David “Brook” Lenker became the Director of FracTracker in December 2011. He focuses on improving the capabilities of the FracTracker website; creating partnerships that increase the data and information available on the site; encouraging use of FracTracker by various stakeholders and the public; and building a strong organizational structure that services the expanding geographies impacted by oil and gas activity. Previously, Brook served as the Manager of Education and Outreach for the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (2004-11) and as the Director of Watershed Stewardship for the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay (1996-2004). He holds MA and BS degrees in geography and environmental planning from Towson University. Truth be known, he’s also a passionate water guy who enjoys paddling the rivers, sailing the bays, and exploring undersea.
1845 Market St, Ste 204, Camp Hill, PA 17011
Sam Malone, MPH, CPH
Sam Malone has worked with FracTracker since its inception in 2010 as a University of Pittsburgh project. With FracTracker, Sam conducts and translates environmental health research for the website; nurtures data-sharing, joint research, class projects and other collaborative relationships; manages FracTracker’s student internship program; and serves as the initial contact for media inquiries. Sam obtained a master of public health degree from Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health and is currently a doctoral candidate in the Environmental and Occupational Health department. Sam has recently spent time in Africa and Europe exploring the impacts of extractive industries, and serves on the City of Pittsburgh’s Youth Policy Advisory Commission. Outside of work, Sam is an avid traveler, biker, and wanna-be food critic.
4600 Penn Ave, Floor 1,
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
Matt Kelso has always been fascinated with how maps can show the way people interact with their environment over space and time. He believes that if we ask the right questions, data can tell us a lot about situations that we are not able to observe directly. In the past, he has used this skill as a casino auditor and an archaeologist, reconstructing events based on a few scraps of data. Matt joined the FracTracker team in 2010 as the Data Manager, and has been using the same processes to examine the oil and gas industry. Matt earned his BA degree in Anthropology in 2003 from Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA. When he gets the opportunity, Matt enjoys spending time outdoors.
4600 Penn Ave, Floor 1,
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
Ted Auch, PhD
Ted Auch is a scientist with a passionate interest in policy and how the former shapes the latter to the extent that it can/does.
Ted has always wanted to use his ecosystem biogeochemistry background to work on advocacy issues, and he feels that the opportunity to work with the FracTracker team has given him an ideal opportunity to do just that.
2460 Fairmount Boulevard, Ste 204
Cleveland Heights, OH 44106
Karen Edelstein, MPS
Karen Edelstein melds a strong background in environmental sciences with a commitment to information communication and interpretation. She holds a BA degree in natural resources and an MPS degree in environmental management, both from Cornell University. Since the late 1980s, Karen has worked as a science educator, and has authored several curriculum guides on natural history and water quality. For the past 12 years, she’s also been using geographic information systems (GIS) as a tool for land conservation. Karen joined the FracTracker team in 2010, and provides technical assistance and training to community groups and organizations around NY State as they prepare for the possibility of unconventional oil and gas drilling. In her spare time, she grows a dozen varieties of garlic in her garden, and is a fermented foods enthusiast.
P.O. # 211, Ithaca, NY 14851
Kyle Ferrar, MPH
Kyle Ferrar is an environmental health scientist and FracTracker’s California Program Coordinator. Kyle is an alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, where he received his masters in public health degree and is currently a doctoral candidate in the Environmental and Occupational Health department. In Pittsburgh, he spent five years conducting exposure and risk assessments using community based participatory research methods. Kyle’s most recent publications have focused on the developing unconventional gas and oil extraction industry in PA and neighboring states. Kyle is an advocate for sustainable development and responsible environmental policy. In his free-time, Kyle enjoys all types of cycling activities, gardening, backpacking, snowboarding and surfing.
436 14th St, Ste 807, Oakland, CA 94612
Mary Ellen Cassidy
Mary Ellen Cassidy joined FracTracker Alliance in November 2013. As the Community Outreach Coordinator, she develops, coordinates, and promotes FracTracker’s national outreach and education initiatives. Mary Ellen’s academic background includes a Bachelor in Science in Chemistry and Mathematics and a Masters in Science and Mathematics Education, along with a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. In addition to previously serving as Director of the Appalachian Institute and Coordinator for the Community Energy Program, her professional background includes teaching and research at Wheeling Jesuit University. Mary Ellen’s research focused primarily on extractive industries’ impacts on community watersheds. Her interests include promoting awareness of climate change and the need for energy conservation and efficiency as the foundation of all sustainable energy systems.
