Design by Brett Yasko.  Photo © Scott Goldsmith/MSDP 2016

Design by Brett Yasko.  Photo © Scott Goldsmith/MSDP 2016

The original goal of the Marcellus Shale Documentary Project was to document the social, environmental and economic effects of unconventional natural gas (methane) extraction (commonly known as "fracking") within the borders of Pennsylvania.  Photographers Noah Addis, Nina Berman, Brian Cohen, Lynn Johnson, Scott Goldsmith and Martha Rial, designer Brett Yasko and curator Laura Domencic collaborated for over a year to produce a body of work that opened as an exhibit in Pittsburgh in 2012, and traveled until the spring of 2016.  During that time, the story has only continued to grow, and with it the MSDP team has continued to cover developments, including expanding their geographic focus.  This second round of work is synthesized here.

MSDP has been generously supported by The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, The William Penn Foundation, The Sprout Fund, the Donald and Sylvia Robinson Foundation, and by a number of private donors including Josh Whetzel, Nancy Bernstein, and Cathy Raphael.

The pictures in this section are organized by photographer.

Noah Addis has added to his catalog of landscapes and faces of the gas fields, spending most of his time in eastern Ohio where gas development has increased rapidly since the start of the project.

The video below, a collaboration between Joe Seamans and Fractracker Alliance, and part of the MSDP second round, shows the expansion of natural gas-related activity in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia between 2002 and 2016.  © Joe Seamans/Fractracker Alliance/MSDP 2016.

Brian Cohen returned to Butler County in Pennsylvania to follow up on some of the people photographed in the first phase; and traveled out to eastern Ohio to document the arrival of a "fracking" operation at a farm that offers free horse-riding classes to vulnerable populations.

Lynn Johnson's photographs offer a lyrical view of life in the gas fields of rural Lawrence County.

Scott Goldsmith's photographs cast a light on the social and environmental tensions that have risen since the advent of "fracking" in Pennsylvania.

Nina Berman returned to the north-east of Pennsylvania where she produced videos of women affected by gas drilling.  She also used a FLIR camera to make visible emissions from gas installations.

Martha Rial looked at the infrastructure involved in processing and moving gas across the supply chain.