Cornell to host Earth Source Heat Forum

Campus Sustainability Office January 6, 2021
The Earth Source Heat Forum will be held virtually to allow for remote participation from Cornell and surrounding community members. This event is open to the public but requires advance registration.

Cornell University will host a virtual community forum on Tuesday, January 19 from 6 to 7 p.m. to provide an update on an enhanced geothermal heating project. Earth Source Heat, which has been part of Cornell’s campus sustainability plan since 2009, could be central to heating the Ithaca campus without the use of fossil fuels. 

After several years of extensive research and planning, the university is moving closer toward digging an approximately 2-mile-deep exploratory borehole near the proposed location of the project, which would allow researchers to measure the subsurface conditions to further understand rock mechanics, hydrogeology, seismology, microbiology and other information that will be pertinent to determine if the project is feasible.

This forum will provide an update on research to date and possible next phases in the project.


  • Terry Jordan, the J. Preston Levis Professor of Engineering, is a geologist whose research includes a focus on finding more environmentally benign ways to meet society’s needs for energy and water. She has participated since 2011 in evaluation of the natural potential for geothermal energy resources at Cornell and in nearby states.

  • Steve Beyers, lead ESH engineer, facilities and campus services. He has more than three decades of experience providing engineering and project management support, including the last 19 at Cornell. He collaborates with a small group of civil and environmental engineering professionals responsible in bringing sustainability to practical use at Cornell.

  • 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.

The virtual event is open to all members of the Cornell and surrounding community. Following the presentation, the panelists will answer questions about the project. 

Advance registration is required for this event.