Using a mixed method approach to evaluate risk perceptions in rural communities in Kansas and Oklahoma

Authors: Avantika Ramekar*, Kansas State University
Topics: Rural Geography, Natural Resources, Environmental Perception
Keywords: Rural, mixed method, Kansas, oil and natural gas, risk perception
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Roosevelt 4.5, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

This paper discusses the use and results of mixed method approach to understand perception of risk of the oil and natural gas industry in rural communities of Kansas and Oklahoma. Extraction of oil and natural gas has occurred in both the States for several years, and the energy industry is one of the most important economic contributors for both. The Mississippian Limestone Play (MLP), a porous limestone formation containing oil and natural gas, is found under parts of southern and western Kansas and north central Oklahoma, has been important for energy production. With horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, there was a new oil rush in the MLP. An upswing in drilling activity was seen from 2010 to about end of 2014, and its associated industrial establishments have left lasting impacts on local communities. The aim of this research project is to investigate local opinions about this industrial development. A mixed method approach of mailed surveys and in-depth interview are used to gather data from individuals in local communities and public officials respectively. While the mailed survey gathered opinions from rural communities from 10 counties of Kansas and Oklahoma, the in-depth interviews were used to engage with public officials from 5 counties of Kansas and Oklahoma. Our objective is to better understand of how individuals in local communities’ experience industrial changes, as well as how industrial dynamics affect opinions and how they contribute to policy planning. This research is intended to help bridge gaps between local experiences and government planning.

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