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.
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.