Researchers seek public participation in energy industry survey

University of Alberta geophysicists looking for information on perceptions, experiences with oil and gas industry.

Katie Willis - 12 March 2019

Scientists at the University of Alberta are looking for volunteers to share their opinions about the oil and gas industry in an anonymous, online survey, made available this week.

"Obviously, the oil and gas industry has enormous impact in Alberta," said Jordan Phillips, master's student in the Department of Physics and lead investigator on the project. "What we're interested in studying here are people's views about oil and gas, and the impact this industry has. This survey is also about balance-respondents will be asked to weigh both the benefits and adverse impacts of the industry."

Phillips, who grew up in rural Alberta, is conducting the research as part of her master's thesis under the supervision of Mirko van der Baan, professor in the Faculty of Science as well as Sven Anders, professor in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences.

"We designed the survey following consultation with various stakeholders, including the public, industry, and regulatory bodies, to see what they're curious about," said van der Baan, who is also director of the Microseismic Industry Consortium. "We'll disseminate our results to these same groups-public, industry, and regulatory bodies-such that all stakeholders can be informed about what the public thinks."

The survey is available online and is open to anyone interested in sharing their views. The researchers are particularly interested in gaining insight on the views of those living in rural communities, and those living near operating wells. Participants will be asked about their opinions and perceptions, as well as their first-hand experiences with the energy sector. The survey is anonymous, and all responses will be kept confidential.

"The hope is that we will eventually end up with policy recommendations and practical steps for moving forward in the energy industry," explained Phillips.

Learn more or take the survey here.