Ann Yoachim & Jonathan Tate, Loeb Fellows
Proximity to energy sources has shaped human settlement patterns for centuries. In current times, the pace of global flows of financial resources, growing energy needs, innovative technologies and expanding investment in physical infrastructure result in dramatic shifts in human settlement patterns in areas of natural resource extraction. “Fracking” of natural gas is a primary driver of these changes in rural landscapes across the United States today. This class will serve as an exploratory investigation into these changes in three distinct areas of the United States: the Bakken Formation in North Dakota, the Marcellus Shale field in Pennsylvania, and Haynesville Shale field in Louisiana. Using the relationships between population and the built landscape, questions of permanence vs. impermanence, the seen and the unseen, the fluidity of changes below and above the earth’s surface will be considered. As the search for energy continues to meet growing demand, this class will speculate on what this may mean for the future of landscapes in resource rich rural spaces.