• Lehigh University Environmental Initiative - Group with equipment
     Lehigh University Environmental Initiative - Group with equipment


The Environmental Initiative (EI) is an interdisciplinary program of academics, research, and outreach whose overall mission is to advance humanity's understanding and awareness of our role in and interaction with our natural environment through research, teaching, and outreach. The EI enables interdisciplinary efforts that transcend typical departmental and college boundaries in degree programs, problem-based research projects, and environmental education for school children, policy-makers, and the general public. The EI consists of faculty, staff and students from all four colleges of Lehigh, including two core departments, Earth & Environmental Sciences (EES), and Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE).  For more information contact Co-Directors Derick Brown dgb3@lehigh.edu or Donald Morris dpm2@lehigh.edu

Marcellus Shale

Because hydraulic fracturing or fracking of Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania is a major environmental controversy that gets a great deal of media coverage, it has been the ideal subject for a research and writing project in a Lehigh course called "Environment, the Public and the Mass Media." In the fall of 2012 and 2013, the students’ intense study culminated in a series of research papers, each on an aspect of the fracking controversy, written to serve as a Web guide for readers. In 2013, the students also produced short videos about their research findings. As part of their Marcellus research projects, they went on a field trip, heard from guest speakers and conducted interviews. View the results of these projects at “Drilling Down on Marcellus Shale: Insights into Fracking.” 

     Three Lehigh students discuss
     their fracking research projects.

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Farm to Fork

Katelyn Armbruster Working over the summer

Lehigh University student Katelyn Armbruster spent the summer growing vegetables in the Lehigh Community Garden on the Goodman Campus. She donates her harvest to New Bethany Ministries in South Side Bethlehem. During the garden season she harvests, packs individual bags, and delivers the produce to both the food pantry and the kitchen twice a week. She’s also prepping the garden beds for fall crops.

Read more about her story here

For more images about her story here.