Student Activities

Sea Grant to Host Oil Spill Seminars in October & November 2017 seagrant_logo

The Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Team would like to announce the second of three Responding to oil spills seminars, an all-day free event in Mobile, Alabama, to discuss the unique challenges to responding to oil spills affecting beach and nearshore environments (see below and attached). The event is open to the public and lunch will Read More

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

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

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.

Education Spotlight – Summer 2017 GoMRI Newsletter 4751a

GoMRI Outreach Coordinators Lauren Bracken, from the Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment (CARTHE), and Jessie Kastler, from the Consortium for Oil Exposure Pathways in Coastal River-Dominated Ecosystems (CONCORDE), attended the 2017 National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) Annual Conference from June 25-29 in Charleston, South Carolina. This year’s theme was Seas of Change: Lowcountry Lessons in Resiliency. Read More

Beneath the Horizon: A Web Resource for the 1979 and 2010 Oil Spills A map of the Gulf of Mexico that shows the Deepwater Horizon and Ixtoc spills. Image provided by C-IMAGE

Scientists and outreach personnel created an on-line resource that examines two major oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico: The Deepwater Horizon in the northern Gulf and the Ixtoc in the southern Gulf. Beneath the Horizonwebsite, developed by the C-IMAGE research group and Jake Price Productions, explores these spills, the people who coped with and responded to these disasters, and expectations for Read More

CWC Young Scientist Newsletter Highlights Migratory Birds 4464

The new issue of the Notes from the Field newsletter contains fun facts and graphs about birds’ migration patterns and includes helpful tips for aspiring bird watchers. The issue is now available for download. Notes from the Field and Printable Resources Archive

Virtual Lab Creates More “Wow” Moments in Science Discovery 4009a

A child’s face lit up with wonder as she peered into a microscope for the first time and discovered a new world. Researchers at the Miami-based RECOVER consortium want experiences like this to happen more often for more students, so they designed and developed the RECOVER Virtual Lab. Now, scientists can engage students ages 8 Read More

ECOGIG Hosts Family STEM Night 4135

Consortium outreach staff and graduate students brought the Ocean Discovery Zone to Trip Elementary School’s family STEM night to share science with over 300 interested students and their families. Read the full story here. Photos of the event are available on the ECOGIG Facebook page.

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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

ADDOMEx and DEEPEND Attend World Oceans Day Festival and Art Contest World Oceans Day booth

The ADDOMEx and DEEPEND consortia hosted a joint booth at the Galveston, TX event to provide information about their missions and research. See photos from the event here! Visit ADDOMEx social media pages…   Visit DEEPEND social media pages…  

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

LADC-GEMM Researcher Assists High School ROV Competition 3099

Alex Turpin of NOAA recently supervised Team Finnovators of Newport High School, whose innovative ROV designed to collect oil samples and cap wells at sea received top honors in the Regional MATE competition. The team will advance to the 15thAnnual International MATE ROV Competition and is considering using summer internships at Newport’s Hatfield Marine Science Read More

ACER Sheds Light on Microplankton

The latest entry in the “Word Wednesdays” series discusses this class of organisms that includes both plant-like and animal-like creatures such as paramecium, amoebas, and foraminifera. ACER’s Microplankton sub-group, lead by Dr. Jeffrey Krause, is studying processes and interactions within the microplankton community and how they are affected by oil and dispersant in the water. Read More

C-IMAGE Recycles Test Tubes through Art

For every marine sediment sample from the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) that C-IMAGE PI David Hastings processes with his students, he generates four (4) plastic disposable test tubes. He prefers not to re-use them since the trace element analysis is sensitive to very low levels of contamination. That Dr. Hastings’ lab is generating substantial plastic waste in Read More

ACER answers the question: What are Ecosystem Services? 2853a

In this installment of Word Wednesday by the Alabama Center for Ecological Resilience (ACER), we answer the question: What are ecosystem services? As humans, we sometimes underestimate the importance of intact and healthy ecosystems. Simply by their physical presence and normal day-to-day functioning, healthy, intact ecosystems benefit humans. These benefits are known as ecosystem services. For Read More

