Stephen Osborn, assistant professor of geology, has been awarded a $750,000 grant for water quality research from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Osborn’s research is part of a larger collaboration spearheaded by a team of University of Colorado Boulder researchers. The project, which received an overall $12 million grant, will explore ways to maximize the benefits of accelerating natural gas production, while minimizing the negative impacts on ecosystems and communities.
Although natural gas has been an energy source for many years, “there is still a general lack of information that is publically available regarding water quality in areas with extensive natural gas extraction,” says Osborn. As the water quality research group leader, his role in the project will investigate groundwater quality within and near areas with natural gas extraction and hydraulic fracturing.
He will travel to Colorado and Wyoming with several Cal Poly Pomona students to collect water samples and bring them to his on-campus water quality lab for testing. With the five-year grant, he hopes to begin fieldwork in the spring.
NSF is a government agency that supports research in non-medical science and engineering.