Susan L. Brantley

Susan L. Brantley
Distinguished Professor of Geosciences and Director, Earth and Environmental Systems Institute
Pennsylvania State University
2217 EES Building
University Park
Fields of interest
water-rock interaction, soil formation, weathering, water quality and anthropogenic activities, groundwater flow and transport, effect of hydraulic fracturing and shale gas development on water quality, aqueous geochemistry, biogeochemistry, data sharing, scientific communication to non-scientific public
Description of scientific projects
Currently, the research of SL Brantley focusses on i) understanding how weathering creates soil from rock and how these processes change the subsurface chemical composition and physical properties of aquifers; ii) understanding how shale gas and agricultural development affect water quality and human health. Our projects utilize standard chemical, mineralogical, and microbiological analysis to characterize natural systems with and without anthropogenic effects. With that data and other published data, we use data-driven models or physics-based models to understand the evolution of water and soil composition as a function of time. Our work has implications for people living in areas of shale gas or agricultural development and we have explored ways to interact with residents to help non-scientists understand our findings and, sometimes, to incorporate them into our research.