The controversial hydraulic fracturing natural gas drilling technique and its potential impact on the state's environment and economy will be the subject of an eight-week series of free lectures arranged by the University at Buffalo.
The lectures, arranged by UB's department of geology, will be held at 8 p.m. each Thursday from this week to May 19 in Room 250 of Baird Hall on UB's North Campus in Amherst.
"It's an opportunity to let the public know about the actual exploration and production of energy resources in New York, said Marcus Bursik, chairman of UB's geology department.
Topics will include how geologists explore for resources; how companies get rights to the resources; how gas resources are drilled, "fracked" and distributed; and what legal, environmental and regulatory issues are involved, he said.
To register for the lectures, listed below, go to www.ubevents.org/event/marcellus.
* Thursday: "Natural Gas and the Energy Future of the U.S.," by Rayola Dougher, senior economic adviser of the American Petroleum Institute.
* April 7: "Geology of the Black Shales of New York," by Langhorne Smith, the state geologist with the New York State Museum.
* April 14: "Land Leasing and Property Rights," by Michael Joy, partner at Biltekoff & Joy, LLC.
* April 21: "Permitting and Regulation," by Greg Sovas, president of XRM Consulting and former director of the state Department of Environmental Conservation's Division of Mineral Resources.
* April 28: "Drilling and Fracking," by Rich Nyahay, vice president of geological exploration for Gastem, an oil and gas exploration company based in Quebec.
* May 5: "Production, Pipelining and Long-Term Build-out," by Gary Marchiori, president of EnergyMark LLC, an Amherst-based energy services company.
* May 12: "Completion," by Roger Willis, chief executive officer of Universal Well Services, a provider of hydraulic fracturing, cementing, nitrogen and acidizing services in the Appalachian Basin.
* May 19: "Energy and the Environment: Gas and the Green Earth," by John Martin, former senior project manager for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.