Category Archives: People

Stories about scientists, teachers, students, and others.

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

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

Student ActivitiesTeachers and StudentsVideo and Podcasts Dispatches From the Gulf – 50 Short Videos Dispatches From the Gulf

“Dispatches from the Gulf” is a multi-media initiative that investigates the environmental health of the Gulf of Mexico six years after the Deepwater Horizon blowout on April 20, 2010. That’s when the world’s ninth largest body of water became a place where thousands of communities and millions of citizens were put in jeopardy by a Read More

Lesson PlansTeachers and Students DEEPEND Blog Introduces Kids to Bioacoustics 24 hr Vertical Migration Pattern of the Deep Scattering Layer in N. Gulf of Mexico

Another one of the key components to the DEEPEND research is the collection of sound data! It’s called bio-acoustics and it’s another form of taking data that turns sounds into pictures for us to see! Ben, from Florida International University, was on the last cruise working the acoustics and was able to use the data Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch StoriesVideo and Podcasts GoMRI RFP-V: Biodegradation & ecosystem recovery in coastal marine sediments (Huettel) Researcher Markus Huettel

Markus Huettel gives an overview of the project at the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference January 2016 The A systems approach to improve predictions of biodegradation and ecosystem recovery in coastal marine sediments impacted by oil spill project is lead by P.I. Markus Huettel, Florida State University. After coastal oil spills, Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Sun Uses Sun Glint to Assess Oil Spills  Shaojie presents his research on sun glint requirements for oil film detection at the 2016 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Conference in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Chuanmin Hu)

Those who have ever photographed the ocean on a sunny day have likely noticed how the reflected sunlight made the water gleam, often distorting the image. Shaojie Sun has quantified this phenomenon, called “sun glint,” to help address a longstanding limitation in scientists’ ability to assess oil seeps and spills using satellite imagery. Shaojie is Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Boyette Maps Plankton to Better Understand the Nearshore Environment Adam Boyette retrieves a glider on the deck of the R/V Point Sur, where he served as chief scientist on the three-day cruise examining the impacts of the Bonnet Carré spillway opening. (Photo by Alison Deary)

Microscopic organisms called plankton, an important component of the marine food web, congregate in the freshwater-laden coastal waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Adam Boyette wants to learn more about how and where these plankton live to better understand how an oil spill or other disaster might impact their populations. He is collaborating with Read More

GoMRI ScientistsVideo and Podcasts Meet Nancy Rabalais: Focusing on Coastal Ecosystems Dispatches_Logo

Professor Nancy Rabalais (LUMCON) and her team focus their research on the effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on coastal ecosystems – particularly the Louisiana wetlands and marshes. 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 Read More

Student ActivitiesTeachers and Students Fostering a love of learning – CARTHE Outreach colorful drift cards

CARTHE teamed up with Project Give Kids (PGkids) to expose a bright group of foster kids, ranging in age from 1st grade to high school, to the amazing world of marine science. The students started the day with CARTHE outreach manager, Laura Bracken, who taught them about ocean currents and enlisted their help in painting drift cards Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Bringing Marine Snow to the Oil Transport Forecast A photograph of oil-marine snow aggregates at the water’s surface in the Gulf of Mexico, May 2011. (Photo by Andrew Warren)

Evidence suggests that when oil interacts with particles in the marine environment, it can form larger, rapidly sinking particles called marine snow. These oily aggregates are often transported from the sea surface to the seafloor. The snow falls more like a heavy blizzard than a light flurry for large discharges such as the Deepwater Horizon Read More

GoMRI Students CWC Releases 2016 LEAD Camp Photos 2016 LEAD Camp Participants and collected periwinkle snails. (Photo Credits: CWC)

LEAD Camp 2016 Highlights on Facebook… The science-based discovery camp provided campers with knowledge about and experience with Louisiana’s coastal and marine environments through hands-on field and lab work conducted alongside actual researchers, such as this project measuring and labeling periwinkle snails.

GoMRI StudentsStudent Activities ECOGIG Researchers Host STEMSEAS Students 2016 STEM SEAS students in front of the R/V Endeavor, the night before they left on their transit. Welcome aboard! Photo courtesy of STEM SEAS.

Ten undergraduate students and two faculty with the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Student Experiences Aboard Ships (STEMSEAS)program joined the R/V Endeavor’s journey from Moorhead, NC, to Gulfport, MS, to learn more about the consortium and oceanographic research. The students will blog from the ship about their experiences. The STEMSEAS Facebook page will be very active during the Read More

GoMRI StudentsPublication Highlights Study Compares Natural Sunlight Effects on Macondo and Surrogate Oil University of West Florida Associate Professor in Chemistry, Pam Vaughan (far right), mentors undergraduate students Cynthia McCord and Michelle Waters in determining photochemical degradation and relative toxicity of MC252 and Surrogate oil water accommodated fractions. (Photo credit: Michael Spooneybarger)

Scientists developed the first molecular-level comparison of photochemical effects on surrogate and Macondo (MC252) oil to better understand this weathering process and the toxicity mechanisms it produces. The team observed increased nitrogen in surrogate oil’s response to sunlight and oxidation across a wider range of carbon numbers than MC252. Solar exposure inhibited microbial production in Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch StoriesVideo and Podcasts GoMRI RFP-V: Horse fly populations & food web dynamics as stress indicators on coastal marsh (Foil) 3368

