The Straight Scoop on Shale

A project of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Education Fund

2018 Shale & Public Health Conference Videos

2018 Resource Guide

Below you will find the video recordings of the 2018 Conference “Shale & Public Health” which was held November 14, 2018 at the University of Pittsburgh.

As in previous years, the Shale and Public Health Committee updated the Shale Gas Extraction & Public Health Resource Guide to include new research and reflect the evolving knowledge base.

Susan Carty President, League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania & Sally Wenzel MD Dept. Chair, Pitt Graduate School of Public Health

Shale Development & Childhood Cancer; New Research Tools
Shaina Stacy PhD MPH Postdoctoral Scholar, UPMC Hillman Cancer Ctr, GSPH &
James Fabisiak PhD Associate Professor, Pitt Grad School of Public Health

Shale Gas Activity and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Ohio
Nicole Deziel PhD MHS Asst. Professor, Yale School of Public Health; Yale Cancer Center & Yale Center for Perinatal, Pediatric and Environmental Epidemiology

The EPA and Public Health Research
Bernard Goldstein MD Emeritus Dean & Professor, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health; former U.S. EPA R&D Administrator

Public Health Impacts Across the Plastics Lifecycle
Giulia Carlini LL M Staff Attorney, Ctr. Intl. Environmental Law, Geneva

Unconventional Natural Gas Development and Pediatric Health
Elaine Hill PhD Assistant Professor, Univ of Rochester Medical Center

Research on Aspects of Radioactivity

Fracking & Radon
Jeremy Weber PhD Associate Professor, Pitt Graduate School of Public & International Affairs; Director, Shale Gas Governance Center

Public Health Impacts of Spreading Oil & Gas Wastewater on Roads
Nathaniel Warner PhD Assistant Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Penn State


Giulia Carlini LL.M. is a staff attorney for the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) and works in the Environmental Health program, which is based in Geneva. Her work focuses primarily on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), international chemicals governance, and global policy on plastics. Giulia is an Italian lawyer who graduated in European and Transnational Law studying in Italy and Belgium. She also holds an LL.M. in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies of Geneva, Switzerland. During her studies, Giulia worked in a legal clinic for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and she previously interned at CIEL. Her former experiences include participating in climate change negotiations, as well as working in the private sector and at the Government of South Australia.

Susan Carty B.A. M.EQ. is a new member of the Board of the League of Women Voters of the U.S. She was elected President of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania in June 2013 and is proud to continue that role today. Previously, she had been the president of the LWV Chester County and also served as LWVCC’s education com mittee chair. She joined the League in 2009. Susan was a Life Insurance Underwriter for Prudential Insurance Company and National Liberty Insurance Company. Later in life she became a Science Teacher in the West Chester Area School District, teaching there for 20 years. She is the co-author of a science lab instruction manual for Pfizer Corporation. Susan received a B.A. in Bio-Psych from Immaculata College. She earned a Masters Equivalent, completing course work in the sciences from WCU, Millersville, Widener, Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, and University of Montana. She is also a Certified Master Planner. Before retiring from her career in science education, Susan was granted the “opportunity of a lifetime” as the Teacher At Sea. She joined a team of NOAA scientists aboard the ship, The Ron Brown, traveling for 40 days across the Pacific from Hawaii to Japan. The expedition continued on land to the Iwacuni, Japan Marine- Air Base and Cheju Island, South Korea, where she had the opportunity to speak to middle and high school students. Susan was instrumental in the establishment of a pilot program for Teacher Training at the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine, resulting in another memorable experience for five science teachers from the West Chester Area School District. She believes that gaining knowledge and experiences in life is truly a never- ending process. What one does with that knowledge is the key. Susan Carty’s public service includes previously serving as Director of the West Chester Area School Board (2006-2009), on the Chester County Regional Planning Commission (2005- 2007), and as Member and Chair of the East Goshen Township Planning Commission (2002- 2015). She currently represents the League on Pennsylvanians for Modern Court Board, the Keystone State Transportation Commission and the Blue Ribbon Cybersecurity Commission.

Jessa Chabeau M.S.W. is the Case Manager for the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project (EHP). She received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh where she focused on Community Organization and Social Administration, while also becoming certified in Human Services Management. While studying at the University of Pittsburgh, Chabeau participated in a 9-month field placement at EHO, which led to her officially joining the organization after graduation. In addition to her role as Case Manager, Chabeau convenes the Stress Team and the Outreach Team.

