Funds from this grant support a project led by Steven Hamburg of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to spearhead the study of two critical topics related to shale oil and gas exploration. The first is the characterization and treatment of wastewater (“flowback” fluids) resulting from shale gas and shale oil exploration. The second is the examination of methane emissions from natural gas end users in the industrial, commercial, residential, and transportation sectors. EDF will organize a several emerging issue workshops that will engage leading researchers in the design of a detailed set of scientific research projects related to wastewater issues and methane emissions from end users resulting in a detailed set of research questions, sampling strategies, project management plans, collaboration agreements, and deliverable expectations. Additional grant funds will support a set of quick turnaround, small-scale, proof of concept projects to rapidly test the suggested technologies and methodologies that emerge from the workshops.