Data Gaps, Policy Challenges, and Novel Threats to Health
Recent expansions in oil and gas development, driven in large part by innovations in hydraulic fracturing and drilling technologies, have raised concern about the public health and environmental dimensions of these extractive activities and associated infrastructure. Studies to date have found evidence of water and air pollution and human health impacts including exacerbation of respiratory symptoms, several types of cancer, and poor birth outcomes. In this webinar hosted by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, Dr. Seth Shonkoff and Dr. Samantha Rubright will discuss some of the emerging issues in the oil, gas, and environmental public health arena.
Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy (PSE) brings scientific transparency to energy policy issues. Dr. Seth Shonkoff, Executive Director at PSE, Visiting Scholar in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley, and Affiliate in the Environment Energy Technology Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley California, will discuss the public health dimensions of the reuse of oil and gas wastewater for agricultural irrigation of food crops in the State of California. In addition to general background information, Dr. Shonkoff will discuss his recent work on chemical use in oil and gas development and implications for public health science and policy.
FracTracker Alliance strives to help people engage with data. Dr. Samantha Rubright, Manager of Communications and Partnerships for FracTracker Alliance, will be discussing how FracTracker, by working with a variety of stakeholders and innovations in data, is helping to democratize oil and gas development decision-making around important environmental health issues. One of these focus areas is FracTracker’s recent Falcon Public EIA Project, a data transparency initiative that is bringing the story of the proposed Falcon ethane pipeline in Southwest Pennsylvania to the public and regulatory agencies for greater scrutiny.
CHE Webinar Speakers
Seth B.C. Shonkoff, PhD, MPH, is the executive director of the energy science and policy institute, PSE Healthy Energy. Dr. Shonkoff is also a visiting scholar in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley and an affiliate in the Environment Energy Technology Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley California. An environmental and public health scientist by training, he has more than 15 years of experience in water, air, climate, and population health research and has published more than 35 peer-reviewed journal articles and reports. He has worked and published on topics related to the intersection of energy, air pollution, water quality, climate, and human health from scientific and policy perspectives. Dr. Shonkoff co-authored the Human Health chapter of The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) and has led several human health assessments of oil and gas development and storage commissioned by the State of California. Dr. Shonkoff also serves on multiple science-policy expert panels. Dr. Shonkoff completed his PhD in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management and his MPH in epidemiology in the School of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley.
Samantha Rubright, DrPH, CPH is a communications manager with 12 years of experience working on controversial energy, public health, and environmental issues. She is currently the Manager of Communications and Partnerships for FracTracker Alliance, a non-profit she helped to launch whose mission is to study, map, and communicate the risks of oil and gas development to protect the planet and support the renewable energy transformation. With FracTracker, Sam conducts and translates environmental health research for the website; nurtures collaborative relationships; manages FracTracker’s student internship program; and serves as the primary contact for media inquiries.
Certified in Public Health, Sam obtained a Master of Public Health degree in 2010 from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health’s Behavioral and Community Health Sciences department, and more recently in 2016 her Doctor of Public Health degree from Pitt Public Health’s Environmental and Occupational Health department, focusing on the effects of exposure to cyanide and hydrogen sulfide. She has explored and advised on the impacts of extractive industries on communities and public health in Africa and Europe, and is currently serving on Science Communication Network’s Oil and Gas Advisory Board.
This webinar will last for 45 minutes and will be recorded for our call and webinar archive. This is the ninth webinar in CHE’s series, 20 Pioneers Under 40 in Environmental Public Health.