Field Trip to the Shale Hills Critical Observatory Zone (CZO)

On March 15th, 2019  we took our high school students participants on a trip to the Susquehanna Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory (CZO). The Shale Hills CZO was established in 2007, with the goal of studying and understanding how the forested, first-order catchment of the shale bedrock in central PA evolves over multiple time scales in a temperate climate. The Susquehanna Shale CZO is funded by the National Foundation for Science (NSF) and the researches being conducted at the site, are led by a team of Penn State faculty members and graduate students. One of our Faculty Mentors, Dr. Jennifer Williams is one of the faculty members team at the Shale Hills CZO.
During the trip, our students not only got to meet a couple of the faculty members and grad students but also had fun learning about the many research and studies being conducted at the CZO. Some of these research and studies include soil gas cycles, the effect of carbon dioxide on trees roots in the forest, and many more. To learn more about the Shale Hills CZO, check out their website at