Pioneers in Energy Knowledge

From the work of energy pioneer and “Father of Oil Geology” Israel C. White in 1867, to Geology Associate Professor Shikha Sharma's revolutionary genomic survey of microbes in deep shale, WVU faculty, professional staff and students profoundly influence our knowledge of the earth beneath the Appalachian region.

WVU is at the forefront of the shale gas revolution. In 1996, the Appalachian Oil and Natural Gas Research Consortium at WVU, under the direction of Douglas G. Patchen, developed a playbook of the Devonian Shale—which includes the Marcellus and Utica—and has become indispensable within the oil and gas industry.

Today, Marshall Miller Professor of Geology Tim Carr’s online interactive atlas of unconventional resources being funding from the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory provides up-to-date public information about activity in the region. And tomorrow, Geology Associate Professor Shikha Sharma’s National Science Foundation-funded work will teach us more about the nature of living creatures several miles deep in the subsurface. Several other faculty members in the departments of Geology and Geography, Petroleum Engineering, and Civil Engineering are equally engaged in subsurface shale research.