Claudia Husseneder gives an overview of the project at the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference January 2016 A Study of horse fly (Tabanidae) populations and their food web dynamics as indicators of the effects of environmental stress on coastal marsh health project is lead by P.I. Lane Foil, Louisiana State University Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Investigating How Complex Deepwater Topography Influences Oil Dispersion 3207a

    The active environment of the Gulf of Mexico’s continental slope contains diverse currents that are difficult to simulate and predict. We know that turbulence is an essential mechanism for hydrocarbon transport and subsurface oil plume dispersion, but we still have much to learn about the complex processes behind this area’s diverse currents. The Read More

GoMRI Students Get to Know Simeon Pesch: C-IMAGE II’s July 2016 Student of the Month Simeon Pech C-IMAGE Student

The behavior and mechanics of deep sea plumes is been studied using samples of liquid oil, “dead oil,” expelled from nozzles to view turbulence in the plume and estimate how the droplets distribute in sub-surface and surface plumes. But how does a mixture of oil and gases, like methane and known as “live oil,” change droplet Read More

GoMRI Students Meet Cameron and Oscar, two undergrads that have been working with ADDOMEx Undergrads at work

Cameron Jackson, a sophomore, is studying marine biology Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG) and Oscar Agueda is a senior who will be getting his degree in marine science (TAMUG); both students are minoring in chemistry. When asked about career aspirations they stated that they hoped to go on to graduate school. “I want to Read More

Fact SheetsGoMRI Scientists Meet CWC Outreach Member Ann Hayward Walker Ann Hayward Walker

Ann Hayward Walker coordinates outreach between the Coastal Waters Consortium (CWC) scientists and spill-affected communities to help integrate scientific findings into response decisions. Her efforts have included leading two multi-disciplinary oil spill and dispersant risk communication research projects. See below link to learn more about her background, goals, and the challenges and rewards of communicating Read More

GoMRI ScientistsVideo and Podcasts It Got Complicated (Dispatches from the Gulf) Dispatches_Logo

Professor Will Patterson and Oceanographer Joe Tarnecki – both with Dauphin Island Sea Lab – use an ROV (remotely operated vehicle) to measure the impact of oil and dispersants on reef habitats. They’ve been studying the northern Gulf of Mexico for the last decade, so they have an abundance of data from the pre-spill environment. Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Identifying Effective, Food-Grade Dispersants for the Future 3207

Oil spill responders currently have the option to treat oil spills with a synthetic dispersant called Corexit, however scientists continue to search for alternatives. In this search, scientists seek to develop an understanding of the specific mechanisms that drive dispersion and identify an effective combination of food-grade components. The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) Read More

GoMRI StudentsPublication Highlights Study Examines Sediment East of Deepwater Horizon for Oil-Associated Marine Snow  Eckerd College students transferring a multicore from a collection barrel to a working barrel aboard the R/V Weatherbird II, June 2011. (Photo provided by Gregg Brooks)

Scientists analyzed sea floor sediment in the Gulf of Mexico’s DeSoto Canyon region to investigate potential oil spill impacts. Evidence from sedimentological, geochronological, geochemical, and biological sources pointed to a rapid, 4-5 month sedimentation event in late 2010. The sediment’s top centimeter was distinct from underlying compositions, with deposited particles originating from the sea surface. Read More

Student ActivitiesTeachers and Students CARTHE and DROPPS Scientists Team Up for UT Summer Science Program 3163

DROPPS Consortium had another successful collaboration with CARTHE for the UT Summer Science program! We taught 3rd-4th graders about how oil spill scientists sometimes use drift cards to study oil spills to see where currents may carry the oil. Then they designed their own scientific drift cards and tossed them off the UT Pier! Stay Read More

GoMRI Students Meet C-IMAGE Student of the Month Marcia Trillo 3146

Our Near-field and far-field modeling group is working to recreate oil spills under varying conditions. Applying strong currents and adding dispersants which changes droplet sizes in computer models can make predicting their eventual fate easier. Marcia Trillo, a M.S. student studying in Dr. Claire Paris’ lab, is helping answer questions about oi-water interactions. Marcia is the Read More

GoMRI ScientistsTeachers and Students CONCORDE’s Mission to Mentor Young Scientists Apparent in Spring Campaign and Beyond 3141

Two postdocs, Ali Deary and Adam Greer, took turns as Chief Scientist aboard the R/V Point Sur during the recent Spring Campaign, while three others—Kemal Cambazoglu, Sabrina Parra, and Inia Soto-Ramos—devised the cruise plan for the R/V Pelican. Earlier in the year PhD student Adam Boyette organized and led a research cruise to study the Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Digging Up the Mechanisms of Buried Oil Degradation 3114a

Spilled oil buried in nearshore sediment can persist for many years and act as a long-term source of episodic hydrocarbon contamination in the environment. Although we have a basic understanding of how fast crude oil degrades in soils, we still do not fully understand what influences the degradation process or the microbial community responsible for Read More

