LADC-GEMM researchers from Oregon State University, the University of New Orleans, and Proteus Technologies explained how they use ocean gliders to collect temperature, pressure, and acoustic data such as sounds made by Gulf of Mexico whales and dolphins. The team guided the participants in constructing their own SeaGlide models assisted by eight Warren Easton Charter Read More
The consortium led an expedition to Deer Island to teach early career scientists about the island’s history and how to create an elevation profile using elevation rods. They also explored the island to observe changes from one side to the other. See the original post here!
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
A group of Boy Scouts recently visited the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science to complete their oceanography badge. The boys met with members of the CARTHE and RECOVER teams and visited the SUSTAIN Laboratory’s wind wave tank. Photos from the visit are available here and here!
The C-IMAGE Story Collider is a free spoken word event providing five life stories about the Gulf of Mexico oil spills. The event will take place during on Monday, February 6, at 7 pm at Club XLIV in New Orleans, Louisiana. More information about the event is available here.
The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) congratulates its Research Board Chair Dr. Rita Colwell for her selection as a National Academy of Inventors Fellow. This honor is the highest professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific innovative spirit in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that make a tangible impact on Read More
Researcher Oscar Garcia-Pineda demonstrates some of the methods the team uses to collect imagery and samples of floating oil near MC20. (Provided by Villy Kourafalou) The flow of the Mississippi River into the northern Gulf of Mexico may have caused circulation patterns and fronts that significantly influenced the transport and fate of Deepwater Horizon oil. Read More
Researchers from the Center for Integrated Modeling and Analysis of Gulf Ecosystems (C-IMAGE, a GoMRI funded center) studied fish and seafloor sediments across the southern, western and northern Gulf of Mexico. Their goals were to understand the lasting impacts of oil spills and to develop baseline levels in Gulf waters. This aerial footage shows a Read More
The Avoiding Surprises: understanding the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the decision making behaviors of fishers and how this affects the assessment and management of commercially important fish species in the Gulf of Mexico using an agent-base project is lead by Steven Saul, Arizona State University. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill disrupted Read More
The The State-of-the-Art Unraveling of the Biotic and Abiotic Chemical Evolution of Macondo Oil: 2010-2018 project is lead by Ryan P. Rodgers, Florida State University. Once released into the environment, petroleum undergoes physical processes that modify its native composition (water washing and evaporative losses) and chemical processes (largely oxidative, i.e. photo-oxidation and biodegradation) that we Read More
Concern about how the Deepwater Horizon oil spill may continue to negatively affect wild bottlenose dolphins living in the spill’s footprint remains high. Researchers supporting the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) studied live and stranded dolphins in the heavily affected area of Louisiana’s Barataria Bay and reported that exposed dolphins exhibited increased lung disease, adrenal Read More
Frank works with the consortium’s crustacean team studying creatures such as crabs, lobsters, shrimp, and krill. She speaks about her research and shares why getting a job as an aspiring female scientist was very challenging.
The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) congratulates Dr. Rita Colwell for receiving the 2015 Mahathir Science Award. The international award, given annually by the Mahathir Science Award Foundation and the Academy of Sciences Malaysia, recognizes scientists who have pioneered tropical research breakthroughs. Colwell was honored for groundbreaking research, innovation, and scientific leadership in the Read More
In April 20, 2010, the Gulf of Mexico had its greatest mishap in record time with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, wherein an estimated 1,000 barrels of oil (peaking at more 60,000 barrels) per day were released into the Gulf for 87 days, for a total of 3.19 million barrels for the entire duration. The Read More
An international science team recently completed a 4,000-mile expedition to learn more about the long-term fate of two of the world’s largest subsea oil spills, the 1979 Ixtoc-I and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon. The 40-day Gulf of Mexico voyage continued their 2015 field campaign, contributing to a multi-year Gulf-wide analysis of these oil spills and Read More
The Long-Term Impact, Recovery and Resilience: Wetland plant-microbial-benthic ecosystem responses to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and mitigation strategies promoting sustainability by P.I. Qianxin Lin, Louisiana State University The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill exposed the nation’s largest and most productive wetland estuarine environment, the Mississippi River Delta coastal wetland ecosystem, to an unprecedented potential Read More
Living inside the roots and leaf tissues of marsh grass are bacteria and fungi known as endophytes that help promote plant growth. Since some endophytes can also help degrade petroleum that the plants absorb, it is possible they could be a natural tool to help clean up oil buried in marsh soils. The Gulf of Read More
The Investigation of Oil Spill Transport in a Coupled Wind-Wave Current Environment Using Simulation and Laboratory Studies project is lead by P.I. William M. Drennan, University of Miami. This project aims at studying the transport of oil droplets in upper oceans subject to actions of Langmuir cells and breaking waves and the transport of oiled Read More
A team of researchers from the University of South Florida uses a multi-corer to obtain deep sediment cores from the Gulf of Mexico. Back in the lab, they analyze the layers of sediment and build a history of the Gulf, with Deepwater Horizon being the latest chapter. Featuring oceanographers David Hollander, Isabel Romero, and Patrick Read More
The Design of Synergistic Dispersant and Herding Systems using Tubular Clay Structures and Gel Phase Materials project is lead by P.I. Vijay John, Tulane University. Dispersants are typically solutions containing one or more surfactants dissolved in a solvent. They work by reducing the interfacial tension between oil and water, thereby reducing the work needed to Read More
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Scientists aboard the research vessels R/V Endeavor and E/V Nautilus briefly describe the nature of the work of ECOGIG in this Finch Productions, LLC video.
Mind Open Media has just finished up our last Audio Slideshow featuring USF post-doc Patrick Schwing. You can find it on our YouTube channel.
Since August 2011, eight research consortia funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) have been working hard to understand impacts from and responses to the Deepwater Horizonincident. Their work represents the efforts of over 1,000 people, including 400 scientists and 275 graduate students, from over 100 national and international institutions. When asked about Read More
Drs. Ken Able, Olaf Jensen, Joel Fodrie and Paola Duarte-Lopez collecting killifish for oil spill research in a coastal Louisiana saltmarsh. Visit the CWC YouTube Channel for more interesting videos on Oil Spill research.
The purpose of this video is to inform the public of current scientific research and education activities being conducted by the Coastal Waters Consortium which is funded through the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. To view other Coastal Waters Consortium (CWC) videos, visit their YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/CoastalWaters12.
An old philosophical question asks, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Similarly, if a scientist makes an important discovery and people do not hear about it, will it matter? Scientists are conducting research about oil and other impacts on coastal marine Read More
Suzanne Fredericq is a University of Louisiana at Lafayette biology professor whose GoMRI research examines pre- and post-spill macroalgae genetics to better understand rubble/rhodolith habitats in the Gulf of Mexico’s deep outer shelf banks. Read her Scientist Spotlight to learn more about her!
“My mom would love this boat ride.” “I wish my child could walk the marshes.” Murt Conover, Senior Marine Educator and Aquarist with the Coastal Waters Consortium (CWC), often hears comments like these when leading teacher and student groups at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) facility. She thought it seemed like a “no brainer” Read More
Know what meiofauna is? Most people have to look it up. Stephen Landers, professor in the Biological and Environmental Sciences department at Troy University, focuses the majority of his research on the tiny invertebrates that populate the ocean floor. Meiofauna seem to fall through the cracks, don’t they? It is common to read about research Read More