Geologist Dr. Michael Young ’83, who will deliver the 2018 Les Rude Lecture

Hartwick Welcomes Michael Young ’83 for Rude Memorial Lecture

February 13, 2018

Geologist Dr. Michael Young ’83 will deliver the 2018 Leslie G. Rude Memorial Lecture on Wednesday, February 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the Anderson Center for the Arts Theatre on the Hartwick College campus. His presentation, “Mid-Century Resilience in the Face of Climate Extremes and Population Growth: How Lessons From the Lone Star State Can Benefit the Nation,” is free and open to the public.

Young is the associate director for environmental systems and senior research scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin. His presentation will focus on the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing.

Earlier in the day, Young will address geology classes and meet with geology students. Before the lecture, he will also have dinner with President Margaret L. Drugovich and select faculty and students.

In his capacity with the University of Texas at Austin, Young coordinates research programs for a group of approximately 60 researchers and post-doctoral and undergraduate students involved in a wide variety of environmental geosciences research.

He is also co-director of the International Soil Modeling Consortium, former editor of the Vadose Zone Journal, and is a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America and Geological Society of America.

Young has authored or co-authored nearly 80 peer-reviewed journal articles and several book chapters, delivered more than 200 presentations at scholarly meetings, and written many other technical reports. His personal research interests and experiences include water/energy nexus; water and land impacts from energy development; arid system ecohydrology; and the connection between water resources, landscape development, and human interactions.

Young obtained his B.A. in Geology cum laude from Hartwick College 1983, a M.S. in Geological Sciences (Hydrogeology) from Ohio University 1986, and a Ph.D. in Soil and Water Science (Soil Physics/Hydrology) from the University of Arizona-Tucson. He has also undertaken post-doctoral work in environmental engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and elsewhere.

“We are most proud to have our alumnus Dr. Michael Young as this year’s Les Rude Memorial speaker,” said Professor of Geology Dr. David H. Griffing. “I think most would agree that natural resources (including energy resources, clean water, and productive soils) are critical for the future of society. Dr. Young has applied his Hartwick geology education to the betterment of humanity by advancing our understanding of groundwater cycling and groundwater’s interactions with soils and plants through his own prodigious research.

“Through his leadership at the Desert Research Institute and the prestigious Jackson School of Geosciences at UT-Austin, Dr. Young has also coordinated and advanced the research of many others in the fields of hydrology, environmental geology, and responsible resource management, thus ensuring the future of these vital areas of study,” Griffing added.

Leslie Rude was an outstanding Hartwick College faculty member and administrator. Following his death in 1998, Professor Emeritus Norma Hutman and Marion Rude established the Leslie G. Rude Memorial Lecture Series to reflect his passionate interests in political science and public speaking and his commitment to public life. The purpose of the Leslie G. Rude Memorial Lecture is to bring a prominent speaker with political expertise to the Hartwick campus each year to share ideas with students, faculty, and community members about issues pertinent to the current political climate.

To learn more about Young, visit

For additional information on the Leslie G. Rude Memorial Lecture, visit the webpage or contact Executive Director of Engagement Alicia Fish at 607-431-4021 or at