UW-Eau Claire's "Ask a Scientist" series will return at 7 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Acoustic Café in downtown Eau Claire. Dr. J. Brian Mahoney, professor of geology, will present "The Role of 'Frac' Sand in the U.S. Energy Portfolio." Mahoney will discuss unconventional hydrocarbon resources,
primarily natural gas, and explain how these resources are a critical component
in a rapidly changing national energy portfolio. He also will address how the integration of unconventional
resources in a comprehensive realignment of U.S. energy policy, if done
correctly, could reduce the nation's long-term carbon footprint. All "Ask a Scientist" talks are held at 7 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month (unless noted otherwise) at the Acoustic Café, 505 S. Barstow St., Eau Claire, and are free and open to the public. There will be a 30-minute presentation, followed by a 30-minute discussion session. The next presentation, "A Scientific Revolution: The Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes," will feature Dr. Jonathan Gardner, chief of NASA's Observational Cosmology Laboratory at the Goddard Space Flight Center, at 7 p.m. Nov. 6.