The Emerging Leaders in Environmental and Energy Policy Network

July 26, 2016

This ELEEP Virtual Discussion took place on July 26, 2016 and dealt with the topic of "citizen monitoring of fracking activities".

The discussion included presentations by Sister Elizabeth Riebschlaeger, an environmental advocate in the Eagle Ford Shale basin of Texas, Samantha Rubright from the organization FracTracker Alliance, as well as input from Zachariah L. Hildenbrand from the organization Inform Environmental, LLC. The video and slides below highlight some of the challenges facing communities impacted by fracking activity and the potential for citizen monitoring of fracking through innovative technologies. The event was moderated by Max Gruenig, President of Ecologic Institute US.

Sr. Elizabeth Riebschlaeger, Sister of Charity of the Incarnate Word of San Antonio, Texas,
Sister Elizabeth has a Degree in Music Education and a Masters Degree in Religious Studies from the Pastoral Institute at the University of the Incarnate Word.  Her ministerial history includes service as a teacher in parish schools, parish ministry, caring for her aging mother, flood recovery disaster relief and prison visitation ministry.  Currently, her interest in the environment includes monitoring the ongoing development of fracking in South Texas. Her resource contacts include scientists and public health researchers at several universities and non-profit environmental groups.  Sister works to educate citizens on fracking’s permanent threats to clear air, water and land. She serves as advocate on behalf of citizens impacted by Eagle Ford Shale activity and has testified before legislative committees and the Environmental Protection Agency hearings on behalf of more protective legislation and regulations.
Samantha Rubright, MPH, CPH is Manager of Communications & Partnerships, FracTracker Alliance
Samantha Rubright has worked with FracTracker since its inception in 2010. With FracTracker, Sam conducts and translates environmental health research for the website; nurtures collaborative relationships; manages FracTracker’s student internship program; and serves as the initial contact for media inquiries. Sam obtained a master of public health degree from Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health and is currently a doctoral candidate in the Environmental and Occupational Health department.
Zachariah L. Hindenbrand, Inform Environmental, LLC
Dr. Hildenbrand is the principal founder of Inform Environmental, LLC and sits on the scientific advisory board of the Collaborative Laboratories for Environmental Analysis and Remediation at the University of Texas at Arlington. Together with his colleagues at UT-Arlington, Dr. Hildenbrand has coordinated environmental monitoring and remediation projects all across Texas, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania. This research has produced more than 20 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles and textbook chapters. Dr. Hildenbrand is determined to generate a deeper understanding of energy extraction and to develop solutions for environmental remediation and the recycling of anthropogenic wastes. Zacariah L. Hildenbrand received his bachelors of science and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Texas at El Paso, where he also played on the men’s intercollegiate golf team. Dr. Hildenbrand continued his training as a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.



Event type: