Kelsey Rogers collects samples of sediment particles onboard the R/V Endeavor’s laboratory. (Photo provided by Professor Joseph Montoya, Georgia Institute of Technology)

Grad Student Rogers Traces Gulf Oil as Scientific CSI

Kelsey Rogers looks for evidence of oil and methane intrusion into Gulf of Mexico water and sediment, but finding these hydrocarbons is only the beginning of her work. Like a scientific crime scene investigator, Kelsey analyzes the chemical fingerprints of oil and gas and uses them to identify their source, such as from an oil spill or a natural seafloor seep.

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Juan demonstrates Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data from the Deepwater Horizon incident. (Provided by Juan Pinales)

Grad Student Pinales Designs “Smart” Oil-Spill Detection Tool

Juan Pinales is working on a computational modelling system that will aid oil spill monitoring efforts. He combines Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data and oceanographic conditions recorded during the Deepwater Horizon incident to improve surface oil detection using a semi-automated machine learning method known as artificial neural networking.

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