IUP faculty and students will explore the social and environmental effects of Marcellus Shale Extraction in a three-day conference November 3–5, 2010.
The conference will focus on the historical, social-environmental, legal, political, and health issues related to natural gas extraction from the Marcellus Shale. All programs are free and open to students, faculty, and the public. The conference will include speakers and panelists from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Penn State University, Duquesne University, SUNY–Oneonta, and the University of Pittsburgh. In addition, Rep. Dave Reed, 62nd Legislative District, will also be on a panel, as well as John Baillie, senior attorney for PennFuture. Both will address land use rights related to “pooling.”
The keynote address is by Dr. Ron Bishop, a biochemist, on Thursday evening, November 4, at 7:00 p.m. in Eberly Auditorium. Dr. Bishop will discuss Marcellus Shale technology and its social and cultural impact. He will also compare gas drilling policy in Pennsylvania and other states.
In addition, at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 4, over thirty IUP students from a dozen departments will present panels, papers, and posters in the Monongahela Room in the HUB. Students from across disciplines have helped plan the conference, with additional support from the IUP chapter of the National Society of Professional Journalists, the American Society of Safety Engineers student chapter, the IUP honor society (Rho Sigma Kappa) within the Safety Sciences Department, and the Indiana County League of Women Voters.
Other sessions include one on Thursday morning in the HUB Ohio Room, in which speakers will address Pennsylvania resource extraction from an historical perspective, including the impact of logging and early gas extraction. Scholars will focus on land use rights and whether or not neighbors can force others to allow drilling on their land; gas field operations and possible air pollution; the microbiology of drilling deep shafts; and the potential impact on water quality. Additional sessions will explore fracking and how to track well drilling activity near your property.
On Wednesday night (November 3, 2010), a controversial documentary, Gasland (a 2010 Sundance Film Festival award winner by Josh Fox) will be shown in Eberly Auditorium at 7:00 p.m., followed by a panel discussion.
For a complete schedule, updates, and room locations, visit the IUP Marcellus Shale Week website.