Fieldwork in communities affected by resource extraction is tricky and involves complex interactions between institutional networks, community histories, location of the resource, and researcher positionality (Jenkins et al. 2015). My research assessed risk perceptions regarding oil and gas development using Hydraulic Fracturing and Directional Drilling (HFDD), and factors contributing to levels of perceived risk. I employed an explanatory sequential mixed methods design (Wetherholt 2016) that used a combination of procedures. Mixed method research is a common approach to understanding the perspectives of those living in environments of change. In this case, a mailed questionnaire (focused on gathering quantitative data, with supplemental qualitative information) was administered first, followed by in-person field interviews to further develop understanding of survey results (Creswell 2007). In the early stages of my research, I undertook scoping trips to build connections with key informants and community members and design a study area focused survey instrument. I met county extension agents, economic development officers or any community member as suggested by key personnel.

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