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From flammable tap water and sick livestock to the onset of hundreds of earthquakes in Oklahoma, the impact of fracking in the United States is far-reaching and deeply felt. In this talk Wylie traces the history of fracking and the ways scientists and everyday people are coming together to hold accountable an industry that has managed to evade regulation. Wylie shows how nonprofits, landowners and community organizers are creating novel digital platforms and databases to track unconventional oil and gas well development and document fracking's environmental and human health impacts. These platforms model alternative approaches for academic and grassroots engagement with the government and the fossil fuel industry that are increasingly vital in the context of climate denial and environmental deregulation.
Sara Wylie, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of sociology/anthropology and health science in Northeastern University’s Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute (SSEHRI). She is a co-founder of the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI), a network of academics and non-profits working to preserve federal environmental data and monitor changes to federal environmental policy through website tracking and interviews. Sara is a co-founder of Public Lab, a non-profit that develops open source, Do-It-Yourself tools for community-based environmental analysis. Her award-winning book "Fractivism: Corporate Bodies and Chemical Bonds" describes the need to rethink the extractive research systems that proceed and enable extractive industries.