Over the past decade, hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have accelerated extraction of oil and natural gas in Colorado and across the United States. In Colorado, oil and gas development has expanded into residential areas, and residential development has expanded into oil- and gas-producing areas. The state’s regulation of oil and gas development seeks to both tap the resources and protect public health, leading to conflict about how to balance these potentially conflicting goals. In this lecture, Pétron, Rajaram and Ryan will discuss research they’ve conducted regarding the effects of oil and gas development on air quality and water quality in Colorado as part of the AirWaterGas network and how this research could guide better regulation of oil and gas development.
Gabrielle Pétron is an associate scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Monitoring Division. She studied earth sciences at Ecole Normale d'Ulm in Paris and earned a Ph.D. degree in atmospheric sciences from the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris in 2003. Since 2005, she has been making atmospheric measurements to study natural and anthropogenic emissions of air pollutants at NOAA and the University of Colorado Boulder.
Harihar Rajaram is a professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. He received his B.S. degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, India, his M.S. degree from the University of Iowa, and his Sc.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1990. His research focuses on coupled processes and reactive transport in fractured rock, which is relevant to subsurface energy and water resources, and natural geologic and biogeochemical phenomena.
Joseph Ryan is a professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. He received his B.S. degree from Princeton University and his Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992. His research focuses on fate and transport of contaminants in natural waters. He is the faculty director of the National Science Foundation-funded AirWaterGas Sustainability Research Network.