Seventh-generation Pennsylvania farmer Sheila Russell, with her organic produce, considers the impact of shale gas. Two wells were drilled on her family's property; one of them began to leak almost immediately. Image by Dimiter Kenarov. United States, 2012. Add this image to a lesson
Photograph of the Petaquilla Gold mine in central Panama. Canadian mining interests are edging out those of native Panamanians. Image by Lynn Burgess, CBC News. Panama, 2012. Add this image to a lesson

Shale gas has been lauded by some as the future of sustainable and independent energy in the United States and Eastern Europe. But acquiring the substance also dredges up its share of controversy. Further south, in Nueva Lucha, Panama, a group of indigenous Panamanians called the Ngobe-Bugle make their living extracting precious metal deposits from the land by sifting dirt with wooden pans. But the more efficient methods of Canadian mining companies in the region are quickly putting the Ngobe-Bugle out of business.

Pulitzer Center grantee journalists Dimiter Kenarov, examining "Shale Gas: From Poland to Pennsylvania," and Mellissa Fung, reporting on "Panama: The New Conquistadors," visit the University of Miami to discuss their work on extractive industries and the local costs of global goods like shale gas and precious metals.

Wednesday, February 13
University of Miami
School of Communication
Shoma Hall (Room CIB 3053) - International Building
5100 Brunson Drive
Coral Gables, FL

The event is sponsored by the Pulitzer Center and the University of Miami School of Communication, a Campus Consortium partner.


A battle is being waged in the rainforests of Panama – between those who want to keep their way of life, and those who want economic growth. At stake: billions worth of precious metals.


February 19, 2014 /
Ben Depp, Nadja Drost
Cross continents with eleven of our grantee journalists as they take you into the mines to show you where we get our gold––exposing the hidden social and environmental costs of this business.
February 6, 2014 /
Ben Depp, Nadja Drost
On Feb. 14, the Pulitzer Center releases its newest e-book on the environmental and human prices of gold mining. Whether this resource is produced in a way that is fair to all is very much up to us.