Robert B. Jackson, Nicholas Chair of Global Environmental Change in the earth and ocean sciences division at Duke University, will deliver the Wilkes University Kimball Lecture on Monday, April 7 at 8 p.m. in the Marts Gymnasium, 274 South Franklin St. in Wilkes-Barre. Jackson will speak about “The Environmental Costs and Benefits of Shale Gas Development.” The lecture is free and open to the public.
Jackson, considered a leading authority on the effects of Marcellus Shale drilling, has conducted research that examines how people affect the earth, including studies of the global carbon and water cycles, biosphere/atmosphere interactions, energy use, and global change. In the past four years, he and his colleagues at Duke have studied the effects of shale gas development on groundwater. Much of that research has been conducted in northeastern Pennsylvania and has received worldwide attention.
Jackson received his bachelor of science in chemical engineering from Rice University. He worked for the Dow Chemical Company before obtaining his master of science in ecology, master of science in statistics and doctorate in ecology from Utah State University. He was a department of energy distinguished postdoctoral fellow for global change at Stanford University and an assistant professor at the University of Texas before joining the Duke faculty in 1999.
He is currently director of Duke's center on global change and Duke's stable isotope mass spectrometry laboratory. In his quest for solutions to global warming, Jackson also directs the Department of Energy-funded National Institute for Climate Change Research for the southeastern U.S. and co-directed the climate change policy partnership, working with energy and utility corporations to find practical strategies to combat climate change.
Jackson has received the Murray F. Buell Award from the Ecological Society of America, a 1999 Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering from the National Science Foundation. He is a Senior Fellow in the Ecological Society, a Fellow in the American Geophysical Union, and is included in the top 0.5% of most cited scientific researchers.
His more than 150 peer-reviewed scientific publications have been cited more than 15,000 and 25,000 times in Web of Science and Google Scholar, respectively. His trade book on global change, The Earth Remains Forever, was published in October 2002. His first children's book, Animal Mischief, was published in March 2006 by Boyds Mills Press. Its sequel, Weekend Mischief, appeared in 2010.
Jackson's research has been covered in various newspapers and magazines, such as the Boston Globe, New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Scientific American, and BusinessWeek, and on national public radio, including the syndicated programs "Morning Edition," "All Things Considered," "Marketplace," "The Tavis Smiley Show," "The Next 200 Years," and "Earth and Sky.” He conceived and organized the Janus Fellowship, an annual undergraduate award to encourage the study of an environmental problem from diverse perspectives.
The Kimball Lecture is named for Grace Kimball, a former microbiologist in the Wilkes biology department who funded the lecture series. She came to Wilkes in 1963 toward the end of her career as a bacteriologist in many hospitals, public health laboratories, and academic institutions. In choosing the lecturer, members of the Wilkes University Biology Department consider scientists who have distinguished themselves in some realm of biology and who is able to engage and educate the public.