Submitted by gwildermuth on Wed, 04/16/2014 - 22:02
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.
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.