Lesson 9: Community Impacts


In this lesson, you will learn about the boomtown impact model and consider how the model might be updated to fit the particular conditions of shale gas development. Next, we will assemble a handy “toolbox” of ways to assess information about the social impacts of shale gas development. Assigned readings will give an overview of each topic, which we will review together, then apply to actual data from the Marcellus Shale region. 

Main topics include:

  • Causation in Social Science
  • Community Impacts in the Media
  • Boomtown Impact Model
  • Risk Perception
  • Institutional Trust

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Summarize the boom-bust cycle and its potential impacts
  • Assess the physical and social impacts of shale gas development

Lesson Roadmap

Lesson Roadmap
To Read
To Do


If you have questions, or need further references you may contact Penn State hydrogeologist Dave Yoxtheimer, at the Earth & Environmental Systems Institute. His email address is day122@psu.edu.