Kathryn J. Brasier, Ph.D.

Kathryn J. Brasier, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Rural Sociology
105-B Armsby
University Park, PA 16802

Areas of Expertise

  • Energy and Society, specifically Community Impacts of Marcellus Shale Development
  • Community Development and Public Engagement
  • Water Quality
  • Environmental Governance Systems
  • Women in Agriculture


  • PhD, Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2002

Research Interests

My research program focuses on collective action, networks and public participation related to agricultural, natural resource, and environmental issues. Specific research projects include networks and adoption of on-farm conservation technologies; networks as a means for rural and agricultural economic development; community watershed organizations; social and economic impacts of natural resource extraction; land use change and the social and ecological causes and consequences; and the effects of space and scale on farm and environmental decision-making.

Outreach/Extension Interests

My Extension programs follow from my research, and emphasize ways of collectively organizing and making decisions related to agricultural, natural resource and environmental issues. These programs include:

Recent Publications


Sachs, C., M. Barbercheck, K. Brasier, N.E. Kiernan, and A. R. Terman. 2016. The Rise of Women Farmers and Sustainable Agriculture. Iowa City, IA: Univ. of Iowa Press. 

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Whitton, J., K. Brasier, I. M. Parry, and M. Cotton. Forthcoming. “The Development of Shale Gas Governance in the UK and US: Opportunities for Public Participation and Implications for Social Justice." Energy Research and Social Science

Brasier, K., K. Jalbert, A. Kinchy, S. Brantley, and C. Unroe. 2017. “Barriers to Sharing Water Quality Data: Experiences from the Shale Network."  Journal of Environmental Planning and Management.

Brasier, K., C. Sachs, N. E. Kiernan, A. Trauger, and M. Barbercheck. 2014. “Capturing the Multiple and Shifting Identities of Farm Women in the Northeastern United States." Rural Sociology 

Mount, D., Kelsey, T., & Brasier, K. 2014. "The impact of Marcellus Shale development on hotel revenues in Pennsylvania." ICHRIE Penn State Research Report 2014-1. 

Prokopy, L., N. Mullendore, K. Brasier, and K. Floress. 2014. “Creating a Typology of Catalyst Events for Collaborative Watershed Management in the United States." Society and Natural Resources 

Brasier, K, D. McLaughlin, D. Rhubart, R. Stedman, M. Filteau, and J. Jacquet. 2013. “Risk Perceptions of Natural Gas Development in the Marcellus Shale." Environmental Practice 15:108-122.

Stedman, R. C., J. B. Jacquet, M. R. Filteau, F. K. Willits, K. J. Brasier, and D. K. McLaughlin. 2012. "Marcellus Shale Gas Development and New Boomtown Research: Views of New York and Pennsylvania Residents." Journal of Environmental Practice 14:287-298.

Barbercheck, M., K. Brasier, N.E. Kiernan, C. Sachs, and A. Trauger. 2012. “Use of Best Management Practices by Women Farmers in the Northeastern United States." Renewable Food and Agriculture Systems 29(1):65-82.

Kiernan, Nancy Ellen; Barbercheck, Mary; Brasier, Kathryn J.; Sachs, Carolyn; Terman, Anna Rachel. 2012. “Women Farmers: Pulling Up Their Own Educational Boot Straps with Extension." Journal of Extension 50(5):5RIB5. 

Brasier, K., M. Filteau, D. McLaughlin, R. Stedman, J. Jacquet, T. Kelsey, and S. Goetz. 2011. “Residents' Perceptions of Community and Environmental Impacts from Development of Natural Gas in the Marcellus Shale: A Comparison of Pennsylvania and New York Case Studies." Journal of Rural Social Sciences 26(1):32-61. Special issue on "Social Issues Associated with Unconventional Natural Gas Development"

Lenihan, M. H., and K. Brasier. 2010. “Eco-Modernization and the US Farm Bill: The Case of the Conservation Security Program." Journal of Rural Studies 26(3): 219-227.

Goetz, S., Y. Han, J. Findeis, and K. Brasier. 2010. “US Commuting Networks and Economic Growth: Measurement and Implications for Spatial Policy." Growth and Change Special Issue: Best Practices in Rural Development and Policy 41(2): 276-302.

