Monthly Archives: September 2017

GoMRI ScienceGoMRI ScientistsPeoplePublication Highlights Study Describes How Autonomous Surface Vehicles Improve Marine Mammal Monitoring An autonomous surface vehicle (ASV C-Worker 6) conducts passive acoustic monitoring in the northern Gulf of Mexico, summer 2017. Photo credit: Chris Pierpoint, LADC-GEMM consortium

Scientists conducted passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) of whales in the northern Gulf of Mexico using two autonomous surface vehicles (ASVs) capable of recording marine mammal sounds. The researchers observed that ASVs required fewer personnel and created less noise compared to research vessels. ASVs provided a novel, cost-efficient, and quiet approach and expanded the range of Read More

Fact SheetsMaterialsOutreach Sea Grant Publication Summarizes Where Deepwater Horizon Oil Went Where did the oil go?

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is pleased to announce a new Sea Grant informational publication that discusses the locations where approximate amounts of oil went after the Deepwater Horizon spill. The publication Deepwater Horizon: Where did the oil go? summarizes what researchers have discovered about where the spilled oil traveled and what processes carried it along its path. Read More

GoMRI ScienceGoMRI ScientistsPeoplePublication Highlights Study Develops Biogeographic Classification of the World’s Deep Oceans Study author Tracey Sutton, Principal Investigator of the DEEPEND consortium and professor of marine and environmental sciences at NOVA Southeastern University, prepares nets on a recent DEEPEND research cruise, exploring the exceptional diversity of the deep northern Gulf of Mexico. Picture provided by DEEPEND.

An interdisciplinary panel of 23 experts in oceanography, ecology, physics, and geospatial-mapping combined their knowledge of pelagic faunal distribution patterns to create a biogeographic map of the world’s deep oceans. The panel identified 33 distinct mesopelagic (200-1000 meters depth) ecoregions that reflect regional variation of biodiversity and function. The Gulf of Mexico is one of Read More

MaterialsOutreachStudent Activities RFP-V Researcher Dr. Sunshine Van Bael Hosts Workshops for Elementary and Middle School Aged Kids Dr. Van Bael talks with students during one of her summer workshops. Photo Credit: Sunshine Van Bael

Dr. Sunshine Van Bael, principal investigator of the RFP-V project Chemical Evolution and Plant-Microbe Degradation of Petroleum in Saline Marsh Plants and Soil, and her colleagues recently hosted a series of workshops in Louisiana for nearly 140 elementary and middle school-aged kids. The workshops were part of Dr. Van Bael’s outreach efforts to teach students Read More

Fact SheetsGoMRI ScienceLesson PlansMaterialsResearch StoriesStudent Activities A Brittle Sea Star May be a Coral’s Best Friend Brittle sea stars cling to deep sea coral. Photo Credit: ECOGIG

Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal recently released a new article in partnership with the Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf (ECOGIG) consortium called A Brittle Sea Star May be a Coral’s Best Friend. Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, ECOGIG researchers began studying the impacts of oil on deep sea corals. They noticed a Read More

MaterialsVideo and Podcasts Influence of River Fronts on Oil Spill Transport (GOMRI) -Satellite-drifters study 4738

In April 2017, GoMRI researchers collaborated on a field experiment focused on better understanding how oil movement and transport is impacted by river fronts. Led by RFP-V investigator Dr. Villy Kourafalou (University of Miami (UM)) and Dr. Tamay Özgökmen (UM and principal investigator of the Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Read More

GoMRI ScienceGoMRI ScientistsPeoplePublication Highlights Modelling Study Demonstrates Dispersants Lowered Health Risks during Oil Spill Scientific responders from the University of California Santa Barbara and the Texas A&M University collect samples near the Deepwater Horizon site. Photo by David L. Valentine, UC Santa Barbara.

Scientists used data collected during the Deepwater Horizon spill to validate a model simulation of the physical and chemical behavior of oil and gas rising from the wellhead to the ocean surface. Using scenarios of dispersant and no-dispersant use, the model indicated that dispersant injection reduced the emission of several toxic compounds by 28% in the atmosphere, Read More

GoMRI StudentsPeople Grad Student Wang Quantifies Ocean Model Uncertainty to Improve Prediction Accuracy Shitao generates a visualization comparing satellite observational data to model simulations. (Photo by Suzhe Guan)

Researchers use numerical models to simulate oil spill scenarios and predict where oil will go, but the many factors that affect the oil’s path create uncertainty in the predictions. Shitao Wang quantifies the uncertainty of ocean models to gauge the reliability of oil fate predictions. “It’s like a weather prediction. Instead of saying whether or not it Read More

GoMRI SciencePublication Highlights Study Finds Small-Scale Flows Alter Transport Pathways on the Ocean’s Surface 4599

Scientists analyzed model simulations of tracer dispersion in a Gulf of Mexico eddy to find out if small-scale flows surrounding the eddy influenced where the tracer went. The researchers observed that the small-scale flows disrupted the eddy’s large-scale flow patterns enough so that 20-50% of the tracer that was entrained in the eddy leaked out, Read More

GoMRI StudentsPeople Get to Know CRGC Grad Student Patel 4594

Megha Patel is a social work Ph.D. student at Tulane University and a member of the consortium’s Community Action Planning and Resilience Building efforts. Learn more about her background and research interests here.

Citizen ScienceGoMRI ScienceOutreachResearch Stories RECOVER Enlists Professional Anglers for Mahi Tagging Experiment RECOVER

This RECOVER Consortium experiment uses satellite tags attached to adult mahi to help determine if consortium experiments could be replicated in the wild. Experienced anglers can help increase the amount of fish researchers catch in a day and reduce stressful fight times on the line to ensure that the tagged fish are as healthy as Read More

Fact SheetsMaterialsOutreachStudent ActivitiesTeachers and Students CWC Young Scientist Newsletter Features Tropical Cyclones 4586

The issue contains fun facts, keywords, and graphs about the formation and history of tropical cyclones as well as hurricane-themed puzzles and resources. The issue is now available for download.

Citizen ScienceOutreachResearch Stories CARTHE Prepares for Year Two of Bay Drift Project CARTHE Consortium spent the day celebrating one successful year of the citizen science project #baydrift at Vizcaya museum and Gardens in Miami.

The Bay Drift Project is a citizen-science experiment that uses drift cards to help determine the origins of the trash that washes up on the Vizcaya Museum and Garden’s shoreline. CARTHE Consortium representatives and Vizcaya hosted an event to highlight results from the project’s first year and to prepare drift cards and identify goals for Read More