"Working with Goucher's summer research program opened my eyes wider to the social inequalities surrounding the exploitation of environmental resources," says Abbigail Jones '15. Under the guidance of Dr. Germán Mora, the director of Goucher's Environmental Studies program, Jones analyzed hydraulic fracturing in terms of environmental injustice, which is essentially "the unequal distribution of environmental benefits and burdens across a population."
With statistical models, Jones evaluated the relationships between location of hydraulic fracturing sites in Pennsylvania to factors like educational attainment, average annual income, average home value, and racial demographics.
The work allowed her to use the knowledge she has gained as an environmental studies major and also "gain additional technological skills, including learning how to use programs like Excel, SPSS, and GIS, all of which are or could be useful in other professional settings."
The Oregon native, who concentrates on the relationships between environment and society, presented her findings at the Summer Research Symposium at Susquehanna University. It was a "uniquely valuable experience" and networking opportunity. Jones met and shared her research with people in similar fields who are engaged in related work. "Goucher helped prepare me for this work through the breadth of courses required for my major, which include everything from statistics to politics to biology."