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Our Mission

We are dedicated to engaging in local water quality and air quality monitoring, educating the community about the environmental, social, and economic implications of oil and gas industry, and empowering volunteers with the tools needed to assess the health of our natural resources.



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Some History

The creation of this website began in September 2012 and is an ongoing project under the guidance of Dr. Helen Boylan of Westminster College's Chemistry Department. Westminster College graduates Lance Jubic ('15) and Tyler Umstead ('14) are responsible for the creation and continued maintenance of this website. The ALLARM program started in Dickinson College, PA and this website is an extension of that program in the western Pennsylvania counties of Lawrence and Mercer.

This site is the main hub for sharing information gathered through water testing near natural gas hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") sites. Our objective is to monitor aquatic environments near drill pads throughout the Lawrence and Mercer counties. Water samples are tested for total dissolved solids (TDS), barium and strontium metal concentrations, water pH, conductivity, and salinity. If aquatic pollution were to occur, it would be difficult to pinpoint the source and verify it as hydraulic fracking given the complex and varied chemical composition of fracking solutions. However, barium and strontium can be used as signature indicators of fracking flow-back water because the fracking solution used in the drilling process absorbs these metals at high concentrations while underground. Should a leak or spill occur from this process, high concentrations of barium and strontium metals would indicate that the source of pollution is most likely from the natural gas hydraulic fracturing process. While this website allows for ALLARM volunteers to upload their measurements, we encourage the community to visit the website to learn more about your water safety and the natural gas industry.



Meet the Team


Dr. Boylan
Tyler
Lance

Helen Boylan, Ph.D.

Professor of Chemistry, Westminster College
Environmental Science Program Coordinator
Lawrence Mercer ALLARM, Program Director

Dr. Helen Boylan specializes in analytical chemistry & environmental science. More information on
Dr. Boylan or ALLARM at www.westminster.edu


Tyler Umstead

Research Assistant at Duquesne University
Westminster College ('14)
Duquesne University ('16)

Co-founder of Lawrence Mercer ALLARM and recipient of the 2013 Western PA Environmental Award. More information about Tyler is on
 LinkedIn.


Lance Jubic

B.S. in Biochemistry
Westminster College (2015)


Co-founder of Lawrence Mercer ALLARM and recipient of the 2013 Western PA Environmental Award. More information about Lance on LinkedIn.
Jamie
Mara

Jamie Linderman

Westminster Graduate (2016)
Environmental Science, Writing

Jamie hopes to continue her education after Westminster with either graduate or law school. She was a work study student for the Political Science department, a Celebrity Series volunteer usher, and a writer for the Holcad.

Mara Sawdy

Westminster Graduate (2015)
Environmental Science, Peace Studies

Recipient of the Helen R. Ferguson Scholarship (Environmental Science) and the Barbara Ostrowski Scholarship (Peace Studies). Mara was a member of the Sigma Kappa Sorority and Model United Nations Secretary. After Westminster College , Mara hopes to work in the Natural Resources Conservation Service to help protect endangered animals.


Christina Mauri

Westminster Graduate (2016)
Environmental Science, Writing

Christina volunteers with the Habitat for Humanity and was the treasurer for the Green Party at Westminster College. She hopes to work for the EPA in the future.

kelsey

Kelsey Kilbane 

Westminster Graduate (2016)
Biochemistry

Kelsey hopes to work in the chemical industry field.
Rachael
Rachael Huff 

Westminster Undergraduate (2018)
Computer Science Major, Math Minor

Rachael is a member of the Westminster College Honors Program, Omicron Kappa Sigma, and Kappa Mu Epsilon. She is the recipient of the Nell Glaser Whipkey & Kenneth Whipkey Scholarship. Rachael has competed in Robotics and participates in the Pi Mu Epsilon Math Conference and URAC.



newspaper


ALLARM Members Quoted in the News


Timothy Puko, Newsmakers: Lance Jubic and Tyler Umstead, TribLive News, 8/19/2013.
Lance

Lance Jubic on hydraulic fracturing: “Because this is exploding so rapidly it really is tough for people to catch up with this information. It's in their area before they even know how it works or what the impacts are. So it's really important for us to educate people in a timely manner so they can make the best decisions for themselves and for their entire community.”



Tyler

Tyler Umstead on education the big picture: “You learn a lot of things in your classroom, but to be able to implement it in your community for a purpose beyond a grade is really cool.”



Jake Michalski, Students Educate on Environmental Issues, The Holcad, Westminster College, PA, 4/11/2014.

Lance

Lance Jubic: "Hydraulic fracturing is a confusing and worrisome technology to many local Lawrence and Mercer county residents. ALLARM informs the public about the possible risks associated with hydraulic fracturing as well as equips residents with easy to use tools to monitor local water resources."


When to Ring the ALLARM, Westminster Cable Network, 8/10/2013.

Dr. Boylan

Helen Boylan: “I like to focus on the science. I think as a scientist and we as scientists together, we can study it and learn more from it; and be vigilant by paying attention to these waters. Whether or not it happens at Westminster, it’s happening in our region and it’s going to get closer and closer to campus. All we can do is continue to study it and be aware of what’s going on."