Michael A. Arthur, a geochemist and sedimentary geologist, is Penn State Professor of Geosciences. He is a past Department Head in Geosciences and is a recipient of the L.L. Sloss Medal in Sedimentary Geology (Geological Society of America), the Francis P. Shepard Medal for Marine Geology (Society for Sedimentary Geology, SEPM), the Wilson Awards for Research and Teaching in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, and the Geological Society of America.
His research interests include investigating the nature of climates and oceans of the past and the causes of past global change. He has long focused on studies of modern marine environments characterized by organic-carbon rich sediment deposits and the origin and nature of ancient “black shales.” The geology of the Devonian Marcellus Shale is a current research emphasis through the efforts of the Appalachian Basin Black Shales Group (Engelder, Slingerland, and Arthur collaboration and students in the Department of Geosciences).