2021-22 Environmental Lecture Series to conclude with presentation on methane emissions April 7

Published on March 31, 2022

ASHLAND, Ohio – Amy Townsend-Small, director of the environmental studies program at the University of Cincinnati, will close Ashland University’s 2021-22 Environmental Lecture Series on Thursday, April 7. Her 7:30 p.m. presentation, titled “Methane Emissions from the Oil and Gas Supply Chain, will be in Ronk Lecture Hall of the Schar College of Education (340 Samaritan Ave.) and is free and open to the public.

Participants also have the option to attend virtually and can register at www.ashland.edu/cas/environmental-science-program/lecture-series

This year's series, "Looking at Climate Change Through a Scientific Lens," is specifically intended to complement AU’s College of Arts and Sciences’ Symposium Against Indifference, a series of events centered on “Truth in the Age of Misinformation.” Connecting these two themes brings about a diverse set of discussions across disciplines. From an environmental science perspective, researchers with different scientific questions and technical expertise have been sharing what they have learned from their science and how their work informs the general discussion of climate change.

Townsend-Small is an associate professor of geology and geography at UC. Her current research focuses on atmospheric methane emissions from the oil and gas supply chain and climate change feedbacks. Together with her collaborators and students, she has published more than 40 peer-reviewed articles. Her research program has been supported by numerous grants from foundations and agencies, such as Duke Energy Foundation, the California Energy Commission, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Department of Interior. In 2020-2021, Townsend-Small was awarded a National Academy of Sciences Jefferson Science Fellowship.

Methane is a greenhouse gas that is up to 86 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Over the past decade, concentrations have been rising in the atmosphere at increasing rates.  However, methane has a complex mixture of natural and anthropogenic sources, and scientists disagree on why concentrations have begun to rise in recent years. In this seminar, Townsend-Small will discuss her group's research on methane emissions from oil and natural gas sources, including measurements from right here in Ohio. Assessing the largest methane sources is key to controlling the emissions of this dangerous climate forcer.

Other speakers in this series have included Greg Wiles from The College of Wooster and Emilie Beaudon from the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center at The Ohio State University. More information about all presentations in this and earlier series is available at www.ashland.edu/cas/environmental-science-program/lecture-series.

This lecture series is possible thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation, donations from individuals and additional support from Ashland University. Past series have been supported by AU and grants from the Lubrizol Foundation, GTE Foundation and the Fran and Warren Rupp Foundation.

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.