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Voices Not Heard: Natural Gas Development, Public Discourse, and Power in Wayne County, Pennsylvania

Middlebury College
Abstract: As members of the urban and suburban population continue to migrate to rural areas in search of a beautiful landscape and quiet way of life, conflict over the meaning of and ownership over the landscape emerges. New and previously established populations tend to have dramatically different conceptions of landscape and environment, leading to struggles in the rural economy and local environmental policy. This research focuses on Wayne County, Pennsylvania and uses a current and polarizing issue, hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, to illuminate these tensions.

Modeling the Decision to Allow Hydraulic Fracturing

Lehigh University
In this study we will determine how computer science data mining principles can aid researchers in the creation of ethnographic decision models. Our approach uses these principles to determine which decision attributes will be most useful for predicting whether homeowners will lease land for hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) is a controversial process of extracting natural gas where millions of gallons of chemicals and water are pumped into the ground to fracture rock and release the gas for collection.
epischke's picture

Advocacy networks in the Marcellus Shale area: A study of environmental organizations in northeastern and southwestern Pennsylvania

Duquesne University
This research identifies and analyzes the breadth and depth of the network of non-profit environmental organizations, conservation-oriented sportsmen groups, county conservation districts and state parks that advocate Marcellus Shale drilling issues within northeastern and southwestern Pennsylvania where drilling occurs. The purpose of this study is to identify where resources are being mobilized and where environmental activities that focus on Marcellus Shale issues are underrepresented in the state.

Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project

The Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project (EHP) is a nonprofit public health organization in Washington Co., PA. EHP was established in 2011 to respond to the health needs of county residents who believe their health has been, or could be affected by local shale gas development. EHP collects health data from those who ask for assistance and provides guidance on assessing air and water quality at local residences. The organization is developing protocols for exposure assessment.
SLPerry's picture

Long-term Community Ethnography in Bradford County, Pennsylvania: Understanding Cultural and Environmental Change Processes from Pre-European Settlement to the Present

c.a.s.e. Consulting Services
This long-term ethnographic project focuses on documenting, describing, and analyzing the relationships between cultural and environmental change processes in Bradford County, Pennsylvania from pre-European settlement (1500's) to today. Understanding the ways in which past changes redistributed material and social power are critical to interpreting the social, economic, political, and land use changes taking place in the 21st Century as a result of Marcellus shale gas developments, or any other large scale economic development activities.
Kirk Jalbert's picture

Promising Data for Public Empowerment

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
The scientific study of environmental pollution has undergone two major shifts in the recent decades. On one hand, local volunteer groups are increasingly involved in gathering evidence of pollution in their communities. By participating in knowledge production, these “citizen science” groups can gain legitimacy amongst scientific experts, and open doors to more democratic decision-making with regulators.
dac511's picture

Impacts of Marcellus Shale Gas Development on Quality of Life in Pennsylvania

Lehigh University
Unconventional extraction of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania provides an opportunity for interdisciplinary study of the effects of rapid economic development and environmental impacts on human quality-of-life. Our research team includes eight faculty and staff with expertise in economics, anthropology, sociology, satellite image analysis, political science, risk communication, environmental education and geographic information systems. We will develop a quality-of-life index specific to our study population and the issue of gas extraction.

The Effects of Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Development on Hunting, Fishing, and Other Recreational Activities throughout Pennsylvania

Lehigh University
Pennsylvania, along with portions of West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, New York, and Ohio, set atop Marcellus Shale. The effects of Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling on hunting, fishing, and other recreational activities across Pennsylvania are currently unknown. Biological, recreational, and economical issues associated with the development of natural gas, along with the existing environmental guidelines for oil and gas activitiy on state forest lands from Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources are currently being researched.
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