GoMRI Scientists Arezoo Ardekani Receives PECASE 3124a

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative congratulates one of its own – Dr. Arezoo Motavalizadeh Ardekani, an assistant professor at Purdue University’s School of Mechanical Engineering – for receiving the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Ardekani, a co-principal investigator with the RFP-V project Role of Microbial Motility for Degradation of Read More

Teachers and Students Teacher-At-Sea Chronicles DEEPEND Cruise 3086

Christia Hewlett was the official Teacher-At-Sea during the consortium’s most recent research cruise. She documented the equipment, experiences, and even the researchers on board for the DEEPEND blog. You can find all of her posts about the cruise here. “I hope that I will be able to take back what I have learned and share Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Tang Studies Whale Populations’ Oil Spill Recovery 3019a

When disaster strikes, responders look at how creatures in its path may be impacted to mitigate damage. Tingting Tang takes the process one step further, using mathematical models to predict how long recovery may take. The creatures that Tingting focuses on are some of the Gulf of Mexico’s largest predators and most charismatic animals, beaked Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Unraveling the Mystery of Oil Compounds, Weathering, and Toxicity 3071a

Responders to the Deepwater Horizon spill used large quantities of dispersant to facilitate oil biodegradation, but could a different method be safer for the environment? Oil compounds take on additional oxygen atoms as physical and chemical processes weather them. However, the classical methods that scientists use to analyze and describe these molecular compositional changes cannot Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Using Luminescent Radiation to Describe “Forgotten” PAHs 3049a

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons with high molecular weights (HMW-PAHs) are potentially toxic compounds that can cause genetic mutations. However, current environmental monitoring and analyses of human health risks only focus on the sixteen PAHs that the Environmental Protection Agency considers priority pollutants. The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative awarded Dr. Andres D. Campiglia a grant to Read More

GoMRI Scientists Meet the Scientists of the Coastal Waters Consortium (CWC-I and CWC-II) CWC small logo

The first three years of Coastal Waters Consortium (CWC-I) began September 2011 and ended December 2015. The second three years of Costal Waters Consortium (CWC-II) began January 1, 2015 and extends until the end of December 2017. Meet some of the many researchers up-close and personal in the following links: CWC-I Scientist Spotlights CWC-II Scients Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Jaggi Seeks Solution to World’s Clean Water Shortage 3031a

As a child in India, Aprami Jaggi witnessed firsthand how polluted water sources impact society. Her desire to make water remediation her life’s work has led her from Delhi to Calgary, Canada, to study oil mitigation. There she combines geochemistry and geophysics to hunt for scientific answers and practical solutions to the worldwide water pollution Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Now Available: Hydrocarbon Intercalibration Experiment Reports 3027

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is pleased to announce the release of two reports detailing the results of the Hydrocarbon Intercalibration Experiment (HIE). The first report, the Summary of Results from the 2014/2015 Hydrocarbon Intercalibration Experiment (HIE), provides an overview of all test results involved in the experiment. The second report, the2014/2015 Hydrocarbon Read More

GoMRI Scientists Franklin Institute in Philidelphia, PA hosted a Pixar themed “Science After Hours” event on May 23rd, in celebration of the upcoming movie “Finding Dory.” Dr. Erik Cordes and his wife, Brooke Cordes, at the Science After Hours event (Image provided by ECOGIG)

The Franklin Institute in Philidelphia, PA hosted a Pixar themed “Science After Hours” event on May 23, 2016, in celebration of the upcoming movie “Finding Dory.” Dr. Erik Cordes, one of ECOGIG’s deep sea coral experts, participated in the hands on event for the 21 and over crowd. The Science After Hours program is an Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Assessing Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Impacts on Families and Children 3006

Immediately following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the National Center for Disaster Preparedness surveyed households in highly-affected Louisiana areas to track the event’s health and social impacts. Follow up studies in 2014 revealed that physical and mental distress resulting from the spill still persisted, with over 15% of respondents reporting no perceived recovery of their Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Robinson Follows Little Blue Crabs for Bigger Food Web Picture 2978f

Elizabeth Robinson studies blue crab’s role in the northern Gulf of Mexico food web, looking closely at how Deepwater Horizon oil might have affected the natural predator-prey balance. Many people who hear the phrase ‘marine life’ typically think first about big ocean animals like whales and dolphins. Elizabeth explained why smaller marine animals – like Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Using Acoustics to Monitor Oil and Gas from Deep Natural Seafloor Seeps 2784a

There is a lot of action at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. A turbulent mixed layer of water and sediment particles known as the bottom boundary layer circulates counterclockwise across the seafloor, flowing against the water above. Meanwhile, oil and gas naturally seep into this active environment from the seafloor. Scientists are investigating Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories LASER Focus Advances Knowledge of How Gulf of Mexico Water Moves 2758a_sm

CARTHE conducts unprecedented experiment to improve oil fate models. Predictions for decisions – our world relies on them, from daily weather to annual financial forecasts. Predictions, though, are only as good as the information that goes into making them. And those predictions carry even more weight when they involve human safety in situations like storm Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories What Can Horse Flies Tell Us About Marsh Health? 2718a

Greenhead horse fly larvae live in Spartina marshes and are the top predator in the coastal wetlands invertebrate food chain between Texas and Nova Scotia. Drs. Lane Foil and Claudia Husseneder discovered reduced genetic variation and severe declines in adult and larval horse fly populations living in oiled marshes, which showed that the horse flies Read More

Teachers and Students DEEPEND Researcher Brings the Deep Sea to High School Classroom 2687a

Mike Novotny recently visited an environmental science class at Sheridan Technical High School to talk about the world’s largest biome, the deep sea. He explained the challenges, organisms, and adaptations of the deep sea’s unique ecosystems and passed around specimens of strange deep-sea creatures. Click for more information….

