Project SP15f: Geographies of occupational health in shale gas extraction in Pennsylvania

Project SP15f: Geographies of occupational health in shale gas extraction in Pennsylvania
Researcher: Arielle Hesse
Position type: Qualitative Data Analysis

Application deadline: 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 1, 2014

Application URL:

Position description

This project will be to assist in the data analysis of public hearings and policy documents associated with proposed occupational health regulation of respirable crystalline silica in the United States. The student will be trained in how to access government documents from different federal and state data repositories, and in qualitative data analysis. The student will receive training in using data analysis software and will be responsible for coding policy documents. Documents will include testimony and transcripts from public hearings held by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration on new exposure limits to respirable crystalline silica, a human carcinogen that can cause the debilitating lung disease known as silicosis. Special emphasis will be placed on documents and transcripts that relate to how new regulation will impact the shale gas industry. At the end of the semester, the student will have better knowledge of the federal rulemaking process, will have an appreciation of health and safety concerns associated with the shale gas industry, and will possess skills in qualitative data analysis. In addition to the weekly work requirements (reading, coding), the student will write a reflection piece on the research experience and potential to translate skills learned to other projects. The student is also encouraged to consider other deliverables that would meet his or her own academic interests and goals.   

Desired qualifications

Successful completion of two introductory-level human/human-environment geography courses (e.g., GEOG 20, 30, 120, 124, 126, 130), or one 400-level course in human/human-environment geography (e.g., GEOG 420Y, 423Y, 427, 430, 431, 432, 434, 438W, 439) or commensurate research experience. Demonstrated interests in shale gas, health, policy, or gender issues are desirable.

Candidates must be willing to contribute 80 total hours of work toward the project over the semester, resulting in 2 credit hours applied to the transcript. There is no monetary stipend attached to this assistantship, although the experiences gained in this work will be immediately valuable when applying for graduate school or full-time employment.

To apply

Prospective candidates should submit application to by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 1, 2014.
A complete application must include:
1. All required fields of online form:

2. A one-page cover letter identifying the position for which you're applying and stating your interest in conducting research, your academic preparation, the skills you hope to gain from this experience, and contact information of two references.

  • Upload a PDF document named as follows: FirstinitialLastname_letterMMYY.pdf (e.g. jvender_letter1114.pdf)

3. A resume

  • Upload a PDF document named as follows: FirstinitialLastname_resumeMMYY.pdf (e.g. jvender_resume1114.pdf)