• Environmental Justice
  • Energy Politics and Governance – In an oil-dependent society, fracking provides a potential alternative. However, any benefits of natural gas drilling come at serious costs to communities around the wells. I’d like to contribute to the knowledge of the factors that create the relationships between industry, policy makers, and community members, and how these relationships in turn lead to the implementation of certain policies.
  • Community Leadership– When a community is faced with disaster, certain members emerge as leaders. I am curious to see who, in fracked neighborhoods, will take on this responsibility and why. I am particularly interested in whether or not women will fill these roles.
  • Governance Structures – In order to understand a community, it is necessary to look at the governance systems in place. What levels of governance are most effective in fracked communities? I hope to gain a knowledge of where the power lies and how this contributes to the production of vulnerability, perception of risk, and reaction to environmental risk.
  • Environmental Risk Sensibility/Perception – This category analyzes the perception of environmental risk among different groups. I hope to contribute an understanding of how community members in WV and PA perceive natural gas drilling and the associated risks, as well as how they approach perceived risk. This knowledge could also play a role in understanding the construction of vulnerability in such a region.
  • Social Structures