Citizen Science CONCORDE Teaches Research Techniques to Local Fishers 2681a

Consortium representatives recently partnered with the Mississippi Coalition of Vietnamese American Fisherfolk and Families to teach Mississippi Coast fishermen how they can measure temperature and salinity with depth. The fishermen will use their vessels to collect data as part of CONCORDE’S Spring Research Campaign.     Click for more information….

Teachers and Students Get to Know C-IMAGE Student of the Month Adriana Gaytán-Caballero 2673a

Adriana Gaytán-Caballero studies the natural hydrocarbon seepages on the Campeche knolls as a graduate student at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Special note:  This story is presented in both Spanish and English. Learn more about Andriana’s research and growth as a scientist here. “Working with C-IMAGE II cruise team was an excellent experience and opportunity to Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Timm Tracks Crustacean’s Oil Spill Recovery 2657a

Laura Timm examines connections among shellfish ecology and evolution to help scientists understand how the Deepwater Horizon oil spill affected certain Gulf of Mexico species: “My work focuses on establishing pre-spill baselines and comparing them to samples taken 3-7 years after the oil spill, providing a timeline of crustacean recovery.” Pursuing a Ph.D. in biology Read More

GoMRI ScientistsVideo and Podcasts What inspired these people to become scientists? Why Science

What inspired these people to become scientists? Everyone has a different path. What led to your interest in science? Share you thoughts at: “Dispatches from the Gulf” is a new Journey to Planet Earth episode showing how scientists confront the challenges of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The documentary also investigates the impact of the Read More

GoMRI ScientistsVideo and Podcasts Meet Steve Murawski Meet Steve Murawski

Meet Steve Murawski, researcher with C-IMAGE and the University of South Florida, uses longline fishing to sample fish communities and track their recovery post-Deepwater Horizon event. “Dispatches from the Gulf” is a new Journey to Planet Earth episode showing how scientists confront the challenges of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The documentary also investigates the Read More

Citizen Science ECOGIG Inspires Future Oceanographers! 2621

The Spring Boy Scouts Advance-A-Rama (AAR) program has been conducted for over 25 years by volunteers from the Northeast Georgia Council’s Cherokee District. The AAR is hosted by the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia. In recent years, over 200 scouts from troops in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Read More

GoMRI Scientists A Day in the Life of a DROPPSter drops logo

New DROPPS Researchers at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute The New Year brings new talent to the Dispersion Research on Oil: Physics and Plankton Studies (DROPPS) consortia! Since last fall, DROPPS has added three new post-doctoral researchers and one PhD student to the team at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI). Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Rogers Traces Gulf Oil as Scientific CSI 2573a

  Kelsey Rogers looks for evidence of oil and methane intrusion into Gulf of Mexico water and sediment, but finding these hydrocarbons is only the beginning of her work. Like a scientific crime scene investigator, Kelsey analyzes the chemical fingerprints of oil and gas and uses them to identify their source, such as from an Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Creating Improved Dispersants and Delivery Systems for Oil Spill Mitigation 2592a300

Research about commercial dispersant safety has seen increased efforts to identify benign alternatives and improve current dispersant systems since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Preliminary research suggests that dispersants formulated as gels may be a viable alternative to liquid dispersants and may address certain problems and concerns about Corexit 9500 use and application. The Gulf Read More

Citizen ScienceStudent Activities Sharing Oil Spill Science with Non-Scientists: Effectively Communicating Complex Research Results through Outreach and Education Programs Outreach_Workshop_GOMOSES_300

The four Sea Grant Programs in the Gulf of Mexico region, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership jointly co-hosted an outreach workshop at the 2016 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science conference on February 1 in Tampa, FL called Sharing Oil Spill Science with Non-Scientists: Effectively Communicating Read More

Citizen Science CONCORDE Begins Fisher Outreach Program during Fall Campaign Heather Dippold (left- CONCORDE Education & Outreach) meets with Peter Nguyen ( right close- Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center) and Captain Nguyen (far right) to discuss data collection and the community meeting. Photo credit: Jessica Kastler

While CONCORDE researchers sampled the northern Gulf to determine the paths and impacts of river outflow, a pair of citizen scientists, also commercial fishers, assisted from their own vessels. Hoang Nguyen Van of D’Iberville, Mississippi, and George Barisich of Ycloskey, Louisiana—Captain Nguyen and Captain George—took readings during the Fall Campaign as a carefully planned part Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Pinales Designs “Smart” Oil-Spill Detection Tool 2534_a