DEEPEND visits New River Middle School 2848a

Story posted by Nina Pruzinsky on DEEPEND’s BLOG On Friday, March 4, 2016, Mike Novotny and Nina Pruzinsky visited Mr. Kyle Lendick’s 6th grade Marine Science classes at New River Middle School. The three classes spent several weeks completing DEEPEND’s grade 6-8 lesson plans (found in the Education/Outreach section under Education, Resources, Lesson Plans) before Read More

RECOVER at Turtlefest 2016 2827a

Lela Schlenker and Georgina Cox manned the RECOVER table at the 13th Annual TurtleFest hosted by the Loggerhead Marinelife Center on Saturday March 19th in Juno Beach, Florida. They were able to speak with attendees about the widespread research the RECOVER Consortium is performing nationally, as well as their individual research projects out of the Read More

SeaGlide Educator Workshop, 2016 2816a

Twenty teachers turn water bottles into mini SeaGliders The research and science behind projects like LADC-GEMM can often seem high-brow, inaccessible, and even confusing.   So, one of the ways the LADC-GEMM project aims to demystify ocean science is by using the popularity of robotic ocean gliders – like our charismatic “Otis” and “Clyde”- to engage teachers Read More

CWC to Hold Field Marine Science Research Camp 2696a

The camp will allow students grades 9 – 12 to gain practical and real world experience conducting field research in south Louisiana coastal marshes while learning how to effectively communicate their research.  Dates: July 17-23, 2016 Register by June 15! Application to FMS must include: Completed application form Letter of recommendation from a current teacher One page essay Read More

Smithsonian Features Blog about Sharing Gulf of Mexico Big Data 2632

The Smithsonian Ocean Portal posted a blog that describes the needs and challenges of sharing scientific data, especially unique data collected after a disaster such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Featured are insights from Marcia McNutt, Editor-in-Chief of Science Magazine, and Chuck Wilson, Chief Scientist for the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. The blog Read More

CWC to Host Field Technology and Engineering Camp 2610b

LUMCON in Cocodrie, LouisianaCoastal Water Consortium (CWC) & Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) are offering students an opportunity to gain practical experience in the technology and engineering involved in coastal wetland research. Participants of this hands-on camp will be learning about technologies that are essential to field scientists. Students of this camp will learn programs Read More

Sea Grant to Host Two Oil Spill Seminars in April 2016 seagrant_logo

Click to view Information on Sea Grant Oil Spill Seminars in April 2016 These seminars will be streaming live so you can participate remotely. April 6 in Austin, TX:  Chilling with your chums: How did the oil spill impact Gulf fisheries? Register here. More info here. April 14 in Mobile, AL:  Where did the oil go? Register here.  More info here.

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

ECOGIG Announces Ocean Discovery Summer Camp 2477

The June 2016 camp is open to students grades 4-9 and will use hands-on exploration, projects, and crafts to promote scientific literacy, introduce marine science research tools and technology, and highlight the importance of a healthy ocean.  (open through April 15)! Looking for a fun, exciting and educational camp for summer 2016? Sign up for the Read More

CWC to Host Art & Science Summer Camp 2470

Campers grades 8-12 will become both scientists and artists as they engage in science-based exploration of coastal marshes and translate their observations and experiences into works of art. Register today! Contact: Murt Conover or call (985) 851-2860 Cost: $150/Student   No experience needed…  only a willing mind!  

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…

ACER Launches “Word Wednesday” Series ACERLogo

Readers can now find updated to the consortium website each Wednesday discussing the meaning behind various terms and concepts that are important to ACER research. The first and most recent post focuses on the words “diversity” and “resilience.”   More Information on Word Wednesday…

2016 Dauphin Island Sea Lab ROV Teacher Workshop DISL_ROV_teacher_workshop

Have you been working with Robotics & looking for something to keep students going after the competition?  Or are you looking for ways to integrate STEM in your classroom?  Have you considered ROVs – remotely operated vehicles? Working with ROVs builds on student interests in technology, are a great way to integrate STEM efforts and Read More

2016 Dauphin Island Sea Lab ROV Competition rovcompetition

A focus on developing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills has gained nationwide attention in K-12 education. Its purpose is to excite and prepare students for majors and careers as scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians in order to meet the growing workforce demands of the 21st century. Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) competitions are a Read More

