Westminster College Associate Professor to Discuss the Chemistry of Hydraulic Fracturing

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Dr. Helen Boylan, Westminster associate professor of chemistry, will present "Shale Happens: An Investigation of the Environmental Chemistry of Hydraulic Fracturing " at the Faires Faculty Forum Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 11:40 a.m. in the Sebastian Mueller Theater of the McKelvey Campus Center.

Boylan has been doing collaborative research with undergraduate students on environmental analysis of hydraulic fracturing for over a year. She will discuss the pros and cons of shale gas extraction in the context of undergraduate research on the topic. She will also share experimental results on frack water and future plans involving air quality monitoring.

Boylan, a Westminster graduate who joined the faculty in 2001, earned a Ph.D. from Duquesne University.

The Faculty Forum was established in 1990 by Dr. Barbara Faires, Westminster professor of mathematics emerita, during her term as dean of the college and vice president for academic affairs.  Faculty members from all disciplines volunteer to present lectures on their current research, artistic productions, and scholarship of teaching and learning.  Each forum presents new ideas with innovative lecture techniques.

Podcasts of the forums are available here.

Contact Boylan at (724) 946-6293 or email for additional information.

Contact Charlene Klassen Endrizzi, faculty development officer, at (724) 946-7189 for more information on the Faires Faculty Forum or click here.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 377 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 42 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.

Click image to enlarge.

(l-r) Dr. Helen Boylan, associate professor of chemistry, and Danielle Murtagh, a junior chemistry major, doing research on hydraulic fracturing.


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