Juan Pinales is working on a computational modelling system that will aid oil spill monitoring efforts. He combines Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data and oceanographic conditions recorded during theDeepwater Horizon incident to improve surface oil detection using a semi-automated machine learning method known as artificial neural networking. This method will help the system’s computations “learn” Read More

GoMRI Scientists CARTHE Blogs Document Researchers’ At-Sea Lifestyle 2427

Graduate student Nathan Laxague’s recent posts to the CARTHE blog describe the methods, experiences, and challenges of researchers working on the ongoing LASER expedition. You can read his entries here and here to keep up with the project’s development.   Excerpt from the CARTHE Blog….  “… Walton Smith is somewhere off the middle Keys, dressed to the nines with fancy Read More

Teachers and Students RECOVER Attends Surfrider Conference 2401

RECOVER Researchers recently attended the Surfrider Foundation’s 2015 Florida State Conference to discuss their research and answer questions about the post-spill fate of mahi-mahi and red drum. The Surfrider Foundation is a nonprofit that aims to protect the world’s oceans, waves, and beaches through a powerful activist network. For more information….  

Teachers and Students CONCORDE to Host Spring Teacher Workshop 2393a

Workshop Details Date: March 12, 2016 Time: 8:30 – 4:30 p.m. Additional Info: This event will take place at USM Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs, MS. The upcoming March 12th workshop will allow teachers to learn more about oil spill research’s current findings, interact with a consortium researcher, and develop future lesson plans focusing on Deepwater Read More

Teachers and Students ACER Engages Local Teachers to Reach K-12 Students 2371

The Alabama Center for Ecological Resilience (ACER) Teacher Advisory Group is a team of local science teachers who will work with the consortium’s Educational Team to increase students’ interest in and understanding of the northern Gulf of Mexico. More Information…. The goals of ACER’s Education Team include communicating the importance of the northern Gulf of Mexico and the Read More

Citizen ScienceTeachers and Students CWC Announces “Connecting to the Marsh through Art” Workshop 2363b

RECONNECT WITH THE COAST WHAT: Gulf Lagniappe Workshop – Connecting to the marsh through art WHEN: FEBRUARY 27th 9am-2pm WHERE: LUMCON’s DeFelice Marine Center WHO: Adults 18 years and older COST: $20/person – – lunch and art supplies are provided This one day workshop is for anyone that has an interest in learning more about Read More

Teachers and Students RECOVER Hosts Swim Performance and Behavior Course 2439

The short hands-on course offered American and Canadian students first-hand experience working with leading experts and taught them how to measure fishes’ swim performance and behavior. Click for Facebook link to course images…

GoMRI Scientists Meet CWC Researcher Chuck Wall wall_2230

Chuck Wall has a B.A. in Biology and Environmental studies from Williams College, and a Ph.D. in Marine and Atmospheric Sciences from Stony Brook University. He studies the salt marsh habitat and the community of benthic organisms that live in the salt marsh, such as worms, snails, mussels, and small crustaceans. He is comparing marsh Read More

Student ActivitiesTeachers and Students DEEPEND Announces – Creep into the DEEPEND – Summer Camps deependlogo

The camps target Kindergarten to 6th grade students and will take place the summer of 2016 at museums and science centers across the country. Campers will meet DEEPEND researchers, engage in science-oriented crafts and games, and much more! Details on camp locations and registration are coming soon. Visit our Facebook page…

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Understanding How Deepwater Horizon Affected Fishing Community Decisions fishing_communities_2187

Authorities closed large portions of the Gulf of Mexico to commercial and recreational fishing following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to contain and mitigate oil contamination of fish and seafood products. The fishing closures may have caused many fishers to search for alternative income solutions, such as relocating or chartering their vessels for the cleanup Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Understanding Coastal Ecosystems Response to Environmental Stress Acer_Env_Stress_2193

ACER investigates biodiversity’s role in oil spill recovery Disturbances to coastal environments, such as storms and pollution, cause great concern as these areas are typically heavily populated, are home to important industries, and provide critical ecosystem services. Ecologists have debated coastal ecosystems response to disturbances for decades. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill focused this debate Read More

GoMRI ScientistsLinksResearch Stories Smithsonian Highlights How Scientists Use Genomics to Study Oil Spills genomics_2206

Genomics is a powerful method to track things that humans cannot see. Months and years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, many people wondered where the oil went or where it might be lingering or what it may affect after it was no longer visible. Scientists are using genomic techniques such as DNA sequencing to Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories How Scientists are Monitoring the Harmful Algal Bloom Algal_Bloom_2166

It’s a catchy name, but the common phrase “Red Tide” for the algal bloom happening right now in the northern Gulf of Mexico is not quite right, scientifically. The bloom is not always red and it’s not always related to tides. However, the name does invoke a sense of concern about a potential threat to Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Chancellor Estimates Deepwater Horizon Impacts on Larval Fish Chancellor_2210

Emily Chancellor is applying her engineering and computer science background to a field that inspires her – marine science – focusing on how the oil spill may have impacted larval fish populations. Emily recently completed her masters in marine resource assessment at the University of South Florida (USF) and is a GoMRI scholar with the Read More

