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Marcellus Shale topic of annual lecture on March 16

Marcellus Shale will be the topic presented during the annual Mylar Giri Lecture in the Natural Sciences at Penn State Hazleton. Titled “Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Resource - Recent Trends, Future Impacts,” the event will feature Michael A. Arthur and Thomas B. Murphy, co-directors of Penn State’s Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (www.marcellus.psu.edu).


Sponsored by the Faculty Lecture Committee, the event will be held at 7 p.m., Wed., March 16, in Kostos Building 1. It is free and open to the public. The event honors the late campus physics professor Mylar Giri.

 Michael Arthur and Thomas Murphy, Marcellus Shale

According to the presenters, the Marcellus Shale in the Appalachian Basin harbors natural gas which, when extracted through new technology, could supply U.S. needs (at present rates of consumption) for more than 20 years. This resource has huge potential benefits to Pennsylvania, particularly through job creation and economic activity. There are also potential impacts on communities and the natural environment that must be considered. This presentation and discussion will outline important aspects of Marcellus Shale development, from technology to water use, and the issues that have arisen as a result.


Arthur, a geochemist and sedimentary geologist, is professor of geosciences and past department head of geosciences. His research interests include investigating the nature of climates and oceans of the past and the causes of past global change. He has long focused on studies of modern marine environments characterized by organic carbon rich sediment deposits and the origin and nature of ancient “black shales.” The geology of the Devonian Marcellus Shale is a current research emphasis through the efforts of the Appalachian Basin Black Shales Group (Engelder, Slingerland, and Arthur collaboration and students in the Department of Geosciences).


He has received numerous awards for his teaching and research, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, and the Geological Society of America.


Murphy is an educator with the Penn State Cooperative Extension, and has more than 25 years of field experience and educational consultation with landowners, government agencies, and public officials. Recently, he focused on natural resource development, specifically in natural gas exploration and related topics and provides leadership to Marcellus outreach activities. He has lectured throughout Pennsylvania on Marcellus shale and topics associated with its development including landowner leasing issues, environmental impacts, the drilling process, infrastructure development, and financial considerations. 


Murphy is a graduate of Penn State. In 2010, he was honored with Department of Environmental Protection’s Environmental Excellence Award.


For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (570) 450-3180.


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