Right below your feet is a source of renewable energy that is largely untapped. It heats groundwater by conduction and convection as it travels toward the surface of the earth. Drs. Bruton and Ziagos will explain how geothermal energy can be used to generate electricity or heat buildings.

Student Lecture Notes

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Speaker Bios

Dr. Carol Bruton

Dr. Carol J. Bruton is the Geothermal Program Leader at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, CA. After receiving her Ph.D. in inorganic geochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Bruton worked at ARCO Oil and Gas Company for five years, and then moved to LLNL in 1986. Dr. Bruton has been involved in geothermal research since 1997. LLNL researchers in the Geothermal Program develop novel technologies for exploring for and utilizing geothermal resources, and provide technical expertise to the geothermal industry.

Dr.John Ziagos

Geophysics PhD, Deputy Department Head for Atmospheric, Earth, and Energy Department
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Dr. Ziagos is the Deputy Department Head for the Atmospheric, Earth, and Energy Department at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). He is responsible for achieving a vigorous energy and environment research portfolio through the technical and business leadership of 200 scientists, engineers, technicians and administrative staff. John has been at LLNL since 1990. Prior to becoming the Deputy Department Head, he was the Superfund manager for 10 years at the Laboratory's main Livermore Site and the Site 300 high explosives test facility, successfully negotiating Record of Decisions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In his 30-year energy, environment and earth sciences career he has managed both large and small teams of scientists and engineers and worked for the University of California, the U.S. Geological Society (USGS), the U.S. Department of Energy, successful start-up companies (FINDER now owned by Schlumberger), and major energy corporations (BP/SOHIO). In addition, John managed the construction and operation of a $110M, 50MW geothermal power plant in southern California working for Geothermal Resources International. He has many years experience in a variety of geotechnical field projects, including terrestrial heat flow studies in central Mexico, earthquake research at the USGS on the San Andreas Fault, geothermal and petroleum exploration and production in Alaska and the Gulf Coast. John's technical expertise includes groundwater restoration and remediation, subsurface structural and stratigraphy analysis, petrophysics and interpolation/characterization methodologies specifically for reservoir modeling, with automated history matching. Dr. Ziagos holds a BS degree in mathematics and physics (1970) from Western Illinois University, and a PhD in geophysics (1983) from Southern Methodist University.

John has been both a high school and middle school science teacher and, throughout his career, has continued to teach environmental science, including Environmental Management at UC Berkeley Extension, Federal Facilities Superfund Restoration at UCLA Extension, Environmental Restoration for a private company, and a teacher symposium offered through the UC Davis Edward Teller Education Center on Energy Technology and the Environment. He has extensive experience in public speaking and was the keynote speaker at the 2006 Kern County Science Fair speaking on Energy Technology and Climate Change. John also lectures on the Future of Energy Technology at the Livermore Laboratory's annual Science on Saturday series.

During his career John has continued to be involved with the local community through the Pleasanton Leadership Program, Executive Board of Directors and Environmental Day Coordinator, EPA Technical Assistance Grants, the LLNL Environmental Restoration Community Work Group, Alameda County Watershed, Natural Resources/Wildlife Subcommittee, and Zone 7 Water District Flood Control Citizens Group.

Ken Wedel

Earth Science Teacher
Tracy High School, Tracy Unified School District

Ken Wedel teaches Earth Science and Earth Science for English Language Learners at Tracy High School in Tracy, California. He developed the Earth Science program at Tracy High School, and has worked on curriculum mapping and curriculum alignment to the California State Standards for both high schools in Tracy. Ken has been involved with the Science Olympiad competition at the regional level for four years and enjoys advising the Tracy High School Team. Ken also works with Action Learning Systems creating California Earth Science Standards based benchmark tests. He has his Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology California State University, Stanislaus.

When not teaching, Ken's interests include black powder rifles, backpacking the Sierra Nevada Mountains and exploring national parks with his family (which includes convincing his 8 year old son and 11 year old daughter that rocks are cool).