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Briana Mordick, Staff Scientist, San Francisco

Briana Mordick
From elementary school science fairs, to dreams of being an astronaut, to wandering the world looking at rocks, I have loved science for as long as I can remember. Nothing fascinates me more than learning how the world works. I stumbled onto geology as a freshman in college and was instantly hooked. After getting my Masters, I went to work for the oil and gas industry as a petroleum geologist for almost six years. When the opportunity arose to combine my passion for science with my passion for the environment, I jumped. As a Staff Scientist for NRDC, I focus on solutions to the environmental impacts of oil and gas extraction, the potential for carbon capture and geologic sequestration to help curb global warming, and work to bridge the gaps between science and policy.

Recent Posts

Faulty Gas Wells Contaminated Drinking Water in Pennsylvania and Texas

Posted September 17, 2014 by Briana Mordick in Health and the Environment, Saving Wildlife and WIld Places

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A new scientific study concluded that poorly constructed wells are to blame for groups of methane-contaminated drinking water wells overlying the Marcellus and Barnett shale gas plays. This adds to a growing body of research showing that oil and gas...continued

California Well Stimulation Report Finds Data Lacking, Risks Broad

Posted September 5, 2014 by Briana Mordick in Health and the Environment, Saving Wildlife and WIld Places

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A report on the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing, acidizing, and other well stimulation technologies (WST) in California found that the data available to perform such an analysis is “very limited” and the potential impacts of stimulation-enabled production may be...continued

Leaky Oil and Gas Wells Threaten the Environment and Public Health and Safety

Posted June 5, 2014 by Briana Mordick in Health and the Environment, Saving Wildlife and WIld Places

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A new report from researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada highlights a serious problem for the oil and gas industry – leaking wells. The steel pipes and cement used to build oil and gas wells sometimes don’t form...continued

Fracking Linked to Earthquakes in Ohio

Posted April 11, 2014 by Briana Mordick in Health and the Environment

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The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) announced today that recent earthquakes in northeastern Ohio were likely caused by hydraulic fracturing.  A series of earthquakes up to magnitude 3.0 struck on March 10th and 11th in Mahoning County near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. A...continued

Widespread Contamination of Drinking Water from the East Poplar Oil Field in Montana

Posted April 2, 2014 by Briana Mordick in Health and the Environment, Saving Wildlife and WIld Places

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A new report from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) documents serious drinking water contamination caused by oil production in Montana. This is the latest report from the USGS in an ongoing investigation of groundwater contamination in and near the East...continued

More Research and Data Needed on Induced Earthquakes from Oil and Gas Operations

Posted March 25, 2014 by Briana Mordick in Health and the Environment

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In the early evening on March 27, 1964 a magnitude 9.2 earthquake struck beneath Alaska’s Prince William Sound, 75 miles east of Anchorage. The ground shook for over four minutes, triggering landslides and a deadly tsunami that claimed lives as...continued

EPA Releases Final Guidance for Fracking with Diesel

Posted February 11, 2014 by Briana Mordick in Health and the Environment, Saving Wildlife and WIld Places

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released final permitting guidance for wells that will be hydraulically fractured with diesel fuel.  The guidance contains many important protections, based on solid science and EPA’s long experience with underground injection – protections that in...continued

Scope of EPA fracking study is too narrow to assess full risks to drinking water

Posted November 14, 2013 by Briana Mordick in Health and the Environment, Saving Wildlife and WIld Places

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A few years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it would conduct the first ever comprehensive study of the risks to drinking water from hydraulic fracturing. As part of the study, EPA has been holding a series of stakeholder workshops...continued

Latest News on Earthquakes Caused by Oil and Gas Production Activities, 11.05.13

Posted November 6, 2013 by Briana Mordick in Solving Global Warming

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A paper recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concludes that a series of earthquakes in Texas may have been triggered by injection of CO2 and other gases into an oil field. The researchers found that...continued

Blowout Exposes Gaps in Federal and State Oversight of Fracking

Posted October 24, 2013 by Briana Mordick in Health and the Environment, Saving Wildlife and WIld Places

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A New Mexico oil well owned by Parko Oil LLC recently experienced a blowout, resulting in a spill of more than 8,400 gallons of fracturing fluid, oil, and water. The blowout occurred when a nearby well owned by Encana was...continued

This is California on Acid

Posted September 3, 2013 by Briana Mordick in Health and the Environment, Saving Wildlife and WIld Places

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The US is in the midst of an oil boom, due in large part to advances in and the expanded use of hydraulic fracturing. This technology has allowed drillers to extract large quantities of oil from previously inaccessible formations, like...continued

Time for the BLM to switch paths on the forked road to fracked oil and gas

Posted August 21, 2013 by Briana Mordick in Health and the Environment, Saving Wildlife and WIld Places

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The Bureau of Land Management is at a fork in the road to America’s public lands. One path offers outdated, inadequate rules – the path that the agency has been following to regulate oil and gas drilling for more...continued

Obama Administration to Industry: Frac-As-Usual on Public Lands

Posted May 16, 2013 by Briana Mordick in Health and the Environment, Saving Wildlife and WIld Places

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With the release of its revised draft rules for hydraulic fracturing, BLM signaled to industry that it’s business-as-usual when it comes to oil and gas drilling and fracking on public lands. And it also signaled to the people who live,...continued

Science/Fiction: Why Do We Frac?

Posted May 16, 2013 by Briana Mordick in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment

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Welcome to the first in a series of blogs that will attempt to separate science from fiction on subjects including hydraulic fracturing, oil and gas production, geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide, and more. Hydraulic fracturing, a practice used in the...continued

Is BLM Bowing to Industry Pressure on New Fracking Rules?

Posted February 12, 2013 by Briana Mordick in Health and the Environment, Saving Wildlife and WIld Places

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Last year the BLM issued a draft rule for well stimulation (including hydraulic fracturing) under federal leases. The original proposal included limited new rules for chemical disclosure, mechanical integrity, and waste water handling. After it received extensive public comment, the BLM...continued

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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