LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - What went wrong during drilling operations on the Deepwater Horizon that led to the largest marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry? What was the environmental impact on marine animals? What exactly are the “tar balls” that washed onto the Gulf beaches? Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
These and other questions will be the focus of a panel discussion at Lock Haven University on Wednesday, September 15 at 7:00 p.m.in the Hamblin Hall of Flags, Robinson Hall. The event is free and members of the public are invited to attend
The panel discussion will bring together LHU professors in biology, geology, and political science to apply their knowledge in their disciplines to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and its social, political, economic and environmental impacts.
Dr. Loretta D. Dickson, assistant professor of geology, will explain the structure of oil reservoirs and the process of drilling into them. She will use the Deepwater Horizon event as a case study of how spills happen.
Dr. Dickson and Dr. Joseph P. Calabrese, professor and chair, Department of Biological Sciences, were on the Gulf Coast this summer and saw the results of the spill first-hand, including the infamous “tar balls” which befouled the beaches. Dr. Calabrese brought back a tar ball and has been doing lab research on it. He will share his findings with the audience as part of his discussion on the environment and recovery of marine animals. Joining Dr. Calabrese will be LHU student Ashley Colarusso, a Marine Biology major, who spent time this summer working in the Gulf. She will show slides and will share her experiences helping to rescue and clean marine animals.
Dr. Stanley P. Berard, professor of political science and chair of the Department of History/Political Science/Economics/Geography, will also participate in the panel discussion. A specialist in southern politics, Dr. Berard will analyze the social and political systems of the Gulf region and why responses to the disaster took the forms that they did.
Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions of the panel participants.
The Gulf Oil panel discussion is sponsored by the Lock Haven University MountainServe Center for Global Citizenship. Director Anne-Marie Turnage commented, “The purpose of this event is to put the Deepwater Horizon disaster into a larger context. We look forward to hearing LHU faculty and a student share their knowledge as related to an event of global significance.”