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February 20, 2012

Drexel University experts with a variety of expertise are available to help media report on stories regarding Marcellus Shale drilling. 

Water pollution and treatment: Dr. Charles Haas, is the head of the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering in Drexel’s College of Engineering. He focuses on water treatment, risk assessment, environmental modeling, microbiology and environmental health. He has researched the effects of fracking on surface water, ground water and drinking water as well as procedures for treatment and disposal of frack water.

Technology and environmental Impact: Dr. Joseph Martin , is the associate director of Drexel’s Engineering Management program and a professor in the College of Engineering. As a part of the Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering department, Martin researches geosynthetics, subsurface engineering, waste water, runoff treatment and infrastructure. He can comment on the process of gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale region and its effect on the environment and infrastructure.

Environmental law: Alex Geisinger is a professor of law at the Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel.  In the fall, he launched a practicum on Hydrofacking and the Clean Water Act, which enabled students to explore a variety of legal issues embedded in natural gas extraction, including impact on communities and regulatory matters.   As a legal scholar, he specializes on the role of legal theory—including law and economics, behavioralism and expressivism—in the development of international law and environmental law.

Chemicals in the Environment: Dr. David Velinsky is a geochemist and the vice president for Environmental Research and Director of the Patrick Center for Environmental Research at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. He specializes in marine and freshwater studies related to chemical contaminants in streams, lakes, rivers and a variety of plants and animals. Velinsky currently is tracing the movement of some of the potential contaminants in “frack” water (wastes from shale drilling) throughout several watersheds in northern Pennsylvania.

Ecological Assessment: Dr. Richard Horwitz is a fisheries ecologist and the Academy’s Ruth Patrick Chair in Environmental Science. He studies the ecology of freshwater fishes. His research group has been studying the effects of Marcellus drilling on key environmental indicators (fish, salamanders and crayfish) in northern Pennsylvania.

Watershed Ecology: Dr. Jerry Mead is a spatial modeler and assistant curator of the Academy’s Watershed and Systems Ecology section. He specializes in watershed modeling and planning, ecology of aquatic invertebrates and fishes, stream geomorphology, and bioeconomics. He leads the Academy’s research on the effects of Marcellus drilling on streams in northern Pennsylvania. The results of the initial marcellus research are available at

**To interview a Drexel University expert, contact a member of the Drexel Media Relations Team . **

Media Contact:

Britt Faulstick