Penn State
Lewis Katz Building, University Park, PA
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  • Agricultural Law Research Center

About the Center

Professional Staff

Professor Ross Pifer, Center Director

Professor Pifer’s research focuses on shale gas development and the interface between agricultural and residential development.  He has presented widely throughout Pennsylvania, as well as nationally and internationally, on shale gas and agricultural law topics to audiences comprised of judges, attorneys, legislators, government officials, landowners, and the general public.  Professor Pifer has been an attorney with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of General Counsel, and he has advised military personnel and commands in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Great Britain, and Germany while on active duty with the U.S. Army JAG Corps at the Netherlands Law Center.
Phone: (814) 865-3723


LL.M., University of Arkansas

J.D., The Dickinson School of Law

B.S., Penn State University


Sean High, Staff Attorney

Born and raised in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Sean developed a strong interest in agriculture while working summers on his grandparents’ dairy farm.  He has presented on agricultural law issues to various groups throughout Pennsylvania and is responsible for executing the Center’s outreach strategy of disseminating information to attorneys, government officials, industry leaders, and interested members of the general public.  Sean serves as the primary agricultural law researcher at the Center where a significant portion of his efforts focus on landowner liability, statutory protections of agriculture, and business planning.  He is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the American Agricultural Law Association. 

Phone: (814) 865-5017


J.D., Penn State Law

B.A., Millersville University, summa cum laude


Jacqueline Schweichler, Education Programs Coordinator

Jacqueline grew up in Edinboro, Pennsylvania and obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at Edinboro University.  She earned her law degree in May of 2016 at Penn State Law. Her interest in the environment and agriculture developed from summers spent camping and hiking throughout Pennsylvania and surrounding states. Growing up in Pennsylvania next to the Marcellus Shale has also led to an interest in shale gas and energy law. At the Center, Jacqueline is responsible for researching shale law news and publishes this on the Penn State Shale Law Blog.

Phone: (814) 865-4249



Juris Doctor, Penn State Law

Bachelor of the Arts, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Cum Laude


Chloe Marie, Research Fellow

Chloe Marie graduated from Penn State Law in May 2015 with an LL.M. degree in American Law focusing her studies on Energy Law and Policy.  Before enrolling at Penn State, she earned a Bachelor of Law and a Master of Law with a focus on Construction and Urban Planning Law from the University of Paris XI in France.  She has professional experience working as a lawyer for the Construction Law department of a Parisian Law Firm, and she is sitting for the New York Bar Examination in February 2016.

Chloe’s current research analyzes legal issues that have arisen through shale oil and gas development in the United States and the European Union.  She is working on projects related to induced seismicity, the developing regulatory framework in the European Union, water protection statutes and regulations in major U.S. natural gas producing states, and other general U.S. oil and gas law topics.  Chloe is the primary author on the Penn State Shale Law Blog – – where she discusses current legal issues related to shale development.

Phone: (814) 867-0413



LL.M., Penn State Law

Master of Law, University of Paris XI

Bachelor of Law, University of Paris XI

Membership in National Agricultural and Food Law Consortium

The Center for Agricultural and Shale Law is one of four members of the recently established National Agricultural and Food Law Consortium.  The other Consortium members are the National Agricultural Law Center, a unit of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture; the National Sea Grant Law Center at the University of Mississippi School of Law; and the Agricultural and Resource Law Program at the Ohio State University.  The work of the Consortium is supported by a multi-year grant from the United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Library, an entity within the Agricultural Research Service.

Consortium members work together to develop programs to expand the reach of objective agricultural law research and information to the nation’s agricultural community of producers; state and federal policymakers; attorneys; Cooperative Extension Service professionals; and others at the state, regional, and national levels. The scope of the Consortium includes land-based food, fiber, and energy production systems as well as seafood and marine-based production via aquaculture.  Each of the Consortium members brings expertise within specifically defined areas for the benefit of the Consortium. 

Additional information about the consortium is available online at

Consortium member information is available online at The National Ag Law Center, The National Sea Grant Law Center at the University of Mississippi School of Law, and The Agricultural and Resource Program at the Ohio State University

Contact Information

The Center for Agricultural and Shale Law
Penn State Law
The Pennsylvania State University
329 Innovation Blvd., Suite 118
University Park, PA 16803
Phone: (814) 865-4290
Fax: (814) 865-3851