Fall 2018 – GoMRI Synthesis & Legacy
– JANUARY 8, 2019
(From Fall 2018 Newsletter) Contributing Author: Callan Yanoff
The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative’s (GoMRI) Synthesis and Legacy efforts are well underway, with several Synthesis workshops already having occurred throughout the country. The range of topics discussed has been quite varied, from one workshop focused on research related to toxicology of oil in fish, birds, turtles, and mammals, to another exploring the feasibility of developing a human health observing system in the Gulf of Mexico. Each of these workshops has brought together a wide breadth of expertise, across sectors, to try and capture what was known at the time of Deepwater Horizon, what has been learned since, what still needs to be explored, and how GoMRI can best apply what they have learned.
This was the first wave in a series of workshops, presentations, and subsequent publications, with many more being planned to bring together members of the GoMRI consortia, individual investigators, and others from the community to continue capturing GoMRI’s scientific discoveries and results. Over the next several months, additional Synthesis workshops will be held on the following topics:
- Plume and Circulation Observations and Modeling (Core Area 1) will be held from January 15-17, 2019 in Tallahassee, This three-day, cross-GoMRI workshop will include four breakout sessions, focused on the following Core Area 1 subtopics: large-scale observations and modeling; small-scale, near-surface, sub-mesoscale observations and modeling; coastal, riverine, and near- shore processes and modeling; and buoyant/rising plume modeling.
- Allostatic Load (Core Area 4) will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana from February 4-5, 2019, during the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science conference. This workshop is following-up on the Human Health Observing System workshop held in Washington, District of Columbia (D.C.) from November 14-16, 2018. Among the ideas and concepts discussed in the prior workshop was the notion of allostatic load (AL). A definition of allostatic load – one among several similar definitions put forth since its introduction in 1993 – is as follows: the price the body pays for being forced to adapt to adverse psychosocial or physical situations. Workshop discussions will address practical measurement of exposure and its relationship to AL, beginning with conceptual issues and shifting to strategies for operationalizing AL.
- Defining the Gulf of Mexico Microbiome (Core Area 6) is to be held April 9-10, 2019 in Washington, D.C. in partnership with the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM) and the American Geophysical Union (AGU). This effort is centered around a colloquium on the frontiers of marine microbiology and metagenomics applied to oil spills, to provide a quantitative understanding of the ecological response of biological communities to oiling as well as the role of biodegradation in the fate of petroleum hydrocarbons released from oil discharge. Discussion will also include how novel findings can be used to improve planning, preparedness, response, and recovery in future oil