Monthly Archives: January 2017

GoMRI SciencePublication Highlights Study Examines Transformation of Weathered Oil in Saltmarsh Sediment 3926

Scientists analyzed weathered and fresh Macondo oil to learn about oil products resulting from microbial degradation and photochemical reactions. They observed that 48 months after the Deepwater Horizon spill, less than 1 percent of oil remained in marsh sediments collected from heavily-impacted sites; however, it was still 400 times greater than sites with moderate-to-no observed Read More

GoMRI StudentsPeople Grad Student Quas Analyzes Sediment Grain Size to Characterize Oil Behavior 3915a

Oil droplets can attach to tiny sediment particles suspended in the water column, causing them to sink to the seafloor where they can linger for a long time. Sediment grain size influences if and how oil droplets are resuspended into the water column. Larger particles sink faster and are more difficult to resuspend in the Read More

Research Stories Resiliency and Recovery Connections in Oiled Wetland Plant-Microbial-Benthic Ecosystem 3908a

Marshes depend on a healthy, well-functioning complex of plants, microbes, and benthic communities to support the environmentally and economically important ecosystem services they offer, such as reducing storm surges and providing nursery grounds for many species. Researchers have been conducting studies assessing Louisiana marsh flora and fauna after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill and Read More

Lesson PlansMaterials DEEPEND Releases Marine Navigation Learning Module 3934

The module is the fourth in a series of marine environment-focused teaching and learning modules developed by the consortium for grades 6 – 12. This module focuses on navigating marine environments, particularly historical and current human navigation and animal navigation. The module is available for download here. This module is the fourth in a series of Read More

GoMRI ScienceMaterials CRGC Releases Working Paper Exploring Post-Spill Effects on Fisheries 3954

The consortium’s preliminary findings suggest the spill had at least short-run negative impacts on fisheries landings and that there may be both biological and behavioral components driving the observed changes. A free PDF of the full report is available here. What were the direct impacts of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DH) oil spill on the Gulf Read More

MaterialsOutreachStudent Activities CWC Launches Monthly Newsletter for Young Scientists 3950

The first issue of “Notes from the Field” includes fun facts, puzzles, and research findings about marsh periwinkle snails as well as an interview with consortium post-doc Anthony Rietl. The issue is available for download here. Keep an eye on the CWC Printable Resources page for future issues!

GoMRI ScientistsOutreach C-IMAGE to Host Second Story Collider Event 3946

The C-IMAGE Story Collider is a free spoken word event providing five life stories about the Gulf of Mexico oil spills. The event will take place during on Monday, February 6, at 7 pm at Club XLIV in New Orleans, Louisiana. More information about the event is available here.

GoMRI ScientistsResearch StoriesVideo and Podcasts GoMRI RFP-V: Chemical evolution & degradation of petroleum in saline marsh plants & soils (Van Bael) 3942

The importance of bacteria for biodegradation of petroleum is well described for contaminated seawater and coastal soils, but very little is known about the role of symbiotic plant bacteria in degrading petroleum. Endophytes are bacteria and fungi that live as symbionts within plant roots, stems and leaves. These symbionts are closely associated with the plant Read More

GoMRI SciencePublication Highlights Study Summarizes Current Knowledge on Marine Oil Snow During and After Deepwater Horizon 3903a

Scientists conducting oil spill research participated in the 2013 Marine Oil Snow Sedimentation and Flocculent Accumulation (MOSSFA) workshop. The researchers discussed the formation and fate of oil-associated marine snow and its ecological impacts on deep-sea environments and made recommendations for future marine oil snow research. The scientists published a report of their findings and discussions Read More

GoMRI SciencePublication Highlights Study Advances Predictions of Air Pollution from Oil Slick Evaporation 3895a

Scientists ran model simulations for oil evaporation based on composition measurements of fresh Macondo crude oil and weathered surface oil from Deepwater Horizon slicks. The authors classified hydrocarbons with 10–30 carbons (which make up ~70% of total oil mass) by degree of branching, number of cyclic rings, aromaticity, and molecular weight. The simulations indicated that Read More

GoMRI SciencePublication Highlights Study Finds UVB Radiation Increases Oil Toxicity in Marine Copepod Larvae 3890a

Scientists conducted laboratory exposure experiments to assess the effects of dispersed crude oil, Corexit 9500A dispersant, and natural ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation on early larval stages of planktonic copepods (“nauplii”). The researchers found that chemically-dispersed oil significantly reduced survival, growth, and movement of copepod nauplii compared to other treatments. UVB radiation further elevated mortality rates Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch StoriesVideo and Podcasts GoMRI RFP-V: Resilience Attributes for Children, Youth, and Communities in Deepwater Horizon (Slack) 3938

The Understanding Resilience Attributes for Children, Youth, and Communities in the Wake of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill project is lead by Tim Slack, Louisiana State University. This proposal outlines a research agenda to assess the public health impacts of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DH) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, with special emphasis Read More

GoMRI ScientistsPeople Colwell Named National Academy of Inventors Fellow 3884

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) congratulates its Research Board Chair Dr. Rita Colwell for her selection as a National Academy of Inventors Fellow. This honor is the highest professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific innovative spirit in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that make a tangible impact on Read More

Fact SheetsMaterialsOutreach DEEPEND Infographic Poster Visualizes Vertical Migration 3934

DEEPEND investigators served as consultants for their partner Oregon Coast Aquarium’s educational infographic about diel vertical migration – the largest animal migration phenomenon on earth. The consortium has printed several copies of the poster to distribute to teachers as well as a large banner for use during outreach events. Download your own copy of the Read More

Outreach ACER Word Wednesday Series Discusses “Trophic Cascade” 3990

The recent article explains that changes to one level in a food chain can sometimes result in changes in other levels, called a trophic cascade. Trophic cascades can be top-down (changes in the top trophic level impacted levels down the food chain) or bottom-up (changes in the bottom trophic level impacted levels up the food Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Identifying the “Missing Link” Between River-Induced Fronts and Hydrocarbon Transport 3859a

Researcher Oscar Garcia-Pineda demonstrates some of the methods the team uses to collect imagery and samples of floating oil near MC20. (Provided by Villy Kourafalou) The flow of the Mississippi River into the northern Gulf of Mexico may have caused circulation patterns and fronts that significantly influenced the transport and fate of Deepwater Horizon oil. Read More

Fact SheetsGoMRI ScienceOutreach Sea Grant Releases Brochure on Oil Spill’s Mental Health Impacts Oil Spill’s Mental Health Impacts

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative is pleased to announce a new informational brochure about how the Deepwater Horizon oil spill affected the mental health of some Gulf Coast residents. The Sea Grant Oil Spill Outreach Team reviewed published science and worked with experts to develop this brochure for a broad range of audiences, particularly those Read More