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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

Fracking: Challenges and Opportunities

A technology vital for tapping much-needed energy or one that’s environmentally destructive?  That’s the question a panel of experts will explore at the Technology and Society Forum session on fracking April 10, 2013 from 3 – 4:30 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom.  The NJIT Technology and Society Forum is free and open to the public.

Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, injects fluid underground at high pressure to fracture rock formations in order to extract previously inaccessible oil and gas. Opponents point to the negatives, including groundwater contamination, risks to air quality, and migration of toxic chemicals to the surface. 

The panel looking at both sides of fracking will be chaired by Michel Boufadel, NJIT professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the university’s Center for Natural Resources Development and Protection. Boufadel’s wide range of environmental research includes assessing effects of the the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska and the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Panelist Fred Baldassare is a senior geoscientist at ECHELON Applied Geoscience Consulting as well as the owner of the practice. He has been a leader in applying isotope geochemistry to identification of the source and type of gases in soils, aquifers and other geologic features of the Appalachian Basin. 

Tracy Carluccio is assistant director of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN), a nonprofit whose staff and volunteers work throughout the entire Delaware River Watershed. DRN is engaged in environmental advocacy, volunteer monitoring, stream-restoration assistance and educational initiatives. 

Daniel Soeder is a scientist with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory in West Virginia.  His research interests include geology, energy and environmental issues related to unconventional fossil fuel resources such as shale gas, oil shale, enhanced oil recovery, and the geological sequestration of carbon dioxide. 

For more information, contact Jay Kappraff, 973-596-3490.  Co-sponsors of the event are NJIT Technology and Society Forum Committee, Albert Dorman Honors College, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Sigma Xi.  NJIT welcomes attendees from Essex County College, Rutgers-Newark, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. 

Visit the NJIT Technology and Society Forum on the Web.  Previous Forum presentations are available at http://itunes.njit.edu; search for “Technology and Society Forum.”

NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls approximately 10,000 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Division of Continuing Professional Education.