Marcellus Shale Project

The Marcellus Shale Project will be on display in Gallery 2300 in Bliss Hall until March 28.
The Marcellus Shale Project will be on display in Gallery 2300 in Bliss Hall until March 28.

Stephen Chalmers of Younstown State University’s Department of Art, working with Ray Beiersdorfer of the geology department, has prepared a week’s worth of events during the week of March 24 to educate students and the public on the topic of hydraulic fracturing.

Slated for March 25 in Room 2000 of Moser Hall, “The Science of Shale Gas: Geology, Seismology, and Environmental Impacts,” a lecture by Dr. Beiersdorfer, will take place from 7 to 9 p.m.

On March 26, there will be another lecture in the same room titled “The Science of Shale Gas: The latest evidence on leaky wells, methane emissions, and implications for policy.” The lecture will be by Anthony Ingraffea, an engineering professor from Cornell University. It will also be from 7 to 9 p.m.

The day before the gallery closes, March 27, there will be a gallery talk and reception in Gallery 2300 of Bliss Hall, with three of the project’s photographers — Brian Cohen, Scott Goldsmith and Noah Addis.

Already on display is The Marcellus Shale Project in Gallery 2300 of Bliss Hall. It has been open for public viewing since March 5 and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. everyday until March 28.

The gallery is entirely composed of photographs taken by six different photographers — Addis, Cohen and Goldsmith in addition to Nina Berman, Lynn Johnson and Martha Rial.

Each of the photographers set out to different regions of Pennsylvania, documenting and interviewing people from all walks of life in order to accurately capture “the complex story of Marcellus Shale gas drilling in Pennsylvania.”

“They have reached out to farmers, homeowners and tenants; medical practitioners, engineers and legal professionals; casual protesters and full-blown activists; to people who feel they have benefited from gas drilling and to those who feel they have been victimized; to people whose lives have been forever changed, for better and for worse,” the online summary of the project said.

The week will conclude at McDonough Museum Lecture Hall, with a screening of the documentary “The Triple Divide” on March 28 from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Pennsylvania and Ohio residents alike have hailed this documentary as “a must see” in order to have an informed opinion on fracking. The documentary also features narration by actor Mark Ruffalo, known for playing Bruce Banner and the Incredible Hulk in the live-action film adaptation of The Avengers, and environmental activist Melissa Troutman, who recently testified at a Pennsylvania public hearing about the dangers of fracking.

Although project organizer Chalmers was unavailable to speak in person, when asked which area, if any, was particularly damaged by fracking that the photographers of The Marcellus Shale Project visited, he didn’t seem to think that the fracking debate is about which community or household has been hit hardest.

“Everywhere that there is shale gas, including Ohio and Pennsylvania, either is, or will be adversely affected. Ohio has some of the weakest laws in the country regarding the industry, including S.B. 315, which seems to have been written by gas industry,” Chalmers said in an email.