Submitted by Celia Lewis on Tue, 11/19/2013 - 22:08
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.
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.
Submitted by Kirk Jalbert on Fri, 11/08/2013 - 08:16
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.
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.