Officials at The Ohio State University and West Virginia University have signed a memorandum of understanding creating a shale energy partnership between the two schools, agreeing to work collaboratively to develop a joint program of research in the Appalachian Region’s developing shale energy industry.

As each state’s land-grant institution, Ohio State and WVU share a mission to serve the people of their respective states through research, on-campus education, and outreach. Consistent with this mission, Ohio State and WVU will collaborate on scholarly work and instruction focused on shale energy. Together, these institutions will address the complex issues related to shale development, including the economic implications of natural gas and other hydrocarbons, as well as the possible impacts of such development efforts on the environment, local communities and public health.

“This singular partnership demonstrates the wisdom of universities collaborating with one another,” said Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee. “West Virginia University and Ohio State have complementary research strengths in this area. Working together, our faculty will take a unique leadership role that will advance our shared, scientific understanding of the complex environmental and economic issues in shale energy.”

The MOU acknowledges that research and education related to shale energy development must be of high value to students, faculty, and the public. The two schools will exchange information and jointly explore funding of shale energy and related environmental studies before, during, and after the development of the Utica and Marcellus shale plays, including the possibility of developing shale energy field laboratories.

“I am very excited about this partnership between two land-grant, flagship, research universities on an issue that is of great importance,” WVU President Jim Clements said. “By working together we will enhance our capacity to do cutting-edge research, high-quality teaching and effective outreach on shale energy. This partnership will also enhance our ability to serve the energy needs of our states, nation and world.

“On a personal note, it is always a privilege to work with President Gee and his outstanding team at Ohio State,” Clements said.

The idea for the collaboration began with conversations between Ohio State and WVU officials attending the “2012 Public and Land-Grant University Conference on Energy Challenges,” held at Ohio State in April 2012 and co-sponsored by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and Colorado State University.

The conversations and subsequent MOU centered on a potential collaboration between the research universities, recognizing that combining efforts on shale energy research, education, and outreach would be of great benefit to the respective universities and states, the Appalachian Region, our nation and the world.

“Energy from shale is a huge resource of vast regional importance that will be tapped and how we do it will have lasting effects,” Peter McPherson, APLU president, said. “I am pleased that these two premier land grant universities are available to take a leadership role in increasing our knowledge of the correct way to harvest this resource.”

About West Virginia University:
Since its founding in 1867 as a public land-grant institution, West Virginia University has embraced a mission of providing excellence in teaching, research, and service. Located in Morgantown, West Virginia, about 70 miles south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with regional campuses across West Virginia, WVU’s fall 2012 main campus enrollment was 29,707 (all campuses 32,593). WVU is one of only 11 schools in the country that are land-grant, doctoral research universities with a comprehensive medical school. WVU offers 184 degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels through 14 colleges and schools, including six professional schools: dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, the state’s only law school, and a new School of Public Health. More than 185,000 alumni have been prepared for personal and career success.

About The Ohio State University:
Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 56,000 in Columbus), a major medical center, 14 colleges, 80 centers, and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences and the professions.



CONTACT: John Bolt; West Virginia University


Gina Langen; Ohio State University
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