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Penn State Shale Energy Research

History of Marcellus Matters: Engaging Adults in Science and Energy

Marcellus Matters: Engaging Adults in Science and Energy (EASE) is a $2.5 million multidisciplinary initiative funded by a National Science Foundation STEM grant (Award No. 1114670) that provides adults in rural Pennsylvania with opportunities to increase their knowledge of science and energy systems and engage in scientific inquiry and investigation through the lens of natural gas development. The educational classes and activities explored the natural and social sciences related to how change affects communities.

In the first four years of the project, over 200 adult citizens living in Clearfield, Clinton, Sullivan, Indiana, Lancaster, and Lycoming Counties participated in three complimentary projects: Marcellus Community Science Volunteers, Marcellus Community-Based Performances, and Marcellus Environmental Planning Workshops. Outcomes include: building a shared knowledge base among members of communities that are facing change related to shale development; an increased knowledge of science and engineering related to energy systems, consumption, production, and policy; and an opportunity for citizens to engage in civil dialogue around polarizing issues within their communities more effectively.

The project, now in its fifth and final year, is focused on providing opportunities for research participants, or citizen scientists, to put their science knowledge into practice through field work to locate orphan and abandoned wells in Pennsylvania. Online tools and a website are in place to guide citizen scientist data collection and reporting to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Faculty and staff from Penn State’s colleges of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Education, Agricultural Sciences, and Arts and Architecture have collaborated to deliver the programming. Marcellus Matters Orphaned and Abandoned Wells Program

Nooreen Meghani, Orphaned and Abandoned Well Project Coordinator, logs an abandoned well on a recent well hunt in the Moshannon State Forest.












Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research
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