From the Carnegie Science Center:

Marcellus Shale natural gas places western Pennsylvania at a historic energy crossroads. On March 24, 2011, from 7–9 pm, Carnegie Science Center will present Drilling Down on Marcellus Shale: Geology Underlying Marcellus Shale, an engaging adult-oriented lecture that encourages citizens to take part in a public forum on a topic central our region’s environmental and economic future. This installment will cover the geology of the Marcellus Shale formation.

Featured speaker will be Charles E. Jones, PhD, from the Department of Geology and Planetary Science at the University of Pittsburgh. Jones will answer the question ‘What exactly is the Marcellus Shale?’ with facts about the shale’s geographical location, composition, and history. Following the talk, members of the audience are encouraged to share their own questions, comments, and viewpoints.

“To understand why the Marcellus Shale is such a provocative topic right now, we need to first understand the basics like what it’s made of, what local areas contain the shale, and how deep underground it is,” says John Radzilowicz, director of Science and Education at Carnegie Science Center. “Our job at the Science Center is to make current events in science and technology as accessible as possible, beginning with the fundamental concepts.”

The cost of this program is $12 for members and $15 for non-members. Admission includes coffee and dessert. Registration is available online or by calling 412-237-3400, then press 7.

Jones received his PhD from Oxford University, as a Rhodes Scholar, and he carried out geological research at the University of Michigan and University of North Carolina before joining the University of Pittsburgh faculty as a lecturer. He is co-author, with his father, of the widely used Laboratory Manual for Physical Geology, now in its fifth edition. Jones’s research involves the geochemistry of sedimentary rocks and fossils as applied to problems in paleoceanography and global climate change. More information on the speaker is available here.

The Drilling Down on Marcellus Shale series continues in April and May with presentations exploring environmental considerations and the energy potential of harnessing the Marcellus Shale.