CWC to Host “Discovering Oceanography” Family Workshop discovering_oceanography_flyer

Hey everyone! The Coastal Waters Consortium (CWC) to Host “Discovering Oceanography” Family Workshop, another public family event on Saturday November 14 9am-2pm. The event is focusing on aspects of oceanography and is for teens ages 14-18 and an adult. Cost is $12. For more information please CLICK HERE for the detailed informational flyer or contact Leandra Read More

NOAA’s Adopt a Drifter Program for Teachers and Students

Welcome to NOAA’s Adopt a Drifter Program! As coordinator of the NOAAA’s adopt a Drifter Program (ADP), I welcome you to this unique opportunity to hop on the back of a drifting buoy as it hitches a ride across our vast oceans, monitoring ocean currents and sea surface temperatures. I am excited to help Read More

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

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

Coastal Waters Consortium (CWC) – Education and Outreach Program Scientistsnpublic

The Coastal Waters Consortium’s Education and Outreach program translates research investigating the effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on coastal ecosystems into understandable formats for all levels of society.  The program facilitates interactions of students, teachers, adults and other community members with CWC Scientists through the following initiatives and programs:  K-12 Education Teacher Education Read More

Smithsonian Releases Interactive Tool on Oil Spill Science Smithsonian Releases Interactive Tool to teach Oil Spill Science

Visitors to the Smithsonian Ocean Portal now have the opportunity to learn more about oil spills like the Deepwater Horizon. By using the Smithsonian’s newly released interactive tool on oil spill science, they can learn about cleanup efforts, dispersants, where the oil went, seafood safety, and the impacts on the Gulf. The Portal team, in partnership Read More

Teens Explore Oil Spill Impacts on Wetlands through Science and Art CWC_Art-ScienceCamp_2294a

Each summer, parents send their children to camp, trying to match their interests while broadening their horizons. This year, the parents of ten Louisiana students hit the jackpot: the Coastal Waters Consortium (CWC) inaugural Art and Science Camp. This camp challenged participants, engaging both their analytical and creative talents to learn about a locally-relevant and Read More

NOAA’s Adopt a Drifter Program Adopt a Drifter

Drifters are continually being deployed from ships around the world. They last for approximately 400 days unless they collide with land (like an island) in the ocean, or their batteries fail. Each drifter is assigned a WMO ID # (World Meteorological Organization Identification Number) so the data can be archived. In 2005 the goal to Read More

Monitoring Marine Oil Pollution: Using SAR and optical data to detect and track surface oil Envisat MERIS Full Resolution Level 1B image from 29-4-2010.

Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is now commonly used for operational oil spill monitoring. During major spills SAR data from different satellites give an overview of the areas affected and provide information on the direction in which surface oil is drifting. SAR is also used to monitor illegal discharges from ship traffic or offshore operations. In Read More

Oil, Oil Everywhere Credits: CPALMS.ORG

A Hands-On Activity for Children Ages 4-14 The 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion ultimately led to upwards of 5 million barrels (386 Olympic-size swimming pools) of oil saturating the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. This event threatened 8 national parks and 400 species and heavily impacted the economic well being of Gulf States. Cleanup of the spill proved to Read More

What Drives Ocean Currents? gulf_stream_currents

A Hands-On Activity for Children Ages 10-14 An ocean current is literally the movement of water in the ocean. Oceanic currents are driven by tides, winds, and differences in water density. Density is defined as the number of things, in this instance, molecules, in a certain area. Water density is affected by the number of salt molecules Read More

Tulane Scientists Hold Oil Spill Q&A Event with Vietnamese Fishing Community C-MEDSVietnameseFishing_2256a

Many people outside of the Gulf Coast region are not aware of the large population of Vietnamese residents who live across this area, in concentrated communities from Texas to Alabama. Arriving as refugees during and after the Vietnam War, they settled along the Gulf Coast to work in the booming commercial fishing industry.  Today, the Read More

Educational Activity Book by the Coastal Waters Consortium (CWC) CWC_Educational_Activity_Book

