Oil Spill Science Seminar for Journalists
Metcalf Institute offered a three-part seminar for journalists to provide an update on the latest research about the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, as well as the use and impacts of dispersants in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and for future spills.
Participants in the Metcalf Institute Oil Spill Science Seminar gained a better understanding of relevant research, connected with new sources, and walked away with compelling story ideas on the latest science related to the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as well as some pressing questions about how to remediate future deep water oil spills.
The Metcalf Institute seminar, funded by the Consortium for Molecular Engineering of Dispersant Systems (C-MEDS) as part of a grant from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, covered a range of topics selected to support improved news coverage of oil spills and dispersants. The seminar coincided with the 2014 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference, which took place January 26-29, also in Mobile.
Metcalf’s Oil Spill Science Seminar for Journalists consisted of three sessions:
Tracking the Oil
Monday, January 27, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
ARTHUR MARIANO, University of Miami; DUBRAVKO JUSTIC, Louisiana State University; MARKUS HUETTEL, Florida State University
How much have researchers learned about the ultimate fate of the Deepwater Horizon oil and dispersants used to manage the spill? Speakers described how researchers tracked and assessed this information and offered insights into the challenges of tracking oil.
Update on Oil & Dispersant Impacts
Tuesday, January 28, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
ERIK CORDES, Temple University; KENDRA DALY, University of South Florida; NANCY RABALAIS, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium; CORNELIS ELFERINK, University of Texas
It can take decades to gain a complete understanding of the ecosystem and public health effects of an oil spill. Speakers in this session offered windows into the state of scientific knowledge regarding ecological and public health impacts of the DWH oil and dispersants used during the spill.
How Are Dispersants Being Improved?
Wednesday, January 29, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
CHARLIE HENRY, NOAA Disaster Response Center; TOM COOLBAUGH, Exxon Mobil; VIJAY JOHN, Tulane University; AGNES KANE, Brown University
Every oil spill serves as a real-time experiment in how to improve response measures. One early lesson from the DWH oil spill was the need for development of new dispersant systems designed for use in cold, deep ocean environments. Speakers in this session discussed the strategies of oil spill response, including the history and use of Corexit, as well as the development of new dispersant technologies.
Journalists working in all media were eligible to register for the Metcalf Institute seminars. Registrants were able to request lodging and up to US$300 in participant support. There was no fee to attend the Metcalf Institute seminar.
The Consortium for Molecular Engineering of Dispersant Systems (C-MEDS) is one of eight research consortia supported by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. C-MEDS researchers work to understand the role of dispersants and related chemical compounds in mitigating the effects of deep-sea oil spills, and to design the next generation of dispersants to determine how to best respond to future oil spills.