Virginia Palacios

Research Associate


Virginia joined Environmental Defense Fund in July 2012 to work on the Natural Gas Campaign. Her work involves investigating technological and regulatory solutions for reducing methane and hazardous air pollutant emissions from the oil and gas supply chain. Additionally, Virginia has compiled and analyzed data on water issues related to hydraulic fracturing in Texas, including chemical disclosure, water availability, and parameters for baseline water quality testing.


In the summer of 2011, Virginia Palacios helped to launch the Safe Fracking Coalition in Laredo, Texas. The coalition held two town halls and gave presentations to raise awareness about potential environmental impacts of accelerating oil and gas development in the Eagle Ford Shale region. Virginia earned her Masters of Environmental Management from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment in May of 2012. At Duke, Virginia founded the Drilling, Environment, and Economics Network (DEEN) to convene researchers with different perspectives about the costs and benefits of oil and gas development. In her master’s thesis, Palacios examined data detailing the chemistry of formation waters in the Eagle Ford Shale, and recommended which chemicals to test for in baseline groundwater quality testing for counties in the Eagle Ford Shale region.

Palacios’ prior work includes investigation of soil erosion rates and slurry pond capacities in a coal mine permit application, and a meta-analysis of native grassland carbon sequestration rates compared to afforested grasslands. Virginia was a commercial- and instrument-rated airplane pilot before changing careers in 2007.


  • Masters of Environmental Management, Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment, 2012
  • Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Science, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, 2007
  • Virginia Palacios

    Virginia Palacios


Austin, Texas office

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