Nicole Deziel Ph.D. MHS is an Assistant Professor in Environmental Health Sciences at the Yale School of Public Health and a member of the Yale Cancer Center and Yale Center for Perinatal, Pediatric and Environmental Epidemiology. She has expertise in exposure science and interdisciplinary training in epidemiology, biostatistics, and industrial hygiene. Her research involves developing and applying environmental exposure assessment methods to answer emerging research questions in environmental epidemiology. She combines existing and advanced statistical models, biomonitoring techniques, and environmental measurements to provide more comprehensive and quantitative assessments of exposure to multiple contaminants. One of Dr. Deziel’s main areas of interest is evaluating the potential public health impacts of unconventional oil and gas development. Dr. Deziel serves as a Principal Investigator (PI) of an inter-disciplinary project entitled “Drinking water vulnerability and neonatal health outcomes in relation to oil and gas production in the Appalachian Basin,” funded by the Environmental Protection Agency. She is also PI of a study funded by the American Cancer Society investigating co-exposures to multiple flame retardants, pesticides, and other persistent pollutants and thyroid cancer risk. Dr. Deziel holds an MHS and PhD from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is a recipient of the NIH Fellows award for Research Excellence.

James (Jim) Fabisiak Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Environmental & Occupational Health at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and Director of the Center for Healthy Environments. He primarily considers himself a mechanistic toxicologist studying the cellular and molecular responses of injury, inflammation, repair and pathologic remodeling in the lung following environmental insult. More recently he has “expanded his portfolio” to include more public health community-based activities such as studying public health risks associated with point source air pollution, unconventional natural gas drilling and marine oil spills. He has received funding from the NIH, EPA and other sources and contributed to over 50 peer-reviewed publications. He is an author of several PRETA reports examining community air quality issues in Southwest PA.

Ashley Funk B.A. B.S. is a community organizer for the Mountain Watershed Association (MWA). She earned her B.A. in Environmental Studies from Wellesley College and her B.S. in Design Engineering from Olin College of Engineering. She provides assistance to community members who may be experiencing health impacts or who are concerned about potential health or other impacts of fracking waste impoundments and gas-fired power plants in residential neighborhoods. Ashley is passionate about using creative strategies to uplift rural communities in southwestern Pennsylvania and the greater Appalachian region.

Bernard D. Goldstein M.D. is emeritus Dean and emeritus Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. He is a physician, board certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology and in Toxicology. He has authored over 150 publications in the peer-reviewed literature, as well as numerous reviews related to environmental health. In 2015, Dr. Goldstein was Visiting Professor at the University of Cologne comparing US and EU shale gas policies. Dr. Goldstein is an elected member of the National Academies of Science Institute of Medicine (IOM), and has chaired over a dozen IOM or National Research Council Committees. His past experience includes service as Assistant Administrator for Research and Development of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1983-1985, and President of the Society for Risk Analysis. On shale gas issues he has published on scientific and policy aspects; served on both the US National Research Council and Canadian Council of Academies shale gas committees; and has chaired a working group of the Society of Toxicology.

Elaine Hill Ph.D. is Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She works in the Division of Health Policy and Outcomes Research in the Department of Public Health Sciences. Dr. Hill’s primary research interests are in health economics and environmental economics. In particular, her research focuses on the intersection between health, health policy, the environment and human capital formation, with an emphasis on the effect of environmental exposures on health. Her most recent research utilizes quasi-experimental methods to study the impacts of shale gas development on human health in the US. She is also involved in early origins research, linking in utero environment to health and educational attainment in later life. Dr. Hill serves to support research projects at the University of Rochester employing “big data”, structural modeling and cost-effectiveness assessment. Dr. Hill is also affiliated with the Goergen Institute for Data Science, the Environmental Health Sciences Center, and the Center for Energy and Environment. Dr. Hill received her B.A. in Economics and Mathematics at Oberlin College in 2005 and her PhD in Applied Economics from Cornell University in 2014. She is a recipient of the 2015 NIH Director’s Early Independence Award.

Ned Ketyer M.D., F.A.A.P. is a Pittsburgh pediatrician with special interests in developmental pediatrics, preventative medicine, and environmental health. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont and his medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School. He completed his residency at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. After practicing for more than 26 years at Pediatric Alliance, Dr. Ketyer retired from office practice at the beginning of 2017, however, he continues to write and edit Pediatric Alliance’s popular blog, The PediaBlog, which just celebrated its 6th anniversary, over 2,400 posts! Dr. Ketyer is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health. He is a consultant for the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project and a board member of Physicians for Social Responsibility – Pennsylvania.

Deborah Larson B.A. is the Medical Outreach Coordinator for the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project (EHP). She received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied economics and mathematics. She worked for many years as an economic analyst and as a network and computer support specialist. More recently, she worked as an outreach educator for RiverQuest. She is a member of the Shale and Public Health Committee of the League of Women Voters.

