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Richard Evans, a UT research consultant, will discuss the Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center’s Gas and Oil Research Initiative at the Science Forum on Friday.

He is filling in for Kevin Hoyt, who was originally slated to give the presentation.

Evans is the former director of the Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center and the UT Arboretum. He is now retired, but assists with the Gas and Oil Research Initiative.

The initiative will include research into water and air quality, terrestrial ecosystems, geology, and best management practices associated with oil and gas exploration in the Cumberland Forest.

The Science Forum is a weekly brown-bag lunch series that allows professors and area scientists to discuss their research with the general public in a conversational presentation.

The weekly presentations begin at noon on Fridays in Room C-D of Thompson-Boling Arena. Attendees can bring lunch or purchase it at the arena. Each presentation is forty minutes long and is followed by a question-and-answer session. Science Forum presentations are free and open to the public.

Evans will present basic information about the proposed Gas and Oil Research Initiative.

Hoyt, the director of the Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center, said scientists from the UT Institute of Agriculture and across UT will likely collaborate with scientists from other universities, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Department of Energy. There will also be opportunities for student research, teaching, and UT extension activities.

The Institute of Agriculture is seeking permission from the Tennessee Building Commission on March 15 to advertise a Request for Proposals in order to identify an industry partner.

Hoyt said that revenue generated from the partner’s drilling operations would be reinvested into the research project.

Future Science Forums will feature:

  • April 5: William T. Bogart, president of Maryville College and professor of economics there, discussing “Cargo Cult Economic Policy: Urban Development and Green Energy”
  • April 12: Stephanie K. Drumheller-Horton, instructor of earth and planetary sciences, presenting “Crocodylian Bite Marks in the Fossil Record”
  • April 19: Devon M. Burr, assistant professor of earth and planetary sciences, discussing “The Moon that Would Be a Planet: Saturn’s Giant Titan”
  • April 26: Joan Markel, curator of Civil War exhibits at the McClung Museum, presenting “Digging into Our Civil War Past”

The Science Forum is sponsored by the UT Office of Research. For more information about the Science Forum, visit the Office of Research website.

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,

Holly Gary (865-974-2225,