A fun activity book that will educate children about the BP Oil Spill and other marine science topics related to the Gulf of Mexico. **For activity book in Spanish please visit CWC’s Resources in Spanish Page Click to download PDF ( 2 MB)…

Texas Students Put Oil Spill Cleanup Methods to the Test Candace Peyton, project manager of DROPPS, assists middle school students with experiments to test effectiveness of dispersing as an oil cleanup method. (Photo by: J. Findley)

The methods used to remove the oil from the Gulf of Mexico – skimming, soaking, and dispersing – were as much in the news as the Deepwater Horizon incident itself.  Three years later, a group of twenty-six middle school students conducted experiments to compare these methods as part of a week-long University of Texas Summer Read More

Educators Dive into ROV Training and Emerge with Innovative Teaching Tools Fairview High School teacher Stephanie Chambers navigates an underwater ROV while out at sea aboard DISL’s R/V Alabama-Discovery. (Photo credit: Tina Miller-Way, DISL)

  Ten high school teachers from Alabama and Florida are returning to their 2013-2014 science classes armed with new skills, materials, and inspiration.  In July, these educators attended a five-day workshop entitled Technology in Marine Science. They built and operated Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and, more importantly, learned how to use them as teaching tools Read More

SENSE IT Teacher Workshop on Water Monitoring During the workshop, teachers learned how to construct and calibrate sensors.

Tallahassee-area middle and high school science teachers gathered at the FSU Coastal & Marine Laboratory on March 9 for an all-day workshop on building water temperature sensors. The workshop was part of the Student Enabled Network of Sensors for the Environment using Innovative Technology (SENSE IT) project developed through the National Science Foundation and was Read More

Deep-C Internship Program Summer Intership students from 2013

Deep-C’s internship program carefully matches educators and students majoring in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields to research opportunities proposed by Deep-C scientists at the various Deep-C educational member institutions. The program offers participants opportunities to conduct research in various fields of science as well as gain real-world experience working with scientists on projects Read More

ROV Workshop Teaches Marine Science and Underwater Technology to Educators and High School Students ROV Workshop

Aimed at exciting high school teachers and students about the possibilities of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) facilitated Deep-C’s first teacher workshop July 22-26, 2012. DISL designed the workshop to provide educators with an engaging and fun way to teach marine science and underwater technology in their classrooms. Read More

Interested in implementing a “Scientists in the Schools” program at your institution? Trying to find the most efficient way to clean up an oil spill! Photo credit: Meredith Field

  Below are sample presentations being used by the Deep-C “Scientists in the Schools” program. If you are interested in implementing this program in your community, please contact us . We will be happy to provide you with the PowerPoint presentations and lesson plans (see examples below), as well as assessment materials. We may even Read More

“Scientists in the Schools” Program Deep-C Researcher Arvind Shanthram explains plankton’s important place in the ocean food chain during a classroom visit. Photo Credit: Meredith Field

The Deep-C Consortium has implemented an innovative program, modeled after a successful initiative at Vanderbilt University, that connects middle school students with Deep-C research scientists. In partnership with local middle school science teachers, a series of three classroom visits are led by Deep-C scientists. The visits focus on providing students with insight into the issues Read More

Water quality monitoring of Barataria Bay and Lake Pontchartrain Louisiana A researcher collects a water sample to assess water quality in Breton Sound, LA.

Louisiana State University (LSU) researchers are intimately familiar with the estuaries that surround them. Since 1994, they have studied the water quality of Breton Sound, Barataria Bay and surrounding coastal waters. River flow into these two drainage basins has been drastically altered and both are now fed primarily by man-made diversions and channels. The Deepwater Read More

The Pontchartrain Basin: After the Oil Spill Eelgrass, Rangia clams and oysters collected from the Pontchartrain Basin for oil spill monitoring

Scientists with the University of New Orleans were busy monitoring the coastal ecosystem of the Pontchartrain Basin in Louisiana following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Their monitoring program aimed to track and evaluate the effects of oiling on eelgrass, oysters and clams, and free swimming fish and invertebrates. The information gained from this study builds Read More

Sargassum: Floating Nurseries A clump of sargassum floats in the clear blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Credit: Seabird McKeon

Sargassum seaweed is often found floating freely in both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Take a closer look and you will find a community of organisms thriving around these floating islands. Unfortunately, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill threatened these open-ocean habitats and the animals that depend on them. To assess how pelagic Read More

Responses of Benthic Communities to Oil Exposure Researchers prepare to deploy a multi-corer which will collect sediment samples from the sea floor.

