Miriam Aczel

Miriam Aczel
University of California, Berkeley | UCB · Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS)

Doctor of Philosophy

About

52
Publications
40,620
Reads
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129
Citations
Citations since 2016
52 Research Items
129 Citations
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Introduction
Dr. Miriam Aczel is a Postdoctoral Scholar at California Institute of Energy & Environment (CIEE), UC Berkeley, working on the Oakland EcoBlock project. She is currently an Honorary Research Associate at Imperial College London’s Centre for Environmental Policy. Miriam earned her PhD at Imperial College in 2020, where she was a President’s PhD Scholar. Her doctoral research was on environmental and community impacts of ‘fracking’ to extract shale gas in the UK, USA, France, China, and Algeria.

Publications

Publications (52)
Article
This perspective paper examines the current policy landscape for hydraulic fracturing in China, with a focus on the role of public attitudes toward shale gas in China. We highlight the need for further research on public perceptions and responses in a non-democratic society, both for the potential protection of residents who might be affected by th...
Article
Full-text available
The potential impacts of fracking on the environment and health, as well as impacts on local communities and their "quality of life," are well documented. This paper outlines the potential human rights impacts of fracking and argues for a human rights-based, participatory, and justice-based approach to regulation. In particular, it discusses the fi...
Article
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High-volume hydraulic fracturing combined with horizontal drilling has “revolutionized” the United States’ oil and gas industry by allowing extraction of previously inaccessible oil and gas trapped in shale rock [1]. Although the United States has extracted shale gas in different states for several decades, the United Kingdom is in the early stages...
Article
Full-text available
Although the United States has been stimulating well production with hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”)1 since the 1940s [1], high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) combined with horizontal drilling is a relatively recent [2, 3] development with potential to adversely impact human health [4], environment [5], and water resources [6], with uncertain...
Article
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We examine ‘fracking’ for shale gas extraction in England, France, and Algeria, framed from the perspective of level of acceptance by communities and general public. We explore the extent to which public participation in decision-making should play a role in fracking regulation, and evaluate whether the level of public participation matches the leg...
Article
The UK has incorporated a net-zero emissions target into national legislation. A range of Greenhouse Gas Removal (GGR) options will likely play a key role in the government's strategy toward meeting this goal. Governance frameworks will need to be developed to support GGR development and manage the potential impacts, particularly those on the diver...
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Citizen science (CS) is the practice in which amateurs without formal scientific training collect data to contribute to the scientific observations available to scientists and decision makers (Bonney et al., 2009). Citizen science is increasingly utilized for environmental protection and conservation as well as related purposes such as education, a...
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Management of mangrove ecosystems is complex, given that mangroves are both terrestrial and marine, often cross regional or national boundaries, and are valued by local stakeholders in different ways than they are valued on national and international scales. Thus, mangrove governance involves coordination among multiple agencies and organizations,...
Article
In 2017, France legislated a prohibition on domestic hydrocarbon exploration and production by 2040, in line with national carbon emissions reduction goals. As the law applies only to France or French territories, there is argued incentive for French-based companies to move their extractive activities abroad. France also passed in 2017 a remarkable...
Article
The Microsoft mogul offers a pragmatic approach to achieving greenhouse gas targets
Article
Greenhouse gas removal (GGR) is increasingly seen as a key dimension of national and international climate policy. The need to deploy a portfolio of GGR technologies in order to decarbonise sectors with the ‘hardest-to-abate’ emissions, particularly to achieve net-zero emissions targets, has become increasingly evident in recent years. In May 2019,...
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Algeria, a former French Colony, gained independence from France in 1962. It can be argued, however, that the legacy of post-colonialism continues, particularly with respect to the extractive industries. Both France and Algeria have large unconventional shale deposits—France has the second largest shale gas deposits in Europe after Poland and Alger...
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This case study analyzes the potential impacts of weakening the National Park Service’s (NPS) “9B Regulations” enacted in 1978, which established a federal regulatory framework governing hydrocarbon rights and extraction to protect natural resources within the parks. We focus on potential risks to national parklands resulting from Executive Orders...
Article
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This article examines the benefits and challenges of engaging children in environmental citizen science, defined as science conducted by nonspecialists under the direction of professional scientists, to promote social good. Citizen science addresses two central elements of the social good model—environmental justice and inclusion with particular at...
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While the Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans were able to do remarkably sophisticated calculations, mathematical development was limited until introduction of a true zero. In this article, we will explain why zero was such an important development. We try to answer the question: where did zero come from and how old is the concept of zero? There is str...
Article
Two authors present the urgent case for a Green New Deal
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This paper evaluates an approach for strengthening environmental rights for children to safeguard child health. We focus on children as beneficiaries of environmental rights on account of their vulnerability to environmental impacts on their physical and mental health. Current legal frameworks, unless explicitly identifying children as beneficiarie...
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Nitrogen, the most abundant element in our atmosphere, is crucial to life. Nitrogen is found in soils and plants, in the water we drink, and in the air we breathe. It is also essential to life: a key building block of DNA, which determines our genetics, is essential to plant growth, and therefore necessary for the food we grow. But as with everythi...
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The Gulf struggles to reform subsidies as temperatures and domestic energy demand rise
Preprint
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This paper makes a case for the benefits of engaging children in environmental citizen science (defined as science conducted by non specialists under the direction of professional scientists) to promote social good. We interpret social good in this context as environmental justice and sustainability. Environmental justice includes notions of equali...
Chapter
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Children can both learn from and contribute to citizen science. Scientific learning can develop children’s environmental citizenship, voices and democratic participation as adults. The quality of data produced by children varies across projects and can be assumed to be of poorer quality because of their age, experience and less-developed skill se...
Chapter
Full-text available
Citizen science, the active participation of the public in scientific research projects, is a rapidly expanding field in open science and open innovation. It provides an integrated model of public knowledge production and engagement with science. As a growing worldwide phenomenon, it is invigorated by evolving new technologies that connect people e...
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A straightforward guide offers a nuanced look at unconventional fossil fuel extraction
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“When I walk through the bottomland forest and into the upland woods, I may be deep in solitary reverie but I am never alone” (p. 7). Naturalist Melanie Choukas- Bradley (with beautiful photographs by Susan Austin Roth) presents a colourful ode to Rock Creek Park, “...a welcoming sanctuary for millions of city-dwellers who feel the need to commune...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
For my MSc thesis, I am conducting an examination of the potential environmental and health risks or impacts of hydraulic fracturing.
Using the recent U.S. experience as an analogue, I have examined potential risks to human health and the environment, and am analyzing the regulatory frameworks currently in place (in both the U.S. and UK) to manage these risks.
The goal of this project is to identify gaps in the current UK regulatory framework for shale gas extraction, and to propose a series of policy recommendations with the aim of enhancing environmental and public health protection. 

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