Dive Into Oil Spill Research

This is the first site at which scientists or even the public can easily access a compilation of available research data on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster with a few clicks of a mouse.

(From Pensacola News Journal / by Kimberly Blair) — Hundreds of scientists from multiple government agencies and from universities and research centers have, for the past five years, been collecting data on the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.

Findings from some of that research has dribbled out piecemeal in scientific journals, or once validated through peer reviews, posted on the www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov website.

Until now, there has not been one spot at which scientists or even the public could easily access a compilation of available data with a few clicks of a mouse.

National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration launched a new searchable database this week called DIVER, which allows the public to dive as deep as they wish into 3.8 million analytical determinations and more than 53,000 samples of collected through the ongoing Oil Spill Pollution Act Natural Resource Damage Assessment investigation. DIVER stands for Data Integration, Visualization, Exploration, and Reporting.

“NOAA pledged from the start of the Deepwater event to be as transparent as possible with the data collected,” said Kathryn Sullivan, undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “The DIVER data warehouse approach builds upon that original pledge, and is another significant step in making NOAA’s environmental data available for the research community, resource managers and the general public.”

DIVER will be a living site on which more data, as it’s validated, will be posted in the months and years to come, said Amy Merten, NOAA’s chief of spatial data branch.

It will allow researchers, citizens and even the media to pull and analyze oil spill research data to get a better picture of the trend in what’s happening in the Gulf ecosystem. For instance, researchers studying the impacts of the BP oil spill on sea turtles can gain easy access to available data collected by other scientists at various universities studying oil impacted sea turtles.

Merten said NOAA is also working with other oil spill research groups, such as the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, in hopes of adding their data in the future.

Read the full article here: http://www.pnj.com/story/news/local/pensacola/beaches/2015/05/05/explore-treasure-trove-oil-spill-research-diver/26945675/

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