Initially, much of the oil released from the Macondo well during the Deepwater Horizon disaster floated on the surface of the water. Over time, physical processes drove some of the oil onto beaches and into other shallow habitats of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Researchers from the University of Southern Mississippi are trying to determine Read More

Residents and Visitors of Mobile Bay: Oil Spill Impacts Researchers measure the health of a Florida manatee captured in Mobile Bay, AL before fitting it with a satellite tag.

In Mobile Bay, two key species were at risk for contamination as oil entered the surrounding waters after the Deepwater Horizon disaster; the commercially important eastern oyster and the endangered West Indian manatee. These very different species were closely monitored to study effects of oil exposure not only because of their special interest throughout the Read More

Phytoplankton and the Oil Spill L to R: Diatom Ditylum brightwelli, dinoflagellate Heterocapsa triquetra (Images/LSU) and a dramatic example of a red tide event (Image/NOAA).

The Deepwater Horizon disaster exposed countless plants and animals to harmful crude oil. Though less visible, phytoplankton were also impacted. Scientists from Louisiana State University are investigating what effects the toxic components of crude oil may have on phytoplankton by studying two common species of the Gulf of Mexico. Classroom Activity: Phytoplankton What is a Read More

Monitoring Nursery Habitats After the Oil Spill Researchers use a specially designed net to trap animals that use the marsh during high tide.

Salt marshes and seagrass meadows, common across the northern Gulf of Mexico, are highly productive ecosystems that provide critical habitat to many ecologically and economically important species of finfish and shellfish. Juvenile crabs, shrimp and fish that seek refuge in these habitats were threatened during the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Fortunately, scientists are finding no significant Read More

Monitoring Gulf Coast Fisheries Researchers conduct longline surveys, sampling red snapper and other fish, to monitor oil spill impacts.

Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster, NGI funded researchers increased the frequency and expanded the coverage of monthly sampling programs across the northern Gulf of Mexico. Data collected by Dauphin Island Sea Lab scientists after the oil spill, is being compared to historical baseline data, allowing for the potential identification of changes in the Read More

Mobile Bay Ship Channel: Tracking the Oil Data collection points, used to track oil, along the Mobile Bay Ship Channel.

During the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the potential for oil to be distributed into and around Mobile Bay was unknown. The movement and redistribution of dissolved or very small particles of oil-based substances remained a concern long after the well was capped. Consequently, NGI researchers at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab quickly began sampling the Read More

Microbes and the Marine Food Web A flow cytometer is used to analyze bacteria, archaea and viruses collected after the oil spill.

Scientists across the Gulf of Mexico, with support from NGI, are evaluating the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the health of the marine ecosystem. To understand the effects on key elements of the marine food web, one Dauphin Island Sea Lab scientist is comparing microbial samples taken before the oil spill to Read More

Influence of Weather and Ocean Currents in Predicting Oil Movement After Deepwater Horizon Wind data

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill alone presented a potentially devastating environmental and economic threat to the northern Gulf of Mexico region. Unfortunately, an additional threat loomed as the summer of 2010 marched on and hurricane season became more active. In late June and early July, the oil that had remained offshore for the most part, Read More

Impacts of Oil on Spotted Seatrout Oil and water mixture used in exposure experiment on larval and juvenile spotted seatrout.

