Gary Lash, a 31-year SUNY Fredonia professor, has been named to Foreign Policy Magazine’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers” list for 2011. Pioneering research by Dr. Lash into the sedimentary rock formation known as Marcellus black shale – believed to contain vast reserves of natural gas and oil – earned him this prestigious recognition.
Lash, together with Penn State colleague Dr. Terry Engelder and Texas oilman George P. Mitchell, are listed 36th, for “upending the geopolitics of energy.” Their ground-breaking research and subsequent attention they attracted to the 1,400 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and oil within the Appalachian basin, which stretches from southwestern New York through much of Pennsylvania and into parts of West Virginia, Maryland and Ohio, has transformed shale gas into a global issue in the development of greener energy.
Lash, a structural geologist and stratigrapher/sedimentologist with a doctorate in geology from Lehigh University, began investigating exposed shale formations along the Lake Erie shoreline some 15 years ago. He helped to establish the SUNY Fredonia Shale Research Institute as a means of coordinating industry interest in organic-rich shale with academic research efforts. Lash has been interviewed by CNN Money and was a keynote scientist on “Crude,” a documentary presented on the History Channel.
Published by the Slate Group, a division of the Washington Post Company, Foreign Policy Magazine is a global publication devoted to economics, politics, and ideas.