New Mexico. Scott has worked for the WV Department of Environmental Protection, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, and various regional and national consulting firms. He is currently a Professor of Environmental Science at Marshall University, as well as maintaining a consulting practice and serving as Vice-Chairman of the WV Environmental Quality Board.
Scott is the son and grandson of private pilots – his dad (CFII, A&P) is his inspiration, and has instilled in him an obsession with flying and airplanes, as well as a healthy desire to do it well. While Scott has been in and around airplanes his entire life, he didn’t complete his license until living in New Mexico – “a great place to learn to fly.” Most of his flying has been in the Rocky and Appalachian mountains.
Scott learned about – and got involved with – SouthWings through Maria Gunnoe. He says, “as ‘the environment’ is my profession, being a pilot for SouthWings seemed a natural fit. I’ve worked extensively in many areas of the environmental field, so I have a good understanding of the science and engineering behind the issues, as well as deep roots and an attachment to the people and communities of Appalachia and the South.”
Scott lives in Sissonville, WV, up a hollow on a few acres with his wife Molly, son Tucker, daughter Sarah, and twins Eli and Nathaniel. He’s based at Mallory Airport (WV12) – “a great little airport cut out of the side of a mountain in South Charleston, WV.”