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Retiring Engelder’s expertise helped fueled natural gas boom across nation


Fifty-eight years ago, Terry Engelder wasn’t yet a world-renowned geoscientist. He was a kid with a keen interest in science, a passion ignited by the space race and fueled by the funds that flowed into schools as the nation sought the next generation of discovery.

Using a posterboard and markers, Engelder sketched “Faulting in Western New York” for the junior high science fair. Among the layers Engelder shaped below his hometown was the Marcellus Shale, which decades later Engelder would make famous after successfully projecting it as the second-largest extractable natural gas field in the world.

But even a grown-up Engelder, now a geosciences professor at Penn State, couldn’t predict how that one estimate would dominate and redefine his decades-long career, which draws to a close in June. More

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