Trauger, A., C. Sachs. M. Barbercheck, NE Kiernan, K. Brasier, and A. Schwartzberg. 2010. “The Object of Extension: Agricultural Education and Authentic Farmers in Pennsylvania." Sociologia Ruralis 50:85-103.

Trauger, A., C. Sachs, M. Barbercheck, K. Brasier, N.E. Kiernan. 2010 "Our Market is Our Community": Women Farmers and Civic Agriculture in Pennsylvania, USA." Agriculture and Human Values . 27(1):43-55. 

Fenton, G., K. Brasier, G. Henning. 2010. Status of Women in Agriculture According to the 2007 Census of Agriculture. Journal of Agromedicine 15(1):5-6.

Fenton, G., K. Brasier, G. Henning, R. Radhakrishna, and B. Jayarao. 2010.  Occupational Health Characteristics of Women on Dairy Farms in Pennsylvania. Journal of Agromedicine 15(1):7-15.

Fenton, G., K. Brasier, G. Henning, R. Radhakrishna, and B. Jayarao. 2010. Occupational Health Behaviors and Habits of Women on Dairy Farms in Pennsylvania. Journal of Agromedicine 15(1):16-23.

Lenihan, M. H., and K. Brasier. 2009. “Scaling Down the European Model of Agriculture: The Case of the Rural Environmental Protection Scheme in Ireland." Agriculture and Human Values 26(4):365-378.

Barbercheck, M., K. Brasier, N.E. Kiernan, C. Sachs, A. Trauger, J. Findeis, A. Stone, and L. Moist. 2009. “Meeting the Extension Needs of Women Farmers: A Perspective from Pennsylvania." Journal of Extension 47(3).

Brasier, K., M. Barbercheck, N. E. Kiernan, C. Sachs, A. Schwartzberg, and A. Trauger. 2009. “Extension Educators' Perceptions of the Educational Needs of Women Farmers." Journal of Extension 47(3).

Stedman, R., B. Lee, K. Brasier, J. Weigle, and F. Higdon. 2009. “Cleaning Up Water?  Or Building Rural Community?  Community Watershed Organizations in Pennsylvania." Rural Sociology 74(2):178-200.

Trauger, A., C. Sachs, M. Barbercheck, N.E. Kiernan, and K. Brasier. 2008. “Agricultural Education: Gender Identity and Knowledge Exchange." Journal of Rural Studies 24:432-439.

Brasier, K., S. Goetz, L. Smith, M. Ames, J. Green, T. Kelsey, A. Rangarajan, and W. Whitmer. 2007. “Small Farm Clusters and Pathways to Rural Community Sustainability." Community Development 38(3):8-22. Special issue on sustainable agriculture and community development.

Book Chapters

Brasier, K., and M. Filteau. 2015. “Community Impacts of Marcellus Shale Development: A Summary and Research Agenda." Pp. 95-114 in M. L. Finkel (ed.), The Human and Environmental Impact of Fracking: How Fracturing Shale for Gas Affects Us and Our World. New York: Praeger Publishing.

Brasier, K., L. Davis, L. Glenna, T. Kelsey, D. McLaughlin, K. Schafft, K. Babbie, C. Biddle, A. Delessio-Parson, D. Rhubart, and M. Suchyta. 2015. “Communities under the Boom of Shale Gas Development." Pp. 149-178 in W. E. Hefley and Y. Wang (eds.), Economics of Unconventional Shale Gas Development - Case Studies and Impacts. Springer. 

Kinchy, A., S. Perry, D. Rhubart, R. Stedman, K. Brasier, and J. Jacquet. 2014. “New Natural Gas Development and Rural Communities in the United States." Chapter prepared for Rural America in a Globalizing World: Problems and Prospects for the 2010s.

Brasier, K., J. Findeis, C. Hubbard, L. Hubbard, and R. Salcedo Dubois. 2012. Pp. 196-215 in “Agricultural Transformations in the US and UK." In M. Shucksmith, D. Brown, S. Shortall, M. Warner and J. Vergunst (Eds.), Rural Transformations and Rural Policies in the UK and US. Routledge Series on Development and Society.

