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

MEDIA ADVISORY: Fracking on Trial at NJIT: Everything You Always Wanted to Know

WHAT:  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 groundwater contamination, risks to air quality, and migration of toxic chemicals to the surface.  Is this technology vital for tapping much-needed energy or one that’s environmentally destructive?  That’s the question a panel of experts will explore at an upcoming NJIT Technology and Society Forum.

WHO: Environmental expert Michel Boufadel, NJIT professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the university’s Center for Natural Resources Development and Protection, will chair the talk.  Boufadel has assessed the effects of the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska and the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.  Panelists to include:

• Fred Baldassare, senior geoscientist, ECHELON Applied Geoscience Consulting, who has applied isotope geochemistry to identify the source and type of gases in soils, aquifers and geologic features of the Appalachian Basin;   

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

• Daniel Soeder, a scientist with the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory, West Virginia, whose 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.

WHEN and WHERE:   4/10/2013, 3 – 4:30 p.m. NJIT Campus Center Ballroom.

HOW:   The NJIT Technology and Society Forum is free and open to the public.  For more information, contact Jay Kappraff, 973-596-3490.  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.”

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.