GoMRI Newsletter: Winter Issue 2019

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Above the Fold

“GoMRI Consortia Outreach Coordinators Partner on Special Issue of Current: The Journal of Marine Education”
“2019 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference”
Guest Frequently Asked Questions
Note from the Research Board Chair
Education Spotlight
GoMRI Researcher Interview with Dr. Srinivasa Raghavan
GoMRI Synthesis & Legacy





Community Happenings

Science Corner

Published Science Highlights from the GoMRI Program

Study Reveals Corals’ Cellular Response to Oil and Dispersant Exposure
D.M. DeLeo, S. Herrera, S.D. Lengyel, A.M. Quattrini, R.J. Kulathinal, E.E. Cordes
Molecular Ecology, 2018, Vol. 27(20), pgs. 4066-4077

Study Estimates Larger-Than-Expected Oil Footprint Near the Damaged Taylor Energy Platform
S. Sun, C. Hu, O. Garcia-Pineda, V. Kourafalou, M. Le Henaff, Y. Androulidakis
Marine Pollution Bulletin, 2018, Vol. 136, pgs. 141-151

Study Finds Low Salinity May Mitigate Oil and Dispersant Effects on Oysters
M. Schrandt, S. Powers, F.S. Rikard, W. Thongda, E. Peatman
PLoS ONE, 2018, Vol. 13(9), e0203485

Ten-Year Assessment Study Finds Increased Vulnerability of Deep Sea Fishes to Oil Exposure
I.C. Romero, T. Sutton, B. Carr, E. Quintana-Rizzo, S.W. Ross, D.J. Hollander, J.J. Torres
Environmental Science and Technology, 2018, Vol. 52(19), pgs. 10985-10996

Study Develops Algorithm to Detect Surface Oil and Estimate Thickness
S. Sun, C. Hu
IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 2018, pgs. 1-16, 10.1109/TGRS.2018.2876091

Study Identifies Positive Influencers on Marsh Infauna Recovery After Oiling
J.W. Fleeger, M.R. Riggio, I.A. Mendelssohn, Q. Lin, D.R. Deis, D.S. Johnson, K.R. Carman, S.A. Graham, S. Zengel, A. Hou
Estuaries and Coasts, 2019, Vol. 42(1), pgs. 204-217

Study Simulates How Large and Small Circulations Influence Sinking Marine Particles
G. Liu, A. Bracco, U. Passow
Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, 2018, Vol. 6(1), pg. 36

Study Simulates Effectiveness of Chemical Dispersant Applications
B. Chen, D. Yang, C. Meneveau, M. Chamecki
Physical Review Fluids, 2018, Vol. 3(8), 083801

Study Develops Oil Spill Outflow Calculator for Improved Oil Spill Forecasts
A.L. Dissanayake, J. Gros, S.A. Socolofsky
Environmental Fluid Mechanics, 2018, Vol. 18(5), pgs. 1167-1202

Study Detects Drifter Drogue Loss and Produces More Accurate Surface Ocean Transport Data
A.C. Haza, E. D’Asaro, H. Chang, S. Chen, M. Curcic, C. Guigand, H.S. Huntley, G. Jacobs, G. Novelli, T.M. Ozgokmen, A.C. Poje, E. Ryan, A. Shcherbina
Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 2018, doi.org/10.1175/JTECH-D-17-0143.1

Study Finds Razor Clams Help Remove Oil from Surface Sediments
P.L. Klerks, A. Kascak, A.M. Cazan, N. Deb Adhikary, A. Chistoserdov, A. Shaik, S. Osman, F.R. Louka
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 2018, Vol. 75(2), pgs. 306-315

To see all GoMRI publications, please visit the GoMRI Publication Database.

Video Clip of the Quarter

The Center for the Integrated Modeling and Analysis of the Gulf Ecosystem (C-IMAGE) recently released a video summarizing their OneGulf Expeditions. C-IMAGE is working to understand the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill by studying fish and seafloor sediments, and by learning from the IXTOC 1 oil spill which occurred in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Campeche, Mexico in 1979. The OneGulf Expeditions are a collaborative effort between the United States (through C-IMAGE), Mexico, and Cuba. The video, which was written, created, and narrated by C-IMAGE program assistant Ben Prueitt, is available on the C-IMAGE YouTube channel here.

The Relationships of Effects of Cardiac Outcomes in Fish for Validation of Ecological Risk (RECOVER) consortium recently shared a description of “density gradient columns” on their Facebook page, a technology they use to study both mahi-mahi and red drum embryos. The technology is used to measure the density of organisms that are too small to measure with standard scales. In a follow-up post, RECOVER shared a video of what it looks like when RECOVER researcher Dr. Christina Pasparakis introduces mahi-mahi embryos into the density gradient column. Check out what happens on the RECOVER Facebook page here!

Don’t forget to check out GoMRI’s YouTube Channel here.

