What is the Issue?


The pace, scale, and intensity of energy development in recent decades is staggering: hundreds of thousands of oil and gas wells, over 42,000 wind turbines, over 200 large-scale ethanol plants, tens of thousands of unconventional oil and gas wells, and more than 130 large-scale bio-diesel plants have been built in or near communities

across North America.


Researchers across institutions and disciplines are increasingly documenting the positive and negative

ways that energy development shapes communities and landscapes. However, many research discoveries

lag well behind the pace and scale of transformational changes associated with energy development.

Regional, disciplinary, and institutional parochialism are all major barriers facing

energy development scholars.


The Energy Impacts Research Coordination Network aims to move beyond

these barriers to provide an intellectual meeting ground for scholars of energy

impacts across the social sciences. In so doing, we hope to make social

science on energy development impacts both more useful and more insightful.

Purpose and Activities    


The Energy Impacts Research Coordination Network works to minimize redundancy, maximize comparability, and expand the intellectual, educational, and professional contributions of energy impacts research by overcoming topical, disciplinary, and geographic silos to ultimately facilitate breakthroughs in understanding the social and community impacts of energy development.


1) Convene a cross-disciplinary research community addressing the social, economic, socioeconomic, community, governance, and public health impacts of energy development to coordinate research activity across geographies, energy types, and social-science disciplines, increasing effectiveness and reducing redundancy;


2) Develop and promote data collection standards, framing concepts, and research designs to enhance comparison of data across energy landscapes; and,


3) Administer a cross-disciplinary library of research tools and educational resources to engage both scientists and non-scientists via integrated tools, concepts, findings, and curricula to inform and engage energy impacts, research, and policy.





The Energy Impacts Research Coordination Network works to positively influence the nature and magnitude of energy development outcomes by providing policy makers, community officials, and energy executives with coordinated and useful social science to understand and mitigate adverse effects of energy development.  By facilitating the coordination of research initiatives, partnerships, and findings across institutions, geographies, and disciplines, this research network enhances the capacity of social science to keep pace with the effects of new energy technologies and, by extension, inform policies to minimize the risks of energy development to communities across the United States and beyond.