Dr. Susan L. Brantley was appointed to the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board on September 25, 2012, by President Barack Obama.
Dr. Brantley is Distinguished Professor of Geosciences in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Pennsylvania State University, where she also is Director of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute. She has been a member of the faculty at the University since 1986. As a geochemist, Dr. Brantley has concentrated on the chemistry of natural waters, both at the surface of the earth and deeper in the crust. Much of her research focuses on understanding what controls the chemistry of natural water and how water interacts with the rocks through which it flows. Dr. Brantley and her research group investigate chemical, biological, and physical processes associated with the circulation of aqueous fluids in shallow hydrogeologic settings through field and laboratory work and theoretical modeling of observations. Of particular interest are questions concerning the measurement and prediction of the rates of natural processes, including chemical weathering with and without microorganisms. Her recent work has focused on measuring and modeling how rock turns into regolith as well as the impact of hydraulic fracturing on natural water chemistry. Dr. Brantley has published more than 270 refereed journal articles and 15 book chapters.
Professor Brantley is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, a fellow of the GSA, a fellow of the Geochemical Society, a fellow of the European Association of Geochemistry, and a fellow of the International Association for GeoChemistry. She was president of the Geochemical Society from 2006 to 2008. She has served on several National Research Council committees, and she completed several terms as a member of the U. S. Department of Energy Council on Earth Sciences.
In 2011, Professor Brantley received the Arthur L. Day Medal from GSA, as well as an honorary doctorate from the Paul Sabatier University (Toulouse III) in France. In 2012, she received the Presidential Award from the Soil Science Society of America, and she also was elected to membership in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. She received the Urey Award, the highest award of the European Association of Geochemistry in 2018, and the Robert Garrels Award, the highest award of the Geobiology Society in 2019.
Dr. Brantley received an A.B. in chemistry in 1980 and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in geological and geophysical sciences in 1983 and 1987, respectively, from Princeton University.
Dr. Brantley lives in State College, Pennsylvania.