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2012

Dr. Drohan Presents to Princeton Univ. on Fracking and Landscape Effects
December 15, 2012
Dr. Drohan presented at the Princeton Environmental Institute
New Paper Summarizes Results of Oil and Gas Impacts on Forest Ecosystems
December 5, 2012
Energy production presents numerous challenges to both industry and land managers across the globe. The recent development of unconventional (shale gas) plays around the world [US Energy Information Administration (USEIA), 2011] has brought attention to the potential for rapid change in affected landscapes and associated ecosystem services. While shale-gas development specifically has been the focus of recent research on how landscapes are changing, continued scientific investigation can lessen the resulting ecosystem disturbance across all energy infrastructure. In April 2012, the Pennsylvania State University hosted the 2012 Goddard Forum Oil and Gas Development Impacts on Forested Ecosystems--Research and Management Challenges.
Penn State Soil Judging Teams Win Northeast Regional Contest
November 2, 2012
A team of students from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences recently won the Northeast Regional Collegiate Soil Judging Contest in Wilmington, Ohio, qualifying to compete in the national championship in the spring.
Dr. Drohan Presents to Committee on Earth Resources, Board on Earth Sciences and Resources National Research Council of the National Academies.
November 1, 2012
Presentation on "Shale-Gas Development Effects on North-Central Appalachian Landscapes"
Dr. Drohan Presents to SSSA on Fracking and Landscape Effects
October 25, 2012
Presentation on the Impacts on Ecosystem Resources with Dave Yoxtheimer of MCOR.
Fracking on a slope: Deep shale drilling and its surface effects
September 30, 2012
As drilling for natural gas in deep shale rock continues to expand in Pennsylvania, researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have now identified some of the possible effects. In a study in the Sept.-Oct. issue of the Soil Science Society of America Journal, they report that 50 to 70 percent of shale-gas drill sites across Pennsylvania’s Appalachian Plateau are situated on slopes that could be prone to erosion and sedimentation problems.
Research looks at hydrology, soil constraints to shale-gas development
September 24, 2012
Across the Appalachian Plateau in Pennsylvania, 50 to 70 percent of shale-gas pads are being developed on slopes that could be prone to erosion and sedimentation problems, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Research maps out gas boom impact in Washington County
September 6, 2012
The natural gas boom has disturbed nearly 1 percent of the land in Washington County, according to a federal study, one of several designed to chart the revived industry’s impact on Pennsylvania land. (article in Pittsburgh Tribune)
Topographic and soil constraints to shale-gas development in the northcentral Appalachians
July 30, 2012
Worldwide, shale-gas development is becoming a feasible extraction practice and the northern Allegheny Plateau, USA is a region experiencing such development. We used a GIS to investigate topographic and soil characteristics across existing and permitted shale-gas pads in Pennsylvania, which could affect infrastructure development and reclamation success. Results from this analysis, while regionally specific, can contribute knowledge for successful management of all shale-gas extraction. Approximately 60% of existing and permitted pads occur on slopes at risk to some excess surface water movement and local erosion.
Vegetation and Soil Development in Compost-Amended Iron Oxide Precipitates at a 50-Year-Old Acid Mine Drainage Barrens
July 24, 2012
Restoration Ecology - Acid mine drainage (AMD) barrens result from destruction of vegetation within AMD flow paths. When exposed to air, soluble iron in AMD undergoes oxidation and hydrolysis to form ferric iron (oxyhydr)oxides which accumulate on soil surfaces. A restoration experiment was conducted at a 50-year-old AMD barrens created by discharge from an abandoned underground coal mine. The objective was to determine whether vegetation could be established by altering rather than removing surface layers of acidic precipitates at a site representative of other mining-degraded areas.
Dr. Drohan presentation on shale-gas soil and landscape effects at Workshop
July 18, 2012
Pennsylvania Association of Professional Soil Scientist's Workshop in Waterville, PA on July 18th included a presentation by Dr. Patrick Drohan on the "Soil/landscape impacts and management associated with Marcellus shale natural gas drilling" and a Marcellus Shale Drilling Field Tour.
Fracking's Footprint on Pennsylvania Forest
July 16, 2012
ScienceDaily — Pennsylvania is hardly a stranger to energy development. Since 1859, more than 325,000 oil and gas wells have been drilled in the state, and many areas still bear the scars of strip-mining for coal. Now the latest energy boom in on. Thousands of feet below the surface are the Marcellus and Utica shale formations and their largely untapped reserves of natural gas.
North American Envirothon 2012
July 15, 2012
Dr. Drohan, Cody Fink, and Mike Marsicano volunteered as scorers at the 2012 Canon National Envirothon held July 22-27 at Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, PA
Fracking's Footprint: Scientists Study Impact of Shale Gas Development on Pennsylvania's Forests
July 2, 2012
Travel the length and breadth of Pennsylvania and you'll notice a divide that has defined the state from the start: The southeast is settled and wealthy farm country, while the less prosperous north and west have always depended on boom-and-bust cycles of resource extraction. Nearly all of Pennsylvania was clear-cut in the late 1800s and early 1900s, making it for a time the largest producer of lumber in the United States. Underground coal mining began even earlier, followed by surface strip-mining in the 20th century. Oil and gas production have also flourished here; since 1859, more than 325,000 wells have been drilled. Now the latest boom is on. Thousands of feet below the surface are the Marcellus and Utica shales and their largely untapped reserves of natural gas.