GoMRI Scientists ECOGIG researchers named ASLO sustaining fellows ASLO fellows_2076

ECOGIG researchers Dr. Samantha Joye (University of Georgia) and Dr. Uta Passow (University of Santa Barbara) were recently named Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) sustaining fellows. The ASLO Fellows program was initiated in 2015 to honor ASLO members who have advanced the aquatic sciences via their exceptional contributions to the benefit of Read More

Teachers and Students CARTHE and RECOVER Participate in Women in Science Day Workshop women-in-science-day_2059

This past Saturday we had the pleasure of participating in the annual Exploring Marine Science Day for 6th-7th grade girls, organized by the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science and the Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment (CARTHE). We taught 50 girls from different Miami junior Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Young Studies Gulf Water at Its Most Basic Level young_2016a

Chemical engineer Jordan Young has found his happy place on a research vessel in the Gulf of Mexico. He’s looking for changes in ocean acidity following the Deepwater Horizon spill. As the oil biologically degrades, some of it oxidizes to carbon dioxide and may increase acidification. The Earth’s oceans have maintained a relatively stable pH level Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Hamilton Hunts Oil Using Microbes Hamilton_2023a

Bryan Hamilton never planned to be a microbiologist, but when the opportunity arose to study microbes that produce biosurfactant in response to oil exposure, he was drawn in completely. His research investigated the potential connection between these microbes and natural surface slicks and if this connection could help scientists detect oil below the water’s surface. Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Cruz Bridges Disciplines to Track Tiniest Plankton’s Response to Oil Spill Deep-C_Cruz_MicroscopeIMG_0537-web-225x169.jpg" alt="Jarrett Cruz examines nannoplankton samples under a microscope. (Photo provided by Jarrett Cruz)

Jarrett Cruz has been all over the world studying nannoplankton, a marine species he did not know existed when his journey began. Jarrett’s research into these minuscule creatures spans both biology and geology as he studies the impact of oil on nannoplankton that live in the Gulf of Mexico. Jarrett, a geology Ph.D. student at Read More

GoMRI Students Why Grad Student Martinec Digs the Seafloor RFP-IITroyGroup_Landers_1639a

Ceil Martinec picks microscopic creatures out of mud collected from deep in the Gulf of Mexico. She is looking for possible lingering effects of the 2010 oil spill on sediment-dwelling animals and making some exciting discoveries along the way. “We are documenting new species for the area and studying the natural links or relationships between Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Deb Adhikary Sees How Burrowing Shrimp Help Microbes Deal with Oil Nihar conducts a 14C-radiolabeled naphthalene assay in a radioactive laboratory to determine naphthalene degradation rate using sediments after each greenhouse microcosm experiment. (Photo credit: Suchandra Hazra)

Nihar Deb Adhikary uses his veterinary training and microbiology research to better understand the connections between oil fate, microbial degradation, and sediment-dwelling organisms such as shrimp and clams. “Oil in coastal sediment can significantly impact the animals that live there,” he said. “I think it will be amazing if we can show that these benthic Read More

Teachers and Students AUV Jubilee: CONCORDE Coordinates Gulf-Wide Data Collection Event AUV_Jubilee_1614d

The AUV Jubilee was a premier event to coordinate autonomous underwater vehicles, known as AUVs or gliders, and other in situ operations in the Gulf of Mexico during July 2015. Called a “big science party,” the name used the term Jubilee to refer to the Gulf Coast phenomenon during which naturally occurring hypoxia pushes fishclose Read More

Teachers and Students ADDOMEx Researcher Helps Introduce Teachers to Engineering James_Chiu_1579

James Chiu presented the ADDOMEx Consortium’s research to nearly seventy teachers participating in a program called Team-E Science, which will help them better understand engineering concepts. The program is part of a three-year endeavor to implement engineering curriculum in Merced and Mariposa county schools. Underrepresented minority groups make up more than half of the student body Read More

GoMRI Scientists GoMRI Interview with Dr. Debra Murie 2645

Dr. Debra Murie from the University of Florida answered a few questions about her RFPII project, Spatial and Temporal Effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Growth and Productivity of Recreational and Commercial Fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. The PIs on the project, in addition to Dr. Murie, are Dr. Daryl Parkyn and Dr. Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Understanding Oil Transport in Coastal Waters Understanding Oil Transport

CONCORDE studies sub-surface exposure pathways After the Deepwater Horizon incident, the coastline oiling that occurred raised questions about oil movement and impact. For example, before a surface slick reached land, was there oil below the surface waters and how might that affect coastal environments and organisms? The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative recently awarded CONCORDE Read More

Lesson PlansTeachers and Students K-12 Science Classroom Activities in Spanish by CWC CWC small logo

Actividades de clase K-12 en Español The lesson plans below are oil spill related and inspired by GoMRI funded research. Some of these are general, and it may be necessary to modify the activities for specific grade levels.  If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Murt Conover, Senior Marine Educator of the Coastal Waters Read More

Teachers and Students Professional Development Teacher Workshop Features GoMRI Research CARTHE_workshop_1599

