ITHACA, N.Y. — The public is invited to a forum Thursday to get an update on Cornell University’s geothermal energy project.

Cornell has been looking into Earth Source Heat as a way to heat the Ithaca campus sustainably without fossil fuels. The forum is building on community meetings that were held in 2017. The project is part of the university’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035.

Related: How Cornell plans to be carbon neutral by 2035; highlights from community discussion

The meeting will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday at The Space at GreenStar, 700 W. Buffalo St., Ithaca. There will be a brief presentation followed by questions from the audience.

The panelists will include:

  • Lance Collins, the Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering;
  • Jefferson Tester, the Croll Professor of Sustainable Energy Systems and chief scientist for Earth Source Heat. His research focuses on improving the technical and economic performance of ESH reservoir and drilling systems;
  • Katie Keranen, assistant professor of earth and atmospheric sciences. Her research uses seismic reflection imaging, along with local and global seismicity, to study active fault zones and regions of active tectonics;
  • Tony Ingraffea, professor emeritus of civil and environmental engineering. His research concentrates on computer simulation and physical testing of complex fracturing processes. He also works to inform public policy related to issues associated with unconventional development of natural gas; and
  • Todd Cowen, professor of civil and environmental engineering and faculty director for energy at the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. He is engaged in renewable energy projects in Tompkins County and throughout New York state.

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.