Graduate Student Awarded Funds to Attend SoilTrEC Workshop
July 1, 2012
Lauren Vitko was awarded funds from NSF's Critical Zone Program to travel to Chania, Crete to attend a SoilTrEC workshop on Reactive Transport Modelling. Workshop held July 16-19th.
Dr. Drohan Presents at State Foresters Meeting
June 24, 2012
Dr. Drohan presented on forest soil and landscape level Impacts with energy development at the 2012 Northeastern Area Association of State Foresters (NAASF)/Forest Resource Planning Committee’s (FRPC) annual meeting in State College, PA.
Dr. Drohan Presents at USDA-NRCS Soil Survey Meeting
June 15, 2012
Dr. Drohan presented at the 2012 NE USDA-NRCS Soil Survey Cooperator's Meeting in Orono, ME on the work Mike Marsicano is leading to identify Ecological Sites across Pennsylvania.
Graduate Student Lauren Vitko Wins Second Place in Poster Contest
June 15, 2012
The National Agricultural Biotechnology Council (NABC) meeting on Water Sustainability in Agriculture was held June 11-13, 2012 at University of Arkansas.
Class logs 1,200 miles across PA looking at the state's soils, landscapes, and management issues
May 30, 2012
SOILS 516 logged 1,200 miles across Pennsylvania looking at the state's soils, landscapes, and management issues. Thanks to Alex Dado of the NRCS for a tour of glacial lake deposits south of Mercer, Calvin Ernst for a great tour of Pennsylvania Mollisols near Meadville, and Steve Dadio and Cedarville Engineering for helping arrange visits around Norristown.
Dr. Drohan presents at Ohio Workshop
May 15, 2012
Dr. Drohan presented on "The effect of shale-gas development on North-Central Appalachian landscapes: Implications for the north-central Appalachians" at the workshop: Shale Energy Development Challenges to Ohio’s Land and Water, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.
Troubling Early Trends in Penn's Woods from Gas Drilling
May 1, 2012
A new study from researchers at Penn State University has looked at early trends in land-cover change and forest fragmentation in Pennsylvania due to shale-gas exploration -- i.e., the amount of forests and fields being chewed up by drilling. The findings point to much bigger issues that lie ahead.
Study Suggests Shale-gas Development Causing Rapid Landscape Change
April 20, 2012
As the Marcellus natural-gas play unfolds in Pennsylvania, several trends are becoming increasingly clear, according to researchers at Penn State.
2012 National Collegiate Soil Judging Contest
April 2, 2012
Held at WVU on March 29-30. We came in 7th in group judging and 9th in the nation as a team.
Marcellus Shale landscape change research presented at 2012 Central Hardwood Conference
April 1, 2012
Dr. Maragret Brittingham presents on ongoing Marcellus Shale landscape change research with Dr. Drohan, and Dr. Joe Bishop. Held in Morgantown, WV on March 26-March 28, 2012.
Dr. Ron Amundson visits Penn State and Critical Zone
March 31, 2012
The Soil Characterization lab helped host Dr. Ron Amundson's visit to Penn State as part of a jointly sponsored event highlighting critical zone science and understanding landscape evolution.
Fertilizer Forecaster Presentation
March 31, 2012
Tony Buda presented information about the Fertilizer Forecaster at the Centre county Farm Bureau.
Oil and Gas Development Impacts on Forested Ecosystems: Research and Management Challenges
March 29, 2012
Dr. Drohan presented on soil and topographic challenges facing shale-gas extraction in the north-central Appalachians at the 2012: Goddard Forum
Received USDA-AFRI Award for Development of the Fertilizer Forecaster
March 7, 2012
A grant of $484,000 will support a joint Penn State/U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service project designed to help farmers improve water quality by making better decisions about when and where to apply fertilizer.
Genesis of Freshwater Subaqueous Soils Following Flooding of a Subaerial Landscape
March 4, 2012
Emilie Erich's subaqueous soils thesis paper is published in Geoderma 179-180:53-62! Congrats Emily! We investigated subaqueous soils in a 91 ha freshwater impoundment, which prior to flooding were subaerial.
Early Trends in Landcover Change and Forest Fragmentation Due to Shale-Gas Development in Pennsylvania: A Potential Outcome for the Northcentral Appalachians
February 7, 2012
Our first paper on shale-gas landscape change is out. See Environmental Management 49(5):1061-1075.
Dr. Drohan Presents Seminar on his Research
February 1, 2012
Dr. Drohan presented on his research examining soil and topographic challenges facing shale-gas development in PA at the Penn State Department of Crop and Soil Sciences seminar.
Dr. Drohan Presents on the Development of Fertilizer Forecaster
January 15, 2012
Dr. Drohan and Dr. Tony Buda (USDA-ARS) presented a webinar on Development of Fertilizer Forecaster in the Conewago Creek Watershed.
The Marcellus Shale Electronic Field Guide is Live!
January 10, 2012
This guide is meant to help in forging ahead with the best possible options for Pennsylvania's future. In this guide, you will find options for assistance in land management at all stages of infrastructure development.
Presentation on Marcellus Shale Landscape Change Research
January 6, 2012
Dr. Drohan and Dr. Margaret Brittingham presented their ongoing research at the Pennsylvania DCNR Bureau of Forestry's Winter Professional meeting.