Earlier this month, South Florida teachers attended the CARTHE-hosted science visualization workshop at the University of Miami, intended to help create improved future resources for sharing science. The workshop featured CARTHE science, NOAA’s global drifter program, RECOVER consortium, University of Miami Rosenstiel School scienitists and faciliites, and UM Visual Graphics Professor Alberto Cairo. We hope Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Smithsonian Highlights Oil Spill Research on Jellyfish Jellyfish_1318

Jellyfish push water in and out of their bells to propel themselves forward. Researchers are investigating if and how the small underwater waves and currents created by Jellyfish movements can help break up oil spilled in marine ecosystems. The Smithsonian posted an article featuring scientist Brad Gemmell’s research about interactions of gelatinous zooplankton with oil. Read More

Citizen ScienceTeachers and Students Young Scientist Visualizes Risk to Whales in an Oil Spill Scenario Alek with map of his research area

Alek stands next to a map of his research area, holding the drift cards he used in his oil spill study in front of a nautical chart of the Salish Sea. (Provided by Alek) Fueled by a passion for science and endangered species, Alek designed and executed a research project that involved scientists from eight Read More

GoMRI Students How Grad Student Chen Navigates the Whirlpool of Oil Transport Bicheng at Pennsylvania State University works on the coding for simulations involving oil plumes. (Provided by Bicheng Chen)

Bicheng Chen is dedicated to seeking the physical explanations behind everyday phenomena. His research on ocean turbulence and numerical modeling led him to investigate the interactions among wind, waves, and turbulence and their effect on oil transport and dispersion. Bicheng is a meteorology Ph.D. student at Pennsylvania State University and a GoMRI Scholar with the Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Shin Shines Light on Oil-Degrading Microbes in Sediment Bicheng working in lab

Boryoung Shin is breaking new ground in microbiology, uncovering little known facts about an enigmatic and important species in the Gulf of Mexico. Boryoung Shin works in an anaerobic chamber at the Kostka Lab at Georgia Tech. (Photo credit: Max Kolton) After the Deepwater Horizon incident, certain bacteria rapidly increased and helped degrade the oil. Read More

Teachers and Students Scientists Put ROV Technology in Hands of Teachers and Students 3355a

As science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills become increasingly important to the 21st century workforce, what better way to foster those skills in middle and high school students than an old-fashioned friendly competition? Over the past four years, Deep-C and the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) have trained fifty-five teachers in summer workshops and Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Dasgupta Assesses Oil and Dispersant Toxicity to Fish DNA and Mortality Subham conducts an ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase or EROD assay to measure the activity of the detoxifying enzyme CYP1A1 under PAH exposure. (Provided by Subham Dasgupta)

Subham Dasgupta’s dedication to understanding oil and dispersant toxicology stems from his roots in India. Having grown up in a community where fishes are an important part of the diet, his research assessing oil and dispersant exposure’s effect on fish health has a special importance for him. “Oil spills can affect marine organisms, including the Read More

GoMRI Scientists Smithsonian’s Five Questions with Biological Oceanographer Uta Passow Uta Passow hopes to better understand the movement of carbon in the Gulf of Mexico. (Photo Credit: ECOGIG)

Phytoplankton are active organic carbon producers and help drive the processes that move carbon from the ocean surface to the sea floor. Scientists are investigating impacts from the sudden large input of carbon from the Deepwater Horizon spill on this important biological cycle. The Smithsonian Ocean Portal recently featured Uta Passow with the University of Read More

Student ActivitiesTeachers and Students National Ocean Science Bowl winners get a taste of life on a research ship National Ocean Science Bowl Winners

This year’s National Ocean Science Bowl finalists got a treat at the end of the April 2015 competition held in Ocean Springs, MS. ECOGIG co-principal investigator Dr. Vernon Asper of the University of Southern Mississippi hosted the finalists for an afternoon aboard the research vesselPoint Sur, which was just returning from its six-day research cruise in Read More

Citizen ScienceStudent ActivitiesTeachers and Students Bob The Drifter Inspires Singapore Classroom to Conduct Oil Spill Research Experiment Students first created their drifter design on an iPad before constructing it in real life. (Provided by: Jenny Harter)

A fourth grade class at Singapore American School found Bob the Drifter and the CARTHE science group while researching ocean science and pollution online. CARTHE’s drifter experiments, GLAD and SCOPE, are helping scientists understand how ocean surface currents move pollutants such as oil. CARTHE’s visually-engaging experiments and their animated, data-gathering mascot “Bob” motivated these young students Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Owoseni Uses Small Particles to Tackle Large Spills Sehinde, at the Tulane University Coordinated Instrumentation Facility, sits beside the scanning electron microscope he uses to image halloysite nanotubes and oil droplets stabilized by them. (Photo by Chike Ezeh)

An interest in oil spill research led Olasehinde Owoseni from Ile-Ife, an ancient city in Nigeria, to the Louisiana coast. Such a change might seem intimidating, but Sehinde sees it is as a small step toward his greater goal. His research examines the use of miniscule clay particles for the development of safer and more Read More

Teachers and StudentsVideo and Podcasts High School Teacher Holds Class on the Beach High School Teacher Holds Class at the Beach

What could be better than having class on the beach and conducting actual research to boot? See how Shawn Walker, a marine science teacher at West Florida High School, transforms his students into scientists. A CPALMS perspective Video.

