2022 State of the Rockies Fellows-Faculty Research

Meet the 2022 Fellows

Micah Arrison is a rising senior from Freeport, Maine and a transfer from Drexel University. He is an International Political economy major interested in understanding effective policies for environmental protection and climate justice. Micah is a dedicated rock climber, a visual artist, and an avid fiction reader. He is excited to work with the 2022 team of research fellows to investigate the institutions and coalitions involved in fracking policies in the Rockies.

Dova Castaneda Zilly is a senior from Seattle, Washington. She is an Environmental Studies & Economics double major and interested in studying the interconnections of those two disciplines to help preserve and conserve the environment. In her free time she is an avid rock climber, an EMT and spends a lot of time with her dog, Duck. She is excited to work with the other fellows this summer, and study the oil and gas industry's relationship with the communities they are in in the Rocky Mountain West. 

Ben Gibson is a rising senior from Essex, Massachusetts. He is an environmental studies major with a specific interest in environmental law and policy. In his free time, he enjoys surfing, skiing, and spending time with his two Bernese mountain dogs. Ben looks forward to working alongside the other State of the Rockies fellows to develop a better understanding of the tools utilized by advocacy coalitions to affect the policy process. 

Zoey Roueche is a rising junior from Littleton, Colorado. She an Environmental Studies and Political Science double major and a French minor. On campus, Zoey works as a Peer Consultant for the Writing Center and is co-captain of the Women Club Soccer team, Secretary General of Model UN, Secretary of Blue Key Honor Society, a student representative on CC’s GEAR Committee, and a member of Delta Gamma. In her spare time, she enjoys dancing, singing, painting, hiking, and spending time with her three cats. Zoey is passionate about environmental policy and issues of environmental justice and plans to pursue law school after graduating from Colorado College. 

Charlotte Toogood is a rising junior from Paget, Bermuda. She is an environmental studies major and a political science minor who is interested in environmental policy, justice, and sustainability. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, skiing, and playing squash on campus. Charlotte is very excited for the opportunity to be a State of the Rockies Fellow and to gain a deeper understand of the local oil and gas industry and its impacts on the surrounding communities and environments.   

Zoraiz Zafar is a rising sophomore from Linkoping, Sweden, and Islamabad, Pakistan. He is pursuing a major in Mathematical Economics and aspires to attend law school one day. On campus, he is involved with the CC Model United Nations Club, the John Quincy Adams Society, and The Catalyst Newspaper. Zoraiz is very enthusiastic about studying the quantitative aspects of the oil and gas industry by analyzing its socioeconomic and environmental effects. In his free time, Zoraiz likes to play cricket, ping pong, and, on a cold day, some strategic video games.

 

Micah Arrison
Micah Arrison, '23
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Dova Castaneda Zilly, '23
Ben Gibson
Ben Gibson, '23
Zoey Roueche
Zoey Roueche, '24

 

Charlotte Toogood
Charlotte Toogood, '24
Zoraiz Zafar
Zoraiz Zafar, '25

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPLY NOW!

2022 Hiring Fellows posterThe 2022 Fellows-Faculty Research Project

Understanding Policy Debates on the Future of Hydraulic Fracturing in the Rocky Mountain West

Countries around the world including the U.S. are facing a paradox of how to provide affordable reliable sources of energy while minimizing negative impacts on the local and global environments. There is increasing evidence that climate change is occurring and has negative impacts on society, and one of its main human causes is the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) for energy. At the same time, burning fossil fuels has been an engine for economic development around the world. Thus, how energy is produced and consumed has complex repercussions for society.

Recently, the production of oil and natural gas in the U.S. reached record levels. The U.S. is now the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world. The key to this increase in production has been a combination of technological developments around fossil fuel extraction most prominently hydraulic fracturing (also known as fracking). While hydraulic fracturing was first developed in the 1950s its proliferation began in the 2000s when it was connected with directional drilling, other technological developments, as well as increases in the price of oil and natural gas that helped make recovering the fossil fuels more profitable.

Today, hydraulic fracturing is used to drill for oil and gas in dozens of states in the U.S. The Rocky Mountain region has some of the most prolific drillings in the country as it includes multip

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Kat Miller Stevens

le shale plays most prominently the Niobrara (Colorado and Wyoming) and Bakken (North Dakota and Montana) and other various basins or shale plays in Utah and New Mexico. It is widely credited with boom periods of production and economic growth in these states. While there are economic and even environmental benefits associated with hydraulic fracturing, there are also substantial environmental losses as well as public health risks. This has sparked policy debates and political battles in these states about how to best regulate or even allow hydraulic fracturing.

