Q&A: Six Years After Historic Deepwater Horizon Spill, Documentary Examines the Science

The Deepwater Horizon burns in 2010. (Credit: US Coast Guard/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

(Click to enlarge) The Deepwater Horizon burns in 2010. (Credit: US Coast Guard/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Six years ago today, an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 workers and unleashed the largest oil spill in U.S. history. It also launched a massive scramble by scientists to understand the extent and impacts of the spill.

(From Science /by Marianne Lavelle) — One researcher involved in that effort was fisheries biologist and marine ecologist Steven Murawski, who at the time of the spill was chief scientist of the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service. Now, Murawski directs the Center for the Integrated Modeling and Analysis of the Gulf Ecosystem (C-IMAGE) at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg—and he is one scientist featured in a new documentary, Dispatches From the Gulf, that examines the spill, the research effort, and what scientists have learned. The film, produced by Emmy award–winning filmmakers Marilyn and Hal Weiner as part of their Journey to Planet Earth television series, debuted today on YouTube.

Both C-IMAGE and the filmmakers received funding from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, an independent science group established by a $500 million donation from BP, the oil giant that owned the well.

Murawski is shown in the film with a team conducting a sediment and fish survey, a project the scientists nicknamed the mud and blood cruise. He talked with ScienceInsider about the ongoing science surrounding the historic spill. This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Read the full article here: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/04/six-years-after-historic-deepwater-horizon-spill-documentary-examines-science

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