Data driven dialogue: Scientists bring groups together on water quality concerns

By Matt Carroll

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — It’s been a decade since the start of the Marcellus Shale gas boom in Pennsylvania, and today more than 10,000 unconventional gas wells dot the state’s hills and valleys.

The industry’s rapid development created economic opportunities for many, but also brought environmental concerns, and sometimes led to contentious conversations.

A team of researchers studying water quality around hydraulic fracturing, the process used to extract gas from rock deep underground, have found a blueprint to move those conversations forward.

Registration open for 2018 Shale Network Conference

Integrating data about shale gas development: Toward a more collaborative future

The seventh annual Shale Network workshop is scheduled for May 17 and 18 at the Penn State, University Park campus and the nearby Atherton Hotel in State College.

The workshop facilitates a conversation about water quality and other environmental issues in the Marcellus Shale natural gas play between academics and representatives from government agencies, gas and environmental industries, citizen science groups and more.

Snapshot Day brings Pennsylvania water quality into focus

By Matt Carroll

SHEFFIELD, Pa. — Bill Eckert slipped into his hip waders and splashed through the small stream near his cabin in the Allegheny National Forest.

He didn’t bring his fishing pole this time. Instead, Eckert bent down and let the cold water fill the assorted bottles he carried.

Eckert was among a few dozen volunteers collecting water samples that could help researchers develop a clearer picture of water quality in Pennsylvania.

TeenShale Network gears up for another year

Local high school students stepped back into their hip waders and ventured into the cool, rushing water of Black Moshannon Creek this week.

The students are part of TeenShale Network, an ongoing water quality monitoring run by Penn State's Earth and Environmental Systems Institute.

TeenShale gives State College Area School District students a chance to learn real science alongside professionals. Their work collecting samples also leads to better baseline data about the state's waterways.

2017 Shale Network workshop brings diverse group together for water quality discussions

The Shale Network held its sixth annual workshop May 18 and 19 at the Penn State University Park Campus, and in State College, Pa. The workshop again drew a large, diverse group of participants interested in water quality around the Marcellus Shale drilling region in Pennsylvania.

Representatives from academia, government agencies, energy industries, environmental groups joined citizen scientists and high school students and teachers during the two-day event.

Shale Network Workshop: Call for Abstracts

Sharing Data about Shale Gas Development: From Drilling to Disposal

A Workshop Held by the Shale Network Team in State College, PA

Abstracts are solicited for presentations at the 6th Annual Shale Network Workshop to be held in University Park, PA on May 18 and 19, 2017. Deadline for abstracts is April 14, 2017.

View full details about the workshop at:
http://www.shalenetwork.org/content/2017-shale-network-workshop

2016/17 data

Big data approach to water quality applied at shale drilling sites

By Matthew Carroll

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A computer program is diving deep into water quality data from Pennsylvania, helping scientists detect potential environmental impacts of Marcellus Shale gas drilling.

The work, supported by a new $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation, pairs a cross-disciplinary team of Penn State computer scientists and geoscientists studying methane concentrations in the state's streams, rivers and private water wells.

Conference takes aim at state’s orphan well problem

More than 150 years after the first commercial oil well was drilled in Pennsylvania, decades of energy exploration have resulted in hundreds of thousands of abandoned, lost and forgotten oil and gas wells scattered across the state.

Researchers at Penn State are among a number of organizations in Pennsylvania working to locate and assess these so called orphaned and abandoned wells, which if not properly plugged, or if damaged over time, can potentially cause air and water pollution.

State College high school students testing the waters at Black Mo

If anything happens to the water in Black Moshannon Creek, a group of State College Area School District earth science students might just be the first to know.

The teens, mostly from State High but with a few advanced eighth-graders thrown in, have been monitoring the watershed this year in partnership with researchers from Penn State’s Earth and Environmental Systems Institute.

The project, called TeenShale Network, gives students a chance to learn science exists outside of their textbooks and classrooms, and that their work can make a difference in the real world.