Hiram College

The Center for the Study of Nature and Society (CSNS) at Hiram will host a series of three lectures on the controversial practice of horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” used to extract natural gas from formerly inaccessible reserves.

The series, “Fracking:  What is it all about” will focus on the petroleum industry’s growing use of the drilling method, and its benefits, limitations and potential damaging effects on the environment. The fracking process, which fractures underground rock deposits to access natural gas, is used or proposed in many locations including northeast Ohio, to get at natural gas not accessible with traditional drilling methods. Opponents claim it threatens watersheds and water supplies, as well as the ecosystems that depend on them, and ultimately, human drinking water and health.

The public is welcome to attend free lectures on three separate dates in March and April at the Kennedy Center Ballroom on the Hiram College Campus. Times and subjects are as follows:

  • Thursday, 31 March 2011, 7:00 PM, Kennedy Center Ballroom

Topic:  “An Introduction to the Geology of Shale Gas, Horizontal Drilling, and Hydraulic Fracturing”

Shale Rock and Gas Deposits, Jeffrey Dick, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Youngstown State University

  • Thursday, 7 April 2011, 7:00 PM, Kennedy Center Ballroom

Topic:  “Ohio’s Regulations on Natural Gas Development and Disposal of Oilfield Wastes”

Tom Tomastik, M.S. , Geologist, Technical Support Section, Underground Injection Control, Division of Mineral Resources Management, Ohio Department of Natural Resources

  • Wednesday, 20 April 2011, 7:00 PM, Kennedy Center Ballroom

Topic:  “Public Health Impacts of Unconventional Gas Extraction”

Conrad “Dan” Volz, DrPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Pittsburgh