Monthly Archives: September 2016

Teachers and Students Science at the Stadium Scores Big with Game-Day Attendees Graduate student Fanny Girard (left) joins game-day fans at the ECOGIG-II Ocean Discovery Zone. The coral banner makes a beautiful photo backdrop! (Photo by ECOGIG-II)

Scientists and education staff have tapped into a novel venue – football games – to reach new audiences and share ongoing research and ocean technology. The research consortium Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf II (ECOGIG II), funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI), took their mobile Ocean Discovery Read More

Teachers and Students Join the 2017 NOAA Teacher-at-Sea Program Teacher-at-Sea 2017

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance’s Education and Engagement Team is pleased to announce NOAA’s Teacher at Sea Program will accept applications for 2017 starting in November. Applications and references are accepted only through an online application system from November 1 – 30, 2016. The application closes at 5:00 pm ET on November 30. Until then, interested applicants should: 1. Visit Read More

Video and Podcasts Dispatches from the Gulf: Sizzle/Tease Trailer YouTube Channel

It happened on April 20, 2010 – 41 miles off the coast of Louisiana. The Deepwater Horizon oil-drilling rig exploded. Tragically – the blowout killed 11 – and changed the lives of millions living near the Gulf coast – as well as hundreds of scientists who responded to the crisis. To discover what happened – Read More

Video and Podcasts Close Encounters with a Sperm Whale (Dispatches from the Gulf) Whale Encounter

  Professor Scott Socolofsky at Texas A&M University witnesses an unexpected visitor of the cetacean kind while conducting deep-sea research in the Gulf of Mexico. The creators of award-winning environmental series Journey to Planet Earth (hosted by Matt Damon) present Dispatches from the Gulf – an upcoming documentary film and educational outreach initiative highlighting exclusive Read More

Publication Highlights Study Finds Natural Sunlight Affects Oil-Degrading Bacteria Composition and Dynamics Dr. Hernando Bacosa works at the seawater filtration system aboard the R/V Pelican 2013 cruise to the Deepwater Horizon site in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo provided by Hernando Bacosa.

Scientists from the University of Texas Marine Science Institute demonstrated how natural sunlight affects Gulf of Mexico microbial communities in the presence of Corexit (dispersant) and crude oil. They observed that sunlight significantly reduced the diversity of bacterial communities in the presence of oil, Corexit, or both. While sunlight negatively affected several bacterial groups, it Read More

Video and Podcasts Meet Tracie Sempier: Helping the People of the Gulf Tracie Sempier

Tracie Sempier, Ph.D (Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium) is a coastal storms outreach coordinator. She describes how after the Deepwater Horizon Event her work shifted from helping people prepare for and recover from natural disasters – like hurricanes – to helping people recover from man-made, technological disasters – like oil spills. The creators of award-winning environmental Read More

Research Stories Scientists Use Oil Spill Research to Track Pollution in Biscayne Bay The CARTHE team is receiving data from 15 biodegradable, GPS-equipped drifters. This image shows the tracks after 24 hours. (Image by CARTHE)

It’s almost like a game of tug-of-war. There are growing numbers of residents, tourists, and industry at one end and the environment where people live, work, and play at the other. When the former increases, the latter is stressed. This scenario plays out all over the world, especially in coastal areas. Biscayne Bay near Miami, Read More

Student Activities ACER “Tool Talk” Series Tackles Gene Sequencing DNA

The article explains not only what gene sequencing is and how it works but also how scientists use it to identify and compare bacteria in sediment samples. Remember back in high school biology when you studied genetics and learned about DNA, nucleotides and gene sequencing? Join us for this week’s Tool Talk as we clear Read More

Student ActivitiesTeachers and Students C-IMAGE Releases One Gulf Expedition Photos and Videos One Gulf Expedition - C-IMAGE

C-IMAGE Releases One Gulf Expedition Photos and Videos From 2 Aug-10 Sept, 20 researchers from the C-IMAGE Consortium circumnavigated the Gulf of Mexico studying fish toxicity between 20-180 fathoms (36-330m). The science crew caught 2,442 fish through 69 demersal long-lining stations. Over 600 photos documenting the expedition’s equipment, crew, and research activities are now available Read More

Student Activities ECOGIG Kicks Off the 2016 Science at the Stadium Season ECOGIG LOGO

ECOGIG Kicks Off the 2016 Science at the Stadium Season Consortium outreach staff recently brought the Ocean Discovery Zone to Penn State’s Fan Fest for the season’s first home game. Visitors explored the Gulf’s deepwater ecosystems and learned about the importance of healthy oceans. View photos or watch a time-lapse video of the event to learn more. “Science at Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch StoriesVideo and Podcasts GoMRI RFP-V: Oil Spill Transport in a Coupled Wind-Wave Current Environment (Drennan) Researcher William Drennan

