Now Available! Special Oil Spill Issue of Current: The Journal of Marine Education

Permission has been granted to the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative to use an image of the cover of the special issue of Current: The Journal of Marine Education featuring the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (Vol. 33, No. 1, Winter 2019) published by the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) ©2019. For more information about the NMEA, please visit www.marine-ed.org.

Permission has been granted to the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative to use an image of the cover of the special issue of Current: The Journal of Marine Education featuring the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (Vol. 33, No. 1, Winter 2019) published by the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) ©2019. For more information about the NMEA, please visit www.marine-ed.org.

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is pleased to announce the release of Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative: Research Resulting from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, a special issue of Current: The Journal of Marine Education.

Published by the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) and sponsored by GoMRI, this special issue hopes to help educators explain the scientific process using Deepwater Horizon as an example. Outreach coordinators with GoMRI-funded consortia partnered to produce this special issue, which includes synthesis articles on oil spill science and educational resources that incorporate oil spill science into education curriculums.

“The journal is a collection of papers that captured a snapshot of what researchers had learned by 2018,” explained co-editor/author Jessie Kastler. “We envisioned a teacher resource that summarizes interesting lines of research that scientists pursued and illustrates the scientific process in the context of a disaster. And it includes educational activities for teachers to use with their students.”

The articles discuss how oil moved and where it went, including via sinking marine oil snow, impacts on organisms and habitats, technological advancements, and a feature on data sharing and transparency. Regarding technological advancements, Kastler said that researchers had to think creatively about instruments and methods needed to address their questions, and they adapted techniques and created new devices to collect samples and data in challenging circumstances.

“These papers illustrate the value of having a coordinated research community to work together on one event,” explained co-editor/author Katie Fillingham. “Large teams of scientists from diverse disciplines (for example: microbiology, physical oceanography, and geochemistry) collaborated to address complicated questions no single researcher could answer.”

The issue addresses some questions asked since the incident’s first days and that have continued since then. Co-editor/author Sara Beresford expressed that their hope was to convey that science is a work in progress. “A lot has been learned since Deepwater Horizon, but there are still a lot of scientific discoveries to come and more questions to answer.”

The special issue is available on the GoMRI Education site and to NMEA members at the journal’s website.

The co-editors/co-authors are Jessie Kastler (Consortium for Oil Spill Exposure Pathways in Coastal River-Dominated Ecosystems, CONCORDE), Katie Fillingham (Consortium for Ocean Leadership and GoMRI Management Team), Sara Beresford (Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf Consortium, ECOGIG), and Teresa Greely (Center for the Integrated Modeling and Analysis of the Gulf Ecosystem, C-IMAGE).

Other co-authors include Laura Bracken (Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment, CARTHE), Murt Conover (Coastal Waters Consortium, CWC), Emily Davenport (ECOGIG), Dan DiNicola (formerly Relationships of Effects of Cardiac Outcomes in Fish for Validation of Ecological Risk Consortium, RECOVER), Sandra Ellis (formerly Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Information and Data Cooperative, GRIIDC), and Rachel McDonald (Alabama Center for Ecological Resilience, ACER).

By Nilde Maggie Dannreuther. Contact maggied@ngi.msstate.edu with questions or comments.

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The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is a 10-year independent research program established to study the effect, and the potential associated impact, of hydrocarbon releases on the environment and public health, as well as to develop improved spill mitigation, oil detection, characterization and remediation technologies. An independent and academic 20-member Research Board makes the funding and research direction decisions to ensure the intellectual quality, effectiveness and academic independence of the GoMRI research. All research data, findings and publications will be made publicly available. The program was established through a $500 million financial commitment from BP. For more information, visit https://gulfresearchinitiative.org/.

© Copyright 2010-2019 Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) – All Rights Reserved. Redistribution is encouraged with acknowledgement to the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI). Please credit images and/or videos as done in each article. Questions? Contact web-content editor Nilde Maggie Dannreuther, Northern Gulf Institute, Mississippi State University (maggied@ngi.msstate.edu).