In the second year of this State of the Rockies research project, we focus on:

  • Providing an interdisciplinary approach to investigate the policy process and fracking policies in Colorado between the years 2011-2019.
  • Focusing on U.S. institutions (e.g. government agencies, oil and gas companies, nonprofit organizations) and the values of these institutions in their policy advocacy efforts related to the oil and gas industry in Colorado.
  • Exploring advocacy coalitions that aim to influence policymakers and the legislative process related to fracking in Colorado.
  • Conducting an in-depth look at shifting policy venues, strategies, and perceptions of the role of government as they relate to fracking policies in Colorado.
  • Investigating social justice and environmental justice issues pertinent to the oil and gas industry in Colorado.
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Jonathon Pierce

We are excited and pleased to collaborate with Jonathan Pierce Ph.D., on this project.  Jonathan is the Vice-President of Safeguard Marine, LLC, and Adjunct Professor at Colorado College. 

-- Kat Miller Stevens, State of the Rockies Director

FELLOWSHIP DESCRIPTION AND APPLICATION DETAILS

The State of the Rockies Project is seeking to hire 3 to 5 highly motivated students as Summer Research Fellows to examine the relationships between advocacy coalitions, the oil and gas industry, and relevant policymakers and nonprofit and government organizations in Colorado.

In collaboration with Professor Kat Miller-Stevens, Director of the State of the Rockies Project, Fellows will work as a team to undertake an in-depth research project that:

o Provides an interdisciplinary approach to investigate the policy process and fracking policies in Colorado between the years 2011-2019.
o Focuses on U.S. institutions (e.g. government agencies, oil and gas companies, nonprofit organizations) and the values of these institutions in their policy advocacy efforts related to the oil and gas industry in Colorado.
o Explores advocacy coalitions that aim to influence policymakers and the legislative process related to fracking in Colorado.
o Conducts an in-depth look at shifting policy venues, strategies, and perceptions of the role of government as they relate to fracking policies in Colorado.
o Investigates social justice and environmental justice issues pertinent to the oil and gas industry in Colorado. 

Fellows will work closely with Professor Kat Miller-Stevens and an outside oil and gas industry expert and academic, Dr. Jonathan Pierce, who is a collaborator on this project. Research findings will be shared with the CC community, local decision-makers, and other stakeholders, as well as presented at academic conferences and potentially submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals.

Compensation and Work Dates: Fellows will work full-time for ten weeks, from June 1st through August 10th. Fellows will receive a $4500 research award for the summer and may be eligible for subsidized on-campus housing. Funds for conference travel may also be provided.

Required Adjunct Courses: In preparation to the ten-week summer appointment, Fellows are required to take two .25 credit adjunct courses. The first adjunct course will be in Blocks 7 and 8 of Spring 2022. The second adjunct course is in Blocks 1 and 2 of Fall 2022.

Qualifications: To be eligible for a Fellow position, you must be entering your Sophomore, Junior, or Senior year at Colorado College in Fall 2022. All majors and disciplinary backgrounds will be considered. Applicants must be self-motivated and able to work independently, excellent writers, creative and innovative, and excited to learn a substantial amount of information in a short period of time. Applicants should also illustrate a genuine interest in social and environmental justice, oil and gas, and public policy issues in the Rocky Mountain West.

The following application materials should be submitted through Handshake.

  1. Packet Materials: Submit one pdf that includes a cover letter, resume, and a sample of your written work or a creative project you’ve completed.

 Your cover letter should speak to:

  1. a) why you are interested in being a State of the Rockies Fellow,
  2. b) your qualifications for the position,
  3. c) and what aspect(s) of the research topic you most want to investigate.

Your writing or creative project sample should be no longer than two pages. An excerpt from a class assignment is fine.

  1. Letter of Recommendation: A letter of recommendation from a professor who can speak to your academic skills and your ability to work independently should be sent directly to Professor Miller-Stevens at kmillerstevens@coloradocollege.edu.

Application timeline: Applications and recommendation letters must be received no later than 5pm on Friday, February 18 (during block break). Candidates will be notified by Friday, February 25 if they have been selected for an interview. Interviews will be conducted the following week, with hiring decisions made by March 9. 

For more information on the State of the Rockies Project and past years’ work, visit

www.coloradocollege.edu/stateoftherockies/.

Please contact Professor Miller-Stevens at kmillerstevens@coloradocollege.edu if you have any questions.

Report an issue - Last updated: 04/12/2022