The Investigation of Oil Spill Transport in a Coupled Wind-Wave Current Environment Using Simulation and Laboratory Studies project is lead by P.I. William M. Drennan, University of Miami. This project aims at studying the transport of oil droplets in upper oceans subject to actions of Langmuir cells and breaking waves and the transport of oiled Read More

Teachers and Students Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Program Seminar seminar

Sept 27, Long Beach, MS: Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Program Seminar   Titled Building resilient communities: Lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, this seminar will identify traits that made communities more resilient after the oil spill, discuss programs and resources available to communities, and share lessons learned in overcoming disasters and identify ways Read More

Publication Highlights Now Available! GoMRI and Oil Spill Science Special Issue of Oceanography Cover of the September 2016 Oceanography Magazine, Volume 29, Number 3

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is pleased to announce a special issue of Oceanography Magazine: GoMRI: Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science.  This special issue – a collaborative effort among scientists funded by GoMRI, the GoMRI Research Board, and the GoMRI management team – highlights scientific advances from the program. Twenty papers Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Max Weber Fishes for Insight into Deep-Pelagic Fish Taxonomy Max removes tissue from a fish for future genetic analysis aboard the RV Point Sur. (Provided by Max Weber)

There are hundreds of deep-pelagic fish species in the Gulf of Mexico, but we know very little about their taxonomy, diversity, and population sizes. Max Weber plans to catch fifteen individual specimens of each of the 500 known deep-sea Gulf fish species to help us better understand these organisms and how the Deepwater Horizon oil Read More

Fact Sheets Coastal Louisiana Flora and Fauna Fact-Sheets by CWC American Alligator

The Coastal Waters Consortium (CWC) has developed several fact sheets on flora and fauna living in the south Louisiana marshes. Click the images below to download copies of these posters to share with your students.  Be sure to visit CWC’s Education & Outreach website for more information.

GoMRI Students ACER Grad Student Presents Research at 2016 AES Meeting Emily Seubert’s presentation at the American Elasmobranch Society

Emily Seubert’s presentation at the American Elasmobranch Society meeting focused on her hypothesis that the species and functional diversity of apex and mesopredators can impact an ecosystem’s resiliency following a natural disaster. Emily has also been collecting tissue samples from her catch for stable isotope analysis, which will give insight to the short term and Read More

GoMRI ScientistsVideo and Podcasts Exquisite Mud: A History Book of the Gulf of Mexico (Dispatches from the Gulf) Dispatches_Logo

A team of researchers from the University of South Florida uses a multi-corer to obtain deep sediment cores from the Gulf of Mexico. Back in the lab, they analyze the layers of sediment and build a history of the Gulf, with Deepwater Horizon being the latest chapter. Featuring oceanographers David Hollander, Isabel Romero, and Patrick Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch StoriesVideo and Podcasts GoMRI RFP-V: Synergistic Dispersant & Herding Systems using Tubular Clay & Gel Phase (John) Researcher John Vjay

The Design of Synergistic Dispersant and Herding Systems using Tubular Clay Structures and Gel Phase Materials project is lead by P.I. Vijay John, Tulane University. Dispersants are typically solutions containing one or more surfactants dissolved in a solvent. They work by reducing the interfacial tension between oil and water, thereby reducing the work needed to Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Improving How Oil Spill Models Predict Plume Dispersion and Transport A Large Eddy Simulation of oil droplet (color contours) and gas bubble (white lines) plumes emerging from 1500 m below the surface into a stratified ocean, including 3D Coriolis force and west-to-east current effects. (Simulation performed by Dr. Di Yang, University of Houston)

Deep ocean oil plumes that formed from the Deepwater Horizon spill and their subsequent rise through the water column were greatly influenced by physical mixing mechanisms such as turbulence, Langmuir circulations, and sub-mesoscale eddies. These mixing processes are crucial variables needed for existing models to accurately predict a plume’s overall size, shape, and transport direction. Read More

Video and Podcasts What’s At Stake? (Dispatches from the Gulf) Dispatches_Logo

The Gulf of Mexico’s coastal wetlands and marshes are home to thousands of species of plants and animals – and its beaches help support a hundred billion-dollar tourist industry. It’s also a place whose waters provide 40% of the commercial seafood caught in the lower 48 States. After 87 days of oil spewing into the Read More

GoMRI ScientistsVideo and Podcasts The CSI Effect: Using Forensics to Study Oil Spills (Dispatches from the Gulf) Dispatches_Logo

Coupling the “crime scene” forensic idea with the idiom of geology creates the following premise: “the present is the key to the past, but the past provides a window into the future.” Researchers are using chemical forensics to predict how the Deepwater Horizon Event will transpire over the decades to come. Featuring David Hollander (University Read More