Marcellus Shale Sample. USGS hydrogeologist Bill Kappel: “What you’re holding was a swamp before Earth even had dinosaurs.” (Photo courtesy David Unger. )

Marcellus Shale Sample. USGS hydrogeologist Bill Kappel: “What you’re holding was a swamp before Earth even had dinosaurs.” (Photo courtesy David Unger. )

Our Shale Country Institute took place in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York from June 24th through the 28th.

While we continued the “roving journalists” approach to this Institute, Shale Country focused entirely on one subject: Hydraulic fracturing, also known as "fracking."

We discussed economics, ecology, and environmental toxicology. We heard about human health, water and air quality, and citizen science. And we got on the bus to meet with scientists, industry representatives, concerned citizens, and many others in the forests, fields and neighborhoods where these important stories are taking place.

Stops included:

  • Buffalo, New York to talk about natural gas transport and pipelines,
  • The Allegheny National Forest to discuss hydraulic fracturing on public lands,
  • Sites near Youngstown, Ohio, where a recent spate of earthquakes led to a pause in fracking while authorities pinpoint the cause,
  • The Finger Lakes of New York, where a contentious proposal is brewing to use abandoned salt mines for natural gas storage.

Check out the Storify synopses of the Shale Country Institute:

Shale Country Institute, Day 3 Recap

Shale Country Institute, Day 4 Recap

Shale Country Institute, Day 2 Recap

Shale Country Day 1 Undaunted by Deluge

Participating Journalists:

Pat Bywater – Meadville Tribune
Stephen Cunningham – Bloomberg News
Mary Esch – AP
John Finnerty – Community Newspapers (PA)
Peter Green – Freelance
Kalea Hall – The Vindicator
Kathi Kowalski – Freelance
Martin LaMonica – Freelance
Joe Mahoney – Daily Star
Stephanie Ogburn – KUNC
Steve Orr – Democrat and Chronicle
Joanna Richards – WCNP/Ideastream
Lonnie Shekhtman – The Boston Globe
Lisa Song – InsideClimate News
Miranda Spencer – Freelance/Daily Climate
Lana Straub – Freelance
Dave Unger – Christian Science Monitor
Patricia Villone – CTV News

  Click  for an interactive map of our Shale Country route.

Click for an interactive map of our Shale Country route.

Post-Institute Stories:

Please check out a sampler of some of the work produced by our Shale Country Fellows following the Institute. 

K.M. Kowalski

Wet gas means more profits for Ohio, state says - Midwestern Energy News

Fracking wastewater is big business in Ohio - Midwestern Energy News

Lisa Song

Families sick from fracking exposure turn to concerned scientists - InsideClimate News

"Saltwater" from North Dakota fracking spill is not what's found in oceans - InsideClimate News

Miranda Spencer

The "bridge fuel" of Carroll County - Shale Reporter

Joe Mahoney

Drilling Divide - The Daily Star (Oneonta, NY)

David Unger

The biggest energy story on earth - The Christian Science Monitor

Martin LaMonica

Fracking out your back door - Martin LaMonica blog

Joanna Richards

Ohio gas biz booming; regulators trying to ease process for industry - Ideastream

Patricia Villone

Fracking Debate - PGCTV News

Stephanie Ogburn

In Eastern national forests, split estate means less control - KUNC

When energy companies are bad neighbors - KUNC

Liquid drill waste, quakes and spills: Connecting both East and West - KUNC

Radioactive waste: Another concern for fractivists - KUNC