Speakers Bureau

NYS residents are facing a vital decision: do we want the natural gas industry to move ahead with a massive number of wells using the process of hydrofracking – drilling into the gas-holding shale with vast amounts of water laced with dangerous chemicals?   This threat could change the nature of NYS because of water and air pollution, heavy truck traffic, and fragmentation and despoiling of natural areas.

Contact ShaleshockOutreach@gmail.com to arrange a speaker for  your organization, school, religious community, or just an ad hoc group of neighbors or friends.

NOTE: These speakers are willing to speak within Onondaga County and possibly surrounding counties.  It’s up to the speaker how far they will travel.

Although contributions are welcome, there is no speaker’s fee.


DONALD J. HUGHES, P.E., Ph.D. is a lecturer at State University of New York at Cortland Chemistry Department. He also has an environmental consulting practice (Hughes Consulting Services, formed in 1992) and has worked on behalf of clients in private industry, governmental agencies, and citizens’ groups. He has over 20 years experience in environmental investigations, remediation, public education, and scientific writing.  He has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Buffalo, M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Cornell University, and, in 2005, earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), in Syracuse, NY.  Dr. Hughes has worked as a private consultant on numerous projects related to contaminated sediments, investigation and remediation of over a dozen hazardous waste sites, investigations of water-borne pathogens, and participated in the design of numerous wastewater treatment plant upgrades.  He has written many articles on a volunteer basis, designed to distill complex environmental issues into understandable and meaningful materials for the public.

He can speak on:

-          basics of hydrofracking technology

-          issues concerning the flowback fluid–what’s in it, how much, can it be treated?

-          air pollution concerns

-          well contamination

-          Greenhouse gas emissions, especially a study by Robert Howarth which concludes that gas, over time, emits more greenhouse gases than coal and diesel.


JOE HEATH has been General Counsel for the Onondaga Nation since 1982 and an attorney since 1975. For the Nation, his work centers on environmental protection, particularly under the Clean Water Act, focusing on Onondaga Lake and Onondaga Creek; archeologic site and unmarked burial site protection; NAGPRA repatriation and litigation; hunting and fishing rights; treaty rights; excise tax issues; and land rights.

Mr. Health has been researching the issues of fracking and sharing his knowledge of the many different environmental dangers created by fracking with community groups for three (3) years. Lately, he has been educating landowners on how to terminate their leases and manage the many underhanded ways gas companies are seeking to extend old leases.

In addition to these current areas of work, he has extensive experience in civil rights litigation, constitutional law and protection of free speech and assembly; protection of abused and neglected children; and fighting domestic violence. He is also an active member of Veterans for Peace.

He can speak on almost all aspects of hydrofracking, including the legal issues.


FREIDA J. JACQUES, Onondaga, whose native name is Whatwehni:neh is a resident of the Onondaga Nation. She is presently employed at the Onondaga Nation School as a Home/School Liaison. She has been a leader in her Nation for over 30 years. She will remind women of their power and their responsibility to protect life and to rise up against the pollution of Mother Earth. Often women’s voices are quieted by references to science and men’s need to protect business but women know when life is threatened and we all need to act accordingly. So much is already damaged in the world and we cannot stand and allow more damage to occur. Our children are looking to us to make their environment better not worse. We all must unite to protect all life.


MARY MENAPACE is a lifelong resident of Marcellus and Otisco and Skaneateles Lakes.  She is a Women’s Health Nurse, and has recently evolved into a community activist born of a deep love of the water and a concern for the gas wells drilled in her neighborhood.

She can talk about

-          the health impacts of hydrofracking

-          how to approach towns to take action against hydrofracking


JACK RAMSDEN was raised on a dairy farm near Otisco Lake before leaving for college and service in the Army.  He retired from the National Park Service in 2005 and returned to Central New York.  He has been involved in a number of projects about hydrofracking, such as, coordinating the mapping of areas in Onondaga County where people have leased land to the gas companies.

He can talk about most aspects of hydrofracking.


RICHARD W. WEISKOPF, M.D. is a retired physician who practiced internal medicine for 35 years in the Syracuse community.  He is a long-standing member of Physicians for Social Responsibility and has participated through the years in its educational programs, including “Prevention of Nuclear War” and “Persistent Organic Pollutants in our Environment.”

He can discuss the environmental contamination and possible health effects of water and air pollution from hydrofracking.

—————————————— To Join the Shaleshock Speaker’s Bureau, please contact Shaleshockoutreach@gmail.com with your information.

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