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Shale Program 

The accelerated pace of unconventional oil and gas development in eastern Ohio has opened up many opportunities and created many questions about the future of the region. As a major research institution located within the state’s Utica and Marcellus shale plays, Ohio University has a responsibility to address the complex economic, social, environmental and technical questions associated with shale development in Ohio. CE3’s deep-rooted understanding of the regional players and politics allows us to work with local governments, communities, businesses and non-profit groups, presenting fact-based research and studies that help address the impacts that shale development is having on Ohio’s economy and environment.

CE3’s work to date related to shale demonstrates a range of expertise and the priority we place on maximizing our regional assets to provide unbiased research, outreach and learning opportunities. Examples of our work include:

  • Advanced fuels research
  • Advanced materials development
  • Business assistance and supply chain management
  • Community surveys
  • Conferences and workshops
  • Data management, mapping and spatial analysis
  • Environmental monitoring and mitigation

Point of Contact

Jen Bowman
Interim Director of Environmental Programs
Ohio University Voinovich School


Example Projects

All Projects 

Webinar: “Economic Boom and Bust: Lessons from the Frontline of Coal and Shale”

On December 9, 2015, the Ohio University Voinovich School, in partnership with the Ohio Mid-Eastern Government Association and Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District, hosted a public webinar entitled, “Economic Boom and Bust: Lessons from the Frontline of Coal and Shale.” The webinar was sponsored by the U.S. Economic Development Administration as part of the Great Lakes Regional Training Initiative. Click here to view the webinar flyer. Presenters included:

  • Jason Jolley, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Economic Development/MPA Director, Ohio University’s Voinovich School (.pdf presentation)
  • Scott Miller, Director of Ohio University’s Consortium for Energy, Economics and the Environment (CE3), Ohio University’s Voinovich School (.pdf presentation)
  • Dale Arnold, Director, Energy, Utility and Local Government Policy, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (.pdf presentation)

To listen to the archived webinar on the Voinovich School YouTube Channel, click here.

Tags: Shale

Webinar: Jobs and Workforce Development in Ohio’s Shale Industry

On December 7, 2016, from 12:00-1:30 pm, the Voinovich School hosted a complimentary webinar which examined workforce development in Ohio related to oil and gas development. Our panel of experts also presented innovative measures that can deepen and diversify opportunities for the regional workforce. The webinar can be watch in full on our CE3 YouTube Channel at https://youtu.be/rtrmHThAw7Q. To read the supporting white paper, please click here to be redirected. Our speakers included:

  • Rhonda L. Reda, Executive Director, Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) and the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Foundation (Foundation): Before helping to form OOGEEP in 1997, Rhonda Reda served as vice president, internal affairs and public information for the Ohio Oil and Gas Association and also worked for several oil and gas companies.  Collectively, she has more than 28 years of experience in the crude oil and natural gas industry. Reda is an active member of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA), Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and the Ohio Geological Society (OGS).  She is a graduate of OHIO and Edison State College. Click here for Ms. Reda's presentation in .pdf.
  • Dan Schweitzer, Director, Oil & Gas, Environmental, CDL, Stark State College and Director, ShaleNET: Dan Schweitzer’s responsibilities include project scoping, curriculum development, degree program steering, community and industry outreach, course instruction, and workforce training development. One of Dan’s primary duties is to integrate the needs of the Appalachian Basin laborshed into college degree and workforce training programs. Schweitzer received his B.S. and M.S. in geology from Kent State University and has more than 10 years of experience as a geologist and project manager in environmental remediation, assessment and contaminant fate and transport. Click here for Mr. Schweitzer's presentation in .pdf.
  • Joel S. Yudken, Ph.D., Principal, High Road Strategies, LLC: Joel Yudken is the founder of High Road Strategies of Arlington, VA, an economic policy research, analysis and design consultancy, with a focus on sustainable manufacturing, energy and workforce issues. His clients have included industry, labor, public policy, environmental, academic, and government organizations. Yudken has held positions previously with AFL-CIO, NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and as congressional staff. He holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a M.S. in management science and engineering and Ph.D. in technology and society from Stanford University. Click here for Mr. Yudken's presentation in .pdf.
  • Moderator: Jonathan Norris, Researcher, Ohio University Voinovich School: Jonathan Norris is a researcher with OHIO’s Shale Innovation Project. His research interests include energy policy, innovation systems, and the transition of communities historically dependent on resource extraction toward sustainable, carbon-constrained, and economically diverse futures. Previously, Norris worked as a consulting engineer for Tata Consultancy Services in Cincinnati. He has a B.S. in engineering technology and management from OHIO and is currently pursuing his M.S. in environmental studies from OHIO. Click here for Mr. Norris' presentation in .pdf.

Tags: Shale

Report Measures Local Pre-Fracking Baseline Water Quality

In Eastern and Southern Ohio, oil and gas leases are rapidly being signed for drilling in the Utica Shale. In order to quantify impacts of shale gas exploration, baseline environmental conditions must first be measured. With start-up funding from Ohio University and The Sugar Bush Foundation, the Voinovich School partnered with OU's Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment Laboratory (ISEE), The Sugar Bush Foundation, and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a regional shallow aquifer groundwater study. This study measured baseline water quality parameters prior to the commencement of controversial high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing drilling activities in and around Athens and Belmont Counties in Ohio.

Findings: The baseline establishment suggests that there is not widespread organic groundwater pollution in Athens and Belmont Counties, despite a long history of coal mining and oil and gas extraction. This information will assist rural landowners, elected officials and regulators to learn more about the complex issues surrounding hydraulic fracturing, especially as it relates to local water resources. Read the 2013 final report here.

Tags: Shale,Water