SERC hosting Energy and Environment Leadership Workshop


Wednesday-Thursday, September 7-8, 2016



Guidance in crafting questions

Topic area keywords



This workshop will provide leading researchers and experts in the field of subsurface energy development the opportunity to define and discuss the most important research issues surrounding shale resource development. This workshop will be a horizon-scanning exercise to define up to ten key research questions in subsurface energy in each of the following four topic areas:

  1. Scientific and Technological advances [Plenary: Tim Carr - Professor, West Virginia University];
  2. Environmental impacts [Plenary: Sue Brantley - Distinguished Professor of Geosciences; Director, Earth and Environmental Systems Insitute, Penn State University]
  3. Socio-economic issues [Plenary: Gene Theodori - Professor, Department of Sociology, Sam Houston State University]
  4. Policy and Regulatory framework. [Plenary: Alan Krupnick - Resources for the Future]

The workshop will include plenary presentations for each of these four areas, and will be complemented by focused talks that set the stage for breakout discussions and research question development. The key outcome of the workshop will be a broad-ranging paper published in a peer-reviewed journal that identifies and describes the important research questions to develop knowledge and advance understanding in subsurface energy development.


Guidance in crafting questions for the quad chart

In order to provide some guidance, the scope of an "ideal" questions for this workshop would entail the following points:

  • Address important gaps in knowledge
  • Be answerable through a realistic research design
  • Have a factual answer that does not depend on value judgments
  • Cover a spatial and temporal scale that could realistically be addressed by a research team ($10M over 5 years
  • Not be answerable by "it all depends" or "yes" or "no"
  • If related to impact and interventions, should contain a subject, an intervention, and a measurable outcome

Please email two questions no later than September 1 to Mike Kositzke (


Topic Area Keywords

Scientific and Technological advances: drilling engineering, casing and cement, drilling fluids and proppants, water treatment/reuse, solids treatment, sensors, geophysical imaging (remote as well as direct downhole), well logs, core analyses, induced seismicity, microbial issues in production, seismic events, microbial issues influencing production, spill attenuation/remediation, manufacturing, petrochemical products, best practices

Environmental impacts: human health – water/groundwater, air, seismic, workplace or community issues; ecological health – sediment (erosion, contaminated), surface water (invertebrates, fish, algal blooms), pipelines, habitat fragmentation, chemical (metals, salinity, organic compounds) and biological monitoring, ERA approaches 

Socio-economic issues: windfall wealth, boom and bust local economic cycle, infrastructure (schools, roads, hospitals, EMT), traffic, crime, economic development, downstream business and job opportunities, and workforce development needs

Policy and Regulatory framework:  permitting, reporting, taxation, legislation, role of local, state and federal agencies 



The workshop will be held at The Blackwell Hotel and Conference Center on the campus of The Ohio State University. SERC has reserved a block of rooms for Tuesday & Wednesday nights, September 6-7. To receive this reduced rate, please mention SERC or the Subsurface Energy Resource Center when making your reservation. The Blackwell operates a free shuttle from the Columbus airport, running every thirty minutes. Contact Mike Kositzke (, 614-688-1566) with any questions.

Wednesday-Thursday, September 7-8, 2016
The Blackwell Hotel and Conference Center
2110 Tuttle Park Place
The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH 43210
(866) 247-4003