For the last two modules, you have been using a template called the Science Tool Kit to guide your work in analyzing news articles that bring the public information from scientific research. In this module, we are expanding our definition of science to include technology and engineering, since they are crucial in considering our energy resources, needs, and plans for the future of our planet.
For this assignment, we will drill down (pun intended) on the controversies that surround hydraulic fracturing, typically shortened to “hydro-fracking”, for natural gas. This process is not new, but technological innovations in recent years have made it a much more practical and widespread technique to obtain natural gas. Fracking has supporters and detractors, but many states are now allowing fracking, and the practice is so widespread and effective that the prices for natural gas have fallen precipitously in recent years. However, there have been a host of environmental concerns with the rapid increase in the use of fracking. These include health issues created by water and air pollutants, damage to once wild and pristine environments that cannot be undone, and also earthquakes.
This assignment asks you to analyze an article from a Houston newspaper by A. Kuchment that reviews recent research on the increase in the number of earthquakes in Texas. This increase has apparently been linked to the increased use of fracking techniques. The US Geologic Survey has also published information on this issue. Learn more from the following reading and viewing opportunities before you begin the assignment.
Participating in this activity will enable you to demonstrate mastery of Module Level Outcome 2.
Carefully read the news article:
Next, for your comparison to the news article, your information from the “scientific community”: