Speaker Series on Energy and the Environment resumes at YSU during fall semester

Youngstown State University will again host the Speaker Series on Energy and the Environment this fall semester, starting Sept. 9 and running through Nov. 18.

The lectures, free and open to the public, are 7 p.m. every Wednesday in Cushwa Hall Room B100. (The only exception is Thursday, Nov. 12, because YSU is closed on Wednesday, Nov. 11 for Veterans Day.)

Free-parking is available at the on-street metered-parking spaces along Lincoln Avenue and adjacent streets.

The series, organized by Ray Beiersdorfer, YSU Distinguished Professor of Geological and Environmental Sciences, emphasizes scientific, public health and policy research surrounding climate change, shale gas development and renewable energy.

The majority of the lectures will be via video conferencing technology, but there will be three live lectures.

“We have, not one, but two, famous professors from Pennsylvania State University speaking this semester – Drs. Terry Engelder and Michael Mann,” Beiersdorfer said. “Terry will be speaking in person, so people can meet him and shake his hand. Nobel prize winner Michael Mann will be speaking via skype.”

Thomas Linzey, executive director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, speaks, in person on Thursday, Nov. 12 about the community rights movement.” “This will be an exciting lecture,” Beiersdorfer said. “The whole community rights versus corporate rights issue is a hot topic in Ohio and nationwide.”

Other speakers are from the Concerned Health Professionals of New York, Earthworks, Group Against Smog and Pollution, Physicians Scientist and Engineers for Healthy Energy, and the Post Carbon Institute.

The schedule:

Sept. 9. Earthquake Risks due to Fracking and Injection Wells in Northeast Ohio, by Ray Beiersdorfer, Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, YSU.

Sept. 16. An overview of microseismic activity associated with high volume hydraulic fracturing, by Terry Engelder, Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University.

Sept. 23. Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials Associated with Unconventional Drilling for Shale Gas, by Andrew Nelson, candidate Presidential Graduate Research Fellow Human Toxicology, University of Iowa.

Sept. 30. The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, by Michael E. Mann, director, Earth System Science Center, Pennsylvania State University.

Oct. 14. Wasting Away: Four states’ failure to manage gas and oil field waste from the Marcellus and Utica Shale, by Nadia Steinzor, Eastern Program Coordinator Oil and Gas Accountability Project Earthworks.

Oct. 7. Towards a Renewable Energy Future: Integration Strategies and Technical Hurdles, by Elena M. Krieger, director, Renewable Energy Program, Physicians Scientist and Engineers for Healthy Energy.

Oct. 21. Sustainability, Energy and the Environment, by Maren Cooke, Group Against Smog and Pollution, Pittsburgh.

Oct. 28. Potential Health Impacts of Gas Transport Infrastructure, by Larysa Dyrszka, Concerned Health Professionals of New York.

Nov. 4. Induced Seismicity, by Justin Rubinstein, Research Geophysicist, U.S. Geological Survey.

Nov. 18. Shale Gas Reality Check: Revisiting the U.S. Department of Energy Play-by-Play Forecasts through 2040 from Annual Energy Outlook 2015, by David Hughes, Fellow, Fossil Fuels Post Carbon Institute.

Nov. 12 (Thursday). A Community Revolution: Elevating the Rights of People and Communities Over Corporations, by Thomas Linzey, executive director, Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund.

About Dr. Ray Beiersdorfer – Beiersdorfer spent 13 years in college earning bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, all in geology. His PhD is from the University of California, Davis. He is a Distinguished Professor of Geology in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Youngstown State University, where he has been on the faculty for 22 years. In the early 1980s, Beiersdorfer worked as an exploration geologist for Gulf Oil in California. He did pre-doctoral research as the Esso Research Scholar at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and post-doctoral research at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.  In the 1990s, he worked as a NASA Research Fellow at the Johnston Space Center developing synthetic soils for long-duration space missions and Lunar and Martian outposts. He was also a Research and Education Fellow at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Studies (CIRES) at the University of Colorado at Boulder. For the past 14 years, he has served as the founder and coordinator of The Penguin Bowl, a regional competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (a quiz bowl for high school students from Kentucky, Ohio, Maryland and Pennsylvania). In 2006-09, he was the principal investigator for the $1.5 million OPFERST project, which provided professional development to Northeast Ohio science teachers. He is a five-time winner of YSU’s Distinguished Professor Award and a winner of the National Science Teachers Association Ohaus Award for College Science Teaching.

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