The First State Capitol, Suite 302
1413 Eoff Street, Wheeling, WV 26003
Bill Hughes has been a resident Wetzel County, WV for over 36 years. A graduate from Wheeling Jesuit College, Bill is the chairman of the Wetzel County Solid Waste Authority where he has been a member for the last 13 years. Bill is also a member of the Wetzel County Action Group, where over the last six years he has documented Marcellus Shale activities in Wetzel County. Through the Action group he has also interacted with interested citizens and local governmental authorities from surrounding states to educate them on the impacts of natural gas exploration in the Utica and Marcellus Shale. Bill joined the FracTracker team in July 2014 to serve as a local resource and guide for news media, students, researchers, and other parties interested in the drilling-related impacts observable in Wetzel County and surrounding vicinity. He will also highlight community perspectives in Wetzel by compiling first hand experiences through photos, videos and data collection.
New Martinsville, WV
Gwen Lehman brings skills and knowledge from a diverse background. She has been active in the conservation field since 2005 having worked for Chesapeake Bay Foundation as a grassroots organizer and then with Audubon PA in project development and management. Her favorite projects were participating with city school students in restoration and development of native wildlife habitat in an urban setting. She is passionate when working to inspire others to “get involved” in supporting environmental protection and conservation of the natural landscape. Gwen has always been intrigued by the connection human beings have with their environment, how stress and disease can occur through pollution and ecological imbalance. A new interest of hers is in learning the science behind sound wave therapy and harmonics, and its applied use for relaxation and healing. She is currently pursuing a degree in Health Sciences at Harrisburg Area Community College.
1845 Market St, Ste 204, Camp Hill, PA 17011
Kirk Jalbert, PhD Candidate
Kirk Jalbert is a fourth year Ph.D. student in Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute who joined FracTracker in 2013 as a visiting researcher for the coming year. Kirk is investigating the dynamics of how data produced by citizen science groups becomes mobilized through public data sharing projects – particularly in the social, community, and organizational contexts of volunteer water monitoring groups dealing with shale gas issues in Pennsylvania and New York. Prior to joining FracTracker, Kirk was research assistant on the NSF-funded Watershed Knowledge Mapping project. Past research includes conducting environmental education workshops on the Navajo Nation as well as ethnographic fieldwork at the EPA’s Office of Research and Development. He has an MFA in new media and a BS in computer science.
Matt Unger is a senior undergraduate environmental science major from Duquesne University. He will be an intern at FracTracker Alliance during the fall semester. As part of his education, Matt has taken a variety of environmental science classes, ranging from Stream Biology to Air pollution, that have covered unconventional gas extraction processes. Matt will be performing GIS mapping and data analysis tasks during this semester. Matt has a particular interest in frac water and how fracking affects surrounding waterways. Prior to joining FracTracker Alliance, Matt was a summer intern at Tree Pittsburgh, which is a Pittsburgh area non-profit specializing in urban forestry. During his free time Matt coaches a high school boy’s lacrosse team. He also enjoys exercising, bike riding, and being outdoors.
Gianna Callisto began her position as a communications intern at FracTracker Alliance this fall. She grew up in Madison, Wisconsin and is currently in her second year at the University of Pittsburgh. She is studying political science and environmental studies with the hope of attending law school in the coming years. She has loved the outdoors and felt passionate about the environment since a young age, and after spending six weeks interning in Guatemala this past summer realized she wanted to work more directly with community outreach. She has taken geology, environmental nonprofit, environmental politics, and economics courses that are helping her to delve deeper into her interests and find many links between them. She has a particular interest in the spread of information and bridges within local communities and their involvement in the fracking processes that surround them. In her free time, Gianna enjoys yoga, watching classic movies, and throwing pottery.
Nicolette Slagle is joining us from Michigan, where she is pursuing an MS in Environmental Engineering Science. Previously, she completed an MS in Political Science at Illinois State University, where she participated in the Peace Corps Master’s International Program. At ISU, she studied Applied Community and Economic Development and served in Thailand with the Peace Corps. She received her Bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from Penn State. During this time, she participated in the American Indian Housing Initiative and first became concerned about the environmental justice issues facing native and indigenous communities. She has also served as an AmeriCorps member with AMD&Art in Vintondale, PA and a team leader with the National Civilian Community Corps. Her interest lays in ecotoxicology, environmental justice, and the use of community-based mapping for litigation purposes. Her joys include riding her bike, eating local foods, tasting local adult beverages, reading, photography, and seeing new things.
Abbie has just completed her Master’s of Public Policy from Oregon State University with specialization in environmental and rural policies. She also holds a BA in Environmental Studies from The University of Pittsburgh where she focused on late Holocene climate change in Greece and Kazakhstan. She has joined the FracTracker office in Oakland, CA as an intern. She will be using her experience with quantitative sampling methods to assist this office with future projects. In her free time, Abbie enjoys watching soccer and exploring the Bay Area.
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