Diane Gonzales

Diane Gonzales, 2014 Cohort, Environmental Health Science

Up-goer summary: “My job is to look at the air around places where people are doing power-getting by breaking ground using water, and see if any of it makes people sick. If so, I will study how far people have to live from power-getting from ground in order to make sure they are not sick.”

Diane Gonzales is a third year student in the environmental health science department in the School of Public Health. She investigate the spatial scaling of human exposure to activities related to well stimulation activities in the Colorado Front Range in order to interpret the human health impacts. “Well stimulation is performed on oil and/or gas wells to improve the flow of natural hydrocarbons from the shale rock into the well bore, thus, increasing production,” Gonzales says. But, “Chemicals and equipment associated with oil and gas well stimulation pose threats to both human and environmental health, and studies has shown an association between proximity from site and potential health risks.” Her current study will investigate the spatial scaling of human exposure to activities related to oil and gas well stimulation activities around the Niobrara Shale located along the Colorado Front Range. She hypothesizes that a decay of various emissions associated with oil and gas well stimulation activities will occur as distance from the site increases in both the dominant and non-dominate wind directions. This data will aid in the understanding of the human health impacts at varying distances from the selected sites.

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