Fall 2019 – Note from the Research Board Chair

(From Fall 2019 Newsletter) Dr. Rita Colwell, University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) Research Board looks forward with enthusiasm to a series of events in 2020 that will share synthesis of the results of this amazing research community. Many of the events will comprise sessions at scientific conferences throughout the year; I hope you will join us if you are attending any of these meetings, conferences, and symposia where GoMRI will be presenting.

The first, 10 years since DWH – Lessons learned from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, on January 8, was under the auspices of the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) at its Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. As moderator for the excellent panel of speakers representing academia, coastal communities, government, and industry, I was delighted to introduce Antonietta Quigg, Steve Sempier, Lisa DiPinto, and Paul Schuler, all of whom made the session a success!

The next event will be at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Seattle, Washington the afternoon of February 14 from 3:30 – 5:00pm and is titled Advances in Understanding Oil Spills and Mitigating Impact and Consequences. The session will include breakthrough discoveries of GoMRI scientists and engineers in sub-mesoscale ocean circulation, fate of oil chemicals individually and with dispersants, biodegradation, interactions of oil with marine snow, oil deposition to deep ecosystems, enhanced insight into long-term effects of petroleum on marshlands, recovery of fisheries, variations in marine mammal populations, and in ecosystem modeling. The session will illustrate how these scientific discoveries will carry forward to the next generation by the cadre of GoMRI students and through development of new technologies, including biodegradable ocean-surface drifters, genomic tools, and methods for analytical chemistry and human health applications. I look forward to participating in this session with several members of the GoMRI Research Board, including Margaret Leinen, Ken Halanych, David Halpern, and John Farrington.

GoMRI will be well represented in three dedicated sessions at the International Oil Spill Conference (IOSC) in New Orleans, Louisiana, May 11-14, 2020. The goal at this conference will be to integrate a synthesis of GoMRI science in the presentations at IOSC that will cover physical oceanography and response refinement of fates, and ecology and human health. Leaders from the GoMRI community will share scientific findings and results.

In addition to the conferences listed above, the GoMRI community will be sharing their research and integrated results at other conferences, e.g., Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020. You can learn more about the GoMRI Synthesis and Legacy workshops and events here. I look forward to 2020 as the year of sharing GoMRI’s discoveries!

[Back to the Fall 2019 Newsletter]