GoMRI Students Grad Student Johansen Counts Bubbles to Understand Natural Oil Seeps Caroline Johansen displays one of her camera systems that was lost for 9 months and found after three days of searching the seafloor. (Photo provided by Johansen and taken by a crew member of the R/V Pelican)

Caroline Johansen laughs when her family tells others that her research involves counting bubbles. But the bubbles she studies come from seeps at the bottom of the Gulf and contain naturally-occurring hydrocarbons that are an important part of the deep-sea ecosystem. Caroline wants to shed light on how much oil enters the water every day Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Temkin Links Dispersant Component with Fat Cell Differentiation Lexi poses with a baby alligator during an alligator release trip. Other graduate students Lexi works with treat alligator eggs with mixtures of oil, Corexit, and other environmental contaminants to assess their effects on development. Lexi enjoys taking a break from the lab to help on release and egg collection trips. (Provided by: Lexi Temkin)

Unhealthy diet and inactivity are the first things that people think about that cause obesity. However, Alexis Temkin is finding an unexpected potential contributor to increased fat cell production: a component in dispersants used for oil spill cleanup and many personal care products. She is excited to share her stories about the scientific detective work Read More

GoMRI ScientistsResearch Stories Smithsonian Features GoMRI Research on Methane-Eating Microbes Methane bubbles rise through a bed of mussels near the Pascagoula Dome. (Image courtesy of the NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program)

During the Deepwater Horizon incident, both oil and methane entered the surrounding marine environment from the Macondo reservoir. Scientists are investigating the released methane’s effects on deep-sea ecosystems. The Smithsonian published a story featuring the work of three GoMRI scientists – Samantha Joye, Jeff Chanton, and Frank Hernandez – who are examining microbes that feed on Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Smith Keeps Surface Currents and Disaster Response on His Radar Conor (left) and University of Miami marine specialist Mark Graham (right) prepare to deploy a CTD to measure salinity and temperature profiles near the Deepwater Horizon site. Data from these measurements provide insight into the movement of the ocean surface. (Photo credit: Nathan Laxague)

After the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, many Gulf residents wanted to know where the oil was going and how fast it would get there. Conor Smith is improving the accuracy and turn-around time of satellite-derived surface current velocity estimates for better ocean transport information. Conor is working toward a method that accurately interprets these velocities Read More

Teachers and StudentsVideo and Podcasts High School Students Work Alongside Woods Hole Experts High School Students Work Alongside Woods Hole Experts

Watch how these high school students work alongside Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution experts conducting oil spill science. A CPALMS perspective Video by Catherine Carmichael.

GoMRI ScientistsResearch StoriesVideo and Podcasts Tracking Marine Mammal Recovery after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill LADC-GEMM

LADC-GEMM studies acoustic signals in spill vicinityDid whale and dolphin populations change after the oil spill? Prior monitoring indicated that large numbers of these deep-diving marine mammals were living near the Deepwater Horizon site. The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative recently awarded the LADC-GEMM consortium a grant to study endangered sperm whales, beaked whales, and Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Tominack Answers “What is Normal?” for Gulf’s Smallest Organisms Sarah transfers DNA samples from single-cell organisms in the lab at University of West Florida. (Photo credit: Richard Snyder)

To show how the Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacted the Gulf of Mexico, Sarah Tominack is going back to basics. She feels that for scientists to quickly identify the Gulf in distress, they must have a better picture of what “normal” looks like, particularly for microscopic single-celled organisms at the marine food web base called Read More

Citizen ScienceGoMRI Scientists A Match Made in Florida: Citizens and Scientists Team Up for Research and Education 2138a

What do CARTHE, the International SeaKeepers Society, and Fleet Miami have in common? Ocean research! Last September, CARTHE researchers from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School partnered with SeaKeepers and Fleet Miami to widen the reach of ocean and oil spill research in the local community. The alliance led a three-day expedition aboard a 54-foot Read More

GoMRI Students Grad Student Dannenberg is Unlocking Mysteries of Deepwater Coral Communities Richard Dannenberg on the R/V Falcor during an ROV dive to study Gulf coral beds. (Image credit: Schmidt Ocean Institute)

Deep below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico live vast canyons of coral. Recent news reports suggest that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill may have impacted the health of these corals. To find out, Richard Dannenberg is delving into their world, looking at the bacteria that live with the coral for clues about that Read More

GoMRI ScientistsVideo and Podcasts Perspectives from the GoMRI Research Board Perspectives of GoMRI Research Board

BP put in place $500 million for research shortly after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to understand the impacts from this incident and improve response to future events. But it would take much more than money to establish an independent research program that fulfills the highest scientific standards and meets the needs of various stakeholders. Read More

Teachers and StudentsVideo and Podcasts LBL Beacon Recovery

Middle School Student Anja Diercks helps recover the acoustic LBL (Long Base Line) beacon she had released from the ocean floor using an acoustic telemetry system minutes before. The Gulf of Mexico had a surprise for her too.