Specialists to serve as sources of oil spill science in Gulf

October 09, 2014

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The four Sea Grant college programs in the Gulf of Mexico, including the Texas Sea Grant College Program at Texas A&M University, and the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) are collaborating on an effort to share post-Deepwater Horizon oil spill research findings.

GoMRI is a 10-year, $500-million program that has already invested more than $170 million in answering science questions related to oil spills. The four Sea Grant college programs are university-based programs that have shared coastal science with numerous communities throughout the region for the past 40 years.

Sea Grant has hired four full-time oil spill science outreach specialists to share GoMRI-supported research results with people whose livelihoods depend on a healthy Gulf of Mexico. These Sea Grant specialists will be working with fishermen, tourism specialists, ports and harbors employees, public health officials, natural resource managers, emergency responders and others.

The four oil spill outreach specialists have diverse expertise in scientific areas, such as physical oceanography, ecotoxicology and marine science. They will be translating the oil spill science and sharing the results through science seminars, publications and meetings. In addition, they will be gathering input on remaining oil spill science needs to share with GoMRI and the independent GoMRI Research Board.

The other three Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant college programs are the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and Florida Sea Grant College Program.

For more information about this project and Sea Grant, visit gulfseagrant.org. More information about GoMRI can be found at gomri.org. For a one-page description of the program, visit http://gulfseagrant.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/oil-spill-science-outreach-program-one-pager_web.pdf.

 

The Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant oil spill science outreach team. Pictured are, from left, Oil Spill Science Outreach Specialist Christine Hale, Texas Sea Grant; Specialist Monica Wilson, Florida Sea Grant; Oil Spill Research Outreach Manager Steve Sempier, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant; Specialist Larissa Graham, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant; and Specialist Emily Maung-Douglass, Louisiana Sea Grant. (High-resolution image available for download here.)

About Sea Grant

The mission of Sea Grant is to enhance the practical use and conservation of coastal, marine and Great Lakes resources in order to create a sustainable economy and environment. There are 33 university-based Sea Grant programs throughout the coastal U.S. states and its territories. These programs are primarily supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the states in which the programs are located. For more information about the four Sea Grant programs that border the Gulf of Mexico, visit gulfseagrant.org.

About GoMRI

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative is led by an independent and academic 20-member Research Board, which guides the research focus and the funding decisions to ensure the intellectual quality, effectiveness and academic independence of the GoMRI research. GoMRI was established using funds that are not associated with any oil spill penalties. For more information, visit gulfresearchinitiative.org.

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Texas Sea Grant is a unique partnership that unites the resources of the federal government, the State of Texas and universities across the state to create knowledge, tools, products and services that benefit the economy, the environment and the citizens of Texas. It is administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is one of 33 university-based Sea Grant Programs around the country. Texas Sea Grant is a non-academic research center in the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University. The program’s mission is to improve the understanding, wise use and stewardship of Texas coastal and marine resources.