'Clean energy media tour’ to highlight University research

'Clean energy media tour’ to highlight University research

University faculty members will demonstrate their contributions to research in the field of geothermal energy on May 10.

The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada will host a small-group media tour, bringing three national reporters to northern Nevada to learn about renewable and geothermal energy exploration and development. The tour will include a visit to the University campus, where several researchers will discuss their work in the geothermal arena.

“Geothermal is one of our main renewable energy focuses,” said Manos Maragakis, dean of the College of Engineering. “It is very important that the community and industry understand that the University has expertise and resources in the realms of renewable energy.”

The University’s Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy and upcoming National Geothermal Academy will be highlighted through the tour. Wendy Calvin, director of both the center and academy and professor of geological sciences in the College of Science, will lead the discussion. The academy is a consortium of top geothermal schools from around the country, and the University of Nevada, Reno was selected as the academy’s host university. The inaugural, eight-week course begins June 20, 2011, and covers all aspects of geothermal energy development and utilization.

Additional faculty presentations will include John Louie, professor of geophysics with the Nevada Seismological Laboratory and Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, who will discuss his work in seismological modeling and geothermal exploration; John Cushman, professor and graduate program director in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, who will discuss his algae-to-biofuel research which leverages Nevada’s geothermal resources; and Amy Childress, professor and chair of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering, who will discuss her work exploring the interrelationship between energy and water, including geothermal applications.

“We need to make the media, the public, and industry aware of our effort to collaborate in an interdisciplinary way,” Maragakis said.

“The tour is a strong example of our effort to work with media to tell the University’s story, and it also exemplifies an aspect of our collaboration with colleagues in economic development,” said Jane Tors, special assistant to the president for media relations. “The resulting coverage benefits our entire region, as well as the University.”

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