Researchers at Pennsylvania State University have been awarded a $412,000, three-year grant by the Heinz Endowments to identify and mitigate the effects of Marcellus Shale natural gas exploration and development on the state’s forest ecosystem. The interdisciplinary research team, led by two faculty members in the College of Agricultural Sciences, will evaluate landscape change as a result of gas exploration disturbances, assess local and landscape-scale changes to the forest ecosystem and develop an electronic field guide for onsite remediation and wildlife habitat enhancement at Marcellus drilling sites. The team also plans to pilot a long-term citizen-science based monitoring program to track changes to the physical landscape and biotic communities.
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