The Bucknell University Marcellus Shale Initiative (MSI) announces a new educational resource: the MSI Publications Database, a web-based clearinghouse that references and summarizes primarily print-based publications on the Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction and related topics.
The Marcellus Shale, a geologic formation containing natural gas spanning NY, PA, WV, OH, and VA, is undergoing rapid development as a major US energy source. The use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to release the gas qualifies the extraction to be termed “unconventional.” The Bucknell University MSI, directed by Carl S. Kirby, Professor of Geology, was created in 2010 to support Marcellus Shale-related research in the physical sciences, social sciences and humanities at Bucknell.
The MSI Publications Database covers primarily print-based publications as these are the most reputable sources of information to date. The database contains links to publications as well as short summaries of each publication. The database also explains the differences among publication types and how to access and retrieve copyrighted publications. As the database grows, it will also include more references to publications that are not directly related to the Marcellus Shale; such publications might feature other unconventional gas extraction such as the Barnett Shale, hydraulic fracturing, potential health issues, or address socioeconomic changes in energy boom towns.
The MSI Publications Database is intended to serve the public as well as regulators, industry, citizens’ groups and academics who want to know more about the background and potential impact of the development of this resource. The Initiative is dedicated to updating the database as rapidly as resources allow. This database does not provide coverage of websites, blogs, news articles, newsletters, or other media. Partners in this effort include the Forum for Pennsylvania’s Heartland, the Degenstein Foundation, and Geisinger Center for Health Research.
The MSI is the fourth and newest initiative of the BUEC. The MSI will also facilitate teaching and additional public outreach efforts. Because an avalanche of information is reaching the public through the web and other media, the MSI also has a long-term plan to critically evaluate this information. This effort is currently in development.