Science Inspires Series Continues With McElroy and the Water In Southwestern Pa.

Posted on 2/26/2015 1:39:49 PM

This semester’s Science Inspires Series continues with an examination of the many complexities that impact water quality in the area. Nathan McElroy, Chemistry, will present “Water Quality Issues in Southwestern Pennsylvania” at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, 2015, in 208 Weyandt Hall.

This talk is part of an ongoing lecture series presented by the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Two CNSM faculty and one distinguished guest speaker present their expertise to the IUP scientific community of students and faculty every semester.

The last speaker for this semester, Colleen McClung (University of Pittsburgh), will present her talk “It’s That Time of Day Again: Biological Clocks and Psychiatric Disorders” on April 9 at 3:30 p.m. in the Eberly Auditorium.

More information about McElroy’s lecture is included below:

Water Quality Issues in Southwestern Pennsylvania

For over 150 years, Southwestern Pennsylvania has been a source of fossil fuel extraction activities, including oil, coal, and natural gas. The amount of and proximity to such vast energy reserves also supported related industries such as fuel refining, chemical feedstock production, and steel milling. For a century, this region experienced great economic growth and provided employment at mills, mines, and railroads. Though these industries have waned in recent decades, we’re now experiencing a rebound of sorts in energy extraction from the Marcellus Shale.

In addition to the economic advantages of these anthropogenic activities, there is an impact on surface and ground water quality in our region. Recently, the popular media and general public have tended to focus on hydraulic fracturing as the sole source of water quality issues, but the problem is more complex than that.

This presentation will include a discussion on our region’s water quality, descriptions of local monitoring programs, and suggestions for future steps to address concerns on both sides of the issue.