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Climate Change Symposium to Explore Future of Carbon

Topics include fracking, carbon capture and storage emissions and carbon management

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Leading experts on subjects related to climate change will gather at Northwestern University Friday, May 16, for the fourth annual Climate Change Symposium. They will discuss the latest research on hydrocarbon exploitation, carbon dioxide capture, geological and biological storage and carbon mitigation strategies -- in short, the future of carbon and what individuals and communities in the Chicago area should know about it. 

The daylong symposium, “The Future of Carbon,” will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Northwestern’s McCormick Center Tribune Forum, 1870 Campus Drive, on the University’s Evanston campus.

The event, organized by members of the department of Earth and planetary sciences and the Institute for Sustainability and Energy (ISEN), is free and open to the public. Attendees are welcome to attend all or part of the symposium and are encouraged to RSVP.  

Symposium participants include experts on shale gas and hydraulic fracturing (fracking), carbon dioxide capture and storage strategies, and the technical challenges of mitigating rising carbon dioxide levels. 

“Over the past few years there has been a significant increase in media attention on shale gas, fracking and carbon capture and storage technologies, but it is not always clear what information is accurate and what is not,” said Bradley Sageman, chairman and professor of Earth and planetary sciences in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. “The goal of this year’s symposium is to provide up-to-date and scientifically accurate summaries of these important issues.”

Sageman, who initiated Northwestern’s Climate Change Symposium in collaboration with ISEN in 2009, will deliver the opening and closing remarks.

Symposium participants include:

Mike Arthur, Pennsylvania State University professor of geosciences, whose expertise includes the pros and cons of shale gas exploration and production, especially in the massive Marcellus shale gas play of the Appalachian Basin

Stefan Bachu, distinguished scientist at Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures in Alberta, Canada, and lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, whose research focuses on the potential benefits and risks associated with carbon dioxide storage in geological media

Omar Farha, Northwestern University research professor, whose research focuses on the design of metal-organic frameworks and porous-organic polymers for a wide range of energy and sustainability applications

Julie Jastrow, senior scientist in the Biosciences Division at Argonne National Laboratory, whose research focuses on characterizing the quantity and decomposability of soil carbon in the northern circumpolar permafrost region and on terrestrial carbon sequestration

Ah-Hyung (Alissa) Park, Columbia University’s Lenfest Professor in Applied Climate Science of Earth and Environmental Engineering and Chemical Engineering, whose research focuses on carbon capture, utilization and storage

Ray Pierrehumbert, University of Chicago’s Louis Block Professor in the Geographical Sciences, a leading authority on global climate change and co-author of the National Research Council’s upcoming report on climate engineering

Martin O. Saar, University of Minnesota associate professor of Earth sciences, whose research focuses on the geophysical fluid dynamics of subsurface multiphase, multicomponent, reactive fluid and energy transfer processes 

Sponsors of the symposium are the department of Earth and planetary sciences, the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN), the Programs in Environmental Sciences, Environmental Engineering and Environmental Policy and Culture (EPC), the Plant Biology and Conservation Program, the Alumnae of Northwestern University and the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.

For more information, a schedule and to RSVP, visit the symposium’s website