Melissa Marshall J.D. is the Community Advocate with the Mountain Watershed Association (MWA). Melissa joined MWA in 2016, after graduating from the City University of New York School of Law. Her practice centers primarily around empowering communities in the southwestern Pennsylvania area to help protect themselves from health and other impacts of natural gas and coal extraction. Melissa worked previously as a legal intern at Food & Water Watch, and at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Prior to that, she worked on corporate accountability issues at the media outlet, and at a plaintiff-side personal injury law firm that handled pesticide cases.

Sarah Paolino B.A. is a Master of Social Work intern for the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project (EHP). She is pursuing her MSW from California University of Pennsylvania and is a graduate assistant for the Social Work department. She also serves as the vice president of the Graduate Student Social Work Association. In 2011, she received a BA in Psychology and Philosophy from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Samantha Rubright Dr.P.H., C.P.H. is the Manager of Communications and Development for FracTracker Alliance, a non-profit she helped found, which studies, maps, and communicates the risks of oil and gas development. With FracTracker, Dr. Rubright oversees the organization’s communication initiatives; executes fundraising activities; 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. Dr. Rubright obtained a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree in 2016 from Pitt Public Health’s Environmental and Occupational Health department, focusing on the effects of exposure to cyanide and hydrogen sulfide. She also holds a Master of Public Health degree from the school’s Behavioral and Community Health Sciences department. While the majority of Dr. Rubright’s work focuses on environmental and public health issues in the United States, she has investigated and advised on the impacts of extractive industries on communities and public health in both Africa and Europe.

Shaina Stacy Ph.D. M.P.H. C.P.H. is a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. At Hillman, Dr. Stacy uses geospatial methods to study cancer outcomes and environmental risk factors in the UPMC catchment area and the state of Pennsylvania. This includes the impact of early life exposures, such as to unconventional natural gas development, on childhood cancer risk in Pennsylvania. Dr. Stacy received a Master of Public Health and Ph.D. from Pitt Public Health’s Department of Environmental & Occupational Health in 2015, during which she studied the impact of proximity to unconventional natural gas extraction sites on infant health outcomes. Additionally, she has conducted studies examining childhood exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals, such as bisphenol A, on children’s neurobehavioral health.

Nathaniel Warner Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the Pennsylvania State University, in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department. His research focuses on using isotope geochemistry to better understand the processes controlling sources of salts in produced waters, shallow groundwater, and surface water. Identifying the source(s) of salinity is vital for assessing the development strategy for both water and energy resources under changing climate. His work has examined the accumulation of metals associated with oil and gas development in sediment and freshwater biota. Dr. Warner studied geology as an undergraduate and for his M.S., and holds a Ph.D. from Duke University.

Jeremy Weber Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and is the Director of the Shale Gas Governance Center. He received his Ph.D. in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Wisconsin and later worked at the World Bank and the U.S. Federal Government. His energy-related research covers a wide variety of topics such as local income and employment effects, land and housing values, leasing markets and royalties, state tax policies, and impacts on school finances and performance. These articles have appeared in journals such as the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Energy Policy, Energy Economics, and Resource and Energy Economics. Two of his most recent papers focuses on Pennsylvania—one that looks at the incidence and effects of Pennsylvania’s Impact Fee on shale gas wells and another that looks at the relationship between fracking and indoor radon levels.

Sally E. Wenzel M.D. completed her MD degree at the University of Florida. Following her residency in internal medicine at Wake Forest University and her fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, she spent 19 years at National Jewish and the University of Colorado before moving to the University of Pittsburgh. She received the Elizabeth Rich Award for her role in promoting women in science, the ATS Award for Scientific Achievement, the ATS Foundation Breathing for Life Award, and the ERS President’s Award. She is currently Director of the University of Pittsburgh Asthma Institute at UPMC, and Chair for the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, at the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Wenzel has served as Deputy Editor for the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and is a frequent reviewer for the New England Journal of Medicine and other publications. a passion for understanding and improving the treatment of asthma, in severe asthma. She has promoted severe asthma as a complex disease and her phenotypes have led the field in understanding these complexities. Dr. has developed a strong translational program to study the pathobiology of severe phenotypes, modeling ex vivo findings in vitro, using primary human airway cells from patients and controls. Dr. Wenzel has a passion for understanding and improving the treatment of asthma, in particular severe asthma. She has promoted severe asthma as a complex disease and her studies of asthma phenotypes have led the field in understanding these complexities. Dr. Wenzel has developed a strong translational program to study the pathobiology of severe asthma and its phenotypes, modeling ex vivo findings in vitro, using primary human airway cells from patients and controls.