Call them spotted seatrout, speckled trout, or even specks; whatever name you choose to call them, know they are important fish, both to the environment and the economy. Spotted seatrout live in coastal estuaries of the northern Gulf of Mexico. They, along with other estuarine species, were exposed to varying amounts of oil soon after Read More

Gulf of Mexico Beaches and Dunes: Oil Spill Impacts Oil layer uncovered on Pensacola Beach, FL

Shortly after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, oil began washing ashore on many Gulf coast beaches. Over time, because of wind and waves, oil was buried below the beach surface. The impact of oil on sandy habitats, beach dwelling animals and water quality has not been well studied; therefore, scientists at Florida State Read More

Gulf Coast Salt Marshes: Oil Spill Impacts Satellite image of 2010 sampling locations along Louisiana and Mississippi coast

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill put hundreds of miles of the northern Gulf of Mexico coastline in harm’s way. Salt marshes in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama received varied amounts of oil during the summer of 2010, ranging from light sheen and tarballs in the east to patchy, heavy oiling in the west and along barrier Read More

Florida to Louisiana: Tracing the Oil Florida to Louisiana_Tracing the Oil

The effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the ecology of the Gulf of Mexico are, for the most part, still unknown. Florida State University has developed an integrated study of the impact of oil on the coastal and ocean marine ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico, including the northern West Florida Shelf, extending Read More

Fish Health and Oil Exposure Dr. Edelmann’s laboratory assistants use a mass spectrometer to analyze protein samples. Photo credit: MSU

In the past, oil exposure has been associated with devastating infectious disease outbreaks in wild populations of fish. The links between these outbreaks and the oil exposure are circumstantial but they suggest an associated disruption of the immune system. Scientists at Mississippi State University hope to use state-of-the art laboratory techniques to determine if the Read More

Ecosystem Modeling Framework: An integrated assessment of the northern Gulf of Mexico An Integrated Ecosystem Assessment incorporates human, biotic, and physical interactions of an ecosystem that result from human and natural system disturbance. Image Credit: DISL

For several years now, a team of scientists from research institutions across the Gulf coast has worked together to develop an Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) model for the northern Gulf of Mexico. Researchers, including oceanographers, ecosystem modelers, and population ecologists came together shortly after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to set up the framework for Read More

Deep-Sea Red Crabs Live deep-sea red crab collected by Dr. Harriet Perry to study effects of the oil spill. Photo: Belinda Serata/NWF

Many of us are familiar with coastal habitats, like salt marshes and seagrass beds, the services they provide, and the seafood they produce. Unfortunately, the deep sea doesn’t have this type of exposure and is often misunderstood. Scientists from the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) are hoping to change that. They are studying this foreign Read More

An Overview of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Satellite image of the Gulf of Mexico showing the spreading oil  sheen May 24, 2010. (Photo/NASA)

On April 20, 2010 the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded off the coast of Louisiana. The resulting oil spill lasted 87 days and created the largest accidental release of oil the world had ever seen. While much of the northern Gulf of Mexico was spared, receiving little to no oil, other areas were heavily impacted. Read More

Coastal Alabama and Mississippi Fish Communities DISL sampling sites in coastal Mississippi and Alabama. Image credit: DISL

The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was of extreme concern to research scientists, environmental managers, and conservationists. Because of public health concerns, state and federal authorities quickly closed many areas of the northern Gulf of Mexico to recreational and commercial fishing. NGI researchers at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab immediately began studying the Read More

Chemical Effects of the Oil Spill: Mississippi Sound Researcers deploy a water sampling device to measure conductivity, temperature and depth (CTD) at different points of the water column. Photo credit: Alan Shiller USM

Since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, scientists from a variety of backgrounds have been hard at work collecting samples to monitor the effects of the oil on marine environments. Dr. Alan Shiller, a chemical oceanographer from the University of Southern Mississippi (USM), has been studying both direct and indirect chemical effects from Read More

Breton Sound Estuary: Water Quality Major lakes and waterways in the Breton Sound estuary. Numbers refer to water testing locations along sampling route. Image: LSU

The Mississippi River Delta region, including the Breton Sound estuary along the southeastern coast of Louisiana, is both environmentally and economically important. The swamps, bogs and marshes of this region account for 40% of all the wetlands in the lower 48 states. Unfortunately, these habitats were put in harm’s way when oil from the Macondo Read More

The Kids and the Cups – Teaching Oceanography Using Styrofoam OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Laura Spencer, a graduate student in Dr. Steven DiMarco’s lab, took cups from three classrooms with her on the Gulf Integrated Spill Research Tracer cruise (G03) in the Gulf of Mexico. The cups were lowered in the water on one of the CTD casts. When the CDT was raised, the 5 inch cups shrank to Read More