Brasier, K., B. Lee, R. Stedman, and J. Weigle. 2011. “Local Champions Speak Out: Pennsylvania's Community Watershed Organizations." Pp. 190-206 in L.W. Morton & S. Brown (Eds.), Springer Press.

Findeis, J.L, K. Brasier, and R. Salcedo Du Bois. 2009. "Population-driven Transition Zones in the United States: Demographic Change, Land Use, and Adjustments in the Structure of Agriculture." Pp. 13-40 in S. Goetz and F. Brouwer (eds.), New Perspectives on Agri-Environmental Policies: A Multidisciplinary and Transatlantic Approach. Routledge.

Lenihan, M., K. Brasier, and R. Stedman. 2009. “Perceptions of Agriculture's Multifunctional Role Among Rural Pennsylvanians." Pp. 127-150 in K. Andersson, E. Eklund, M. Lehtola, and P. Salmi (eds.), Beyond the Rural-Urban Divide: Cross-Continental Perspectives on the Differentiated Countryside and its Regulation. Rural Sociology and Development series, volume 14. Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited. 

Research Reports

Brasier, K., R. Chandler, L. Glenna, A. Hess, T. Kelsey, S. Monnat, K. Schafft, and M. Suchyta. Forthcoming. The Marcellus Shale Impacts Study: Chronicling Social and Economic Change in Northern and Southwestern Pennsylvania. Final Report to the Center for Rural Pennsylvania.

Brasier K, and D. Rhubart. Forthcoming. Changes in Crime Related to Marcellus Shale Development. Center for Rural Pennsylvania, Harrisburg. 

Brasier K. Forthcoming. Traffic Impacts of Marcellus Shale Development. Center for Rural Pennsylvania, Harrisburg.

Brasier, K., L. Davis, L. Glenna, T. Kelsey, D. McLaughlin, K. Schafft, K. Babbie, C. Biddle, A. Delessio-Parson, and D. Rhubart. 2014. The Marcellus Shale Impacts Study: Chronicling Social and Economic Change in Pennsylvania. Final Report to the Center for Rural Pennsylvania. 

Alter, T., T. Ooms, K. Brasier, D. McLaughlin, F. Willits, and S. Tracewski. 2010. Baseline Socioeconomic Analysis for the Marcellus Shale Development in Pennsylvania. Final report to the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Brasier, K., and S. Goetz. 2010. A Social Network Analysis of the May 2009 NE-RCRD Local Foods Conference: Technical Report . Rural Development Paper No. 47 published by the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development.

Bassler, A., K. Brasier, N. Fogle, and R. Taverno. 2008. Developing Effective Citizen Engagement: A Guide for Community Leaders. Final report to the Center for Rural Pennsylvania.

Higdon, F., K. Brasier, R. Stedman, B. Lee, and S. Sherman. 2005. Assessment of Community Watershed Organizations in Rural Pennsylvania. Final report to the Center for Rural Pennsylvania.

Current and Former Graduate Students

PhD Students

Matthew Filteau, 2012 ("Who Are Those Guys? Undoing the Oilfield's Roughneck Masculinity")

Jon Clark, 2010 (“Greening the Factory Farm: Toward a Theory of Agri-Environmental Techno-science")

Martin Lenihan, 2006 (“State, Social Movement and Producer Perspectives on Multifunctional Agriculture in the Global Food Regime")

Masters Students

Colleen Unroe, 2016 ("Conditions and Constraints Related to Collaborative Natural Resource Management in Pennsylvania") 

Mark Suchyta, 2016 ("Understanding Sense of Place in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale")

Melissa Ward, 2016 (“Using Spatial Context to Predict Participation of Underrepresented Applicants in Higher Education")

Lindsay Smith, 2008 (“From Cowbelles to WAgNs: Factors That Have Influenced the Creation of Women Initiated Agriculture Organizations in the United States")

Sarah Black, (AEE, co-chair) 2008 (“Exploring Local Politicians' Trust of the Public")