Summer webinars focus on Marcellus shale natural gas issues

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Beginning June 25, Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences and Penn State Cooperative Extension will offer monthly online seminars addressing impacts related to the development of natural gas from the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania.

The summer series of "webinars" is designed to help communities and local leaders prepare for the potential impacts of gas exploration and development, including understanding workforce needs and water-policy issues surrounding gas-well drilling. Extension educators, representatives of federal and state agencies, conservation district personnel, municipal officials, planning agencies, economic development groups, environmental groups and citizens have participated in previous Penn State Extension webinars on Marcellus shale issues.

The one-hour webinars will be held at 1 p.m. on the following dates:

-- June 25: "Planning for Community Impacts." Presenter: Neal Fogle, Penn State Extension economic and community development educator based in Montour County.

-- July 23: "Water Resource Policy Issues." Presenter: Charles Abdalla, Penn State professor of agricultural and environmental economics.

-- August 27: "Marcellus Industry Direct Workforce Needs." Presenters: Jim Ladlee, Clinton County director for Penn State Extension, and Jeff Lorson and Tracy Brundage, Pennsylvania College of Technology.

-- September 17: "Community Response Options to Marcellus Shale and Energy Development." Presenters: Kathy Brasier, Penn State assistant professor of rural sociology, and Walt Whitmer, Penn State economic and community development extension associate.

Information about how to register for the webinars is available at Online participants will have the opportunity to ask the speaker questions during the webinar.

The summer webinars are the latest in a series of online workshops initiated in fall 2008 by the College of Agricultural Sciences and Penn State Extension to address issues related to Marcellus shale gas exploration and extraction. Previous webinars -- which covered topics such as water use and quality, gas leasing considerations for landowners and implications for local communities -- can be viewed at

For more information, contact Joann Kowalski, extension educator in Susquehanna County, at (570) 278-1158 or by e-mail at

Last Updated May 06, 2010