GoMRI Newsmakers

Dr. Antonietta Quigg, principal investigator of the Aggregation and Degradation of Dispersants and Oil by Microbial Exopolymers (ADDOMEx) consortium, and Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies and professor of biological oceanography in the Department of Oceanography at Texas A&M University at Galveston, has been honored with the Regents Professor Award of Marine Biology and Oceanography by Texas A&M University. The Regents Professor Award is given to “individuals who have provided exemplary service to their university, agency, health science center, the community, or the state of Texas,” both nationally and internationally. GoMRI congratulates Dr. Quigg for receiving this honor.

Dr. Peter Brewer, Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) Research Board member and senior scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, was awarded the China International Science and Technology Cooperation Award during a ceremony in Beijing, China on January 8, 2019. The award represents the highest honor China bestows on foreign scientists for their contributions to China’s science and technology development. Dr. Brewer has invited Chinese scientists on American deep-sea exploration cruises and has also trained several Chinese Ph.D. students over many years. For these efforts, Dr. Brewer also received the Award for International Scientific Cooperation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2018, which was featured in the winter 2018 GoMRI Quarterly Newsletter here. GoMRI congratulates Dr. Brewer on these honors and recognitions of his many contributions to the scientific community.

Dr. Joseph Katz, a William F. Ward Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University, director of the University’s Center for Environmental and Applied Fluid Mechanics, and co-principal investigator of the Dispersion Research on Oil: Physics and Plankton Studies (DROPPS) consortium, was recently elected into the National Academy of Engineering, among the highest professional distinctions awarded to an engineer. Election into the Academy honors those who have made contributions to engineering research, practice, or education, and to the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology. Dr. Katz is recognized for his contributions to the development of optical methods in experimental fluid mechanics for turbomachinery, cavitation, turbulence, and environmental flows. He will be inducted during a formal ceremony in Washington, D.C. in October 2019. The GoMRI community congratulates Dr. Katz on this recognition.

GoMRI Scholars in Action

GoMRI recognizes the graduate students whose vital research contributes to improving understanding about the damage, response, and recovery from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Candidates for the GoMRI Scholars program must be graduate students who have participated in a GoMRI-funded project for at least one year, whose research is primarily funded by GoMRI, and who are working on a dissertation or thesis based on GoMRI-funded science.

Learn more about the Scholars’ research and career paths on the GoMRI website:

Sea Grant

The Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach team recently published a new one-pager titled Federal Emergency Response Framework for Oil Spills: Stafford Act and Oil Pollution Act. The publication describes the Stafford Act of 1988 and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, laws that determine federal oil spill response efforts. In the event of a major disaster in the United States, such as a fire, flood, hurricane, or other type of event that causes significant damage, the Stafford Act authorizes the federal government to provide aide to state and local governments in the form of individual, public, or hazard mitigation assistance. Alternatively, the Oil Pollution Act supports the federal government’s ability to ensure that responsible parties compensate for damages that result from an oil spill, from natural resource impacts to injuries to public health or welfare. Read the one- pager here.

The team hosted two more seminars as a part of their collaborative workshop series in partnership with the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Gulf Research Program. Setting Priorities for Health, Social, and Economic Disruptions from Spills in Alaska: Learning from the Past, Preparing for the Future took place from February 20-21 in Anchorage, Alaska. This workshop focused on research and lessons learned from the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Alaska’s current state of oil spill preparedness, and how to prepare local communities for an upcoming spill or other type of disaster. Mid-Atlantic Oil Spill: Are We Ready? took place on March 29 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. This workshop brought together coastal community members, emergency responders, and health and environment experts to discuss the potential impacts of a mid-Atlantic oil spill and identify priorities to address key issues. More information on this collaborative workshop series is available here.

The team hosted a Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Program seminar on February 28 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Birds and Oil Spills. This seminar was presented in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and shared information on the impacts of oil spills on birds, both marsh-dwelling and migratory species, including toxicological effects and response, rehabilitation, and monitoring efforts. The seminar featured presentations by Kendal Harr from URIKA, LLC; Sabrina Taylor from the Louisiana State University AgCenter; Jessica Henkel from the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council; Rhonda Murgatroyd from Wildlife Response Services, LLC; Laird Henkel from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife; Michael Seymour from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; Gina Muhs Saizan and Eva Diana Windhoffer from the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office; and Jeff Gleason from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Migratory Bird Program and Gulf Restoration Office. A summary of this seminar, including recordings of the presentations, is available here.

The team has announced Save the Dates for two additional upcoming seminars. Improving Oil Spill Preparedness and Response in Santa Barbara will take place on April 5 in Santa Barbara, California. How Does Science Guide Oil Spill Response? Collaborating Before, During, and After a Spill, rescheduled from January 24, will take place on April 24 in St. Petersburg, Florida. More information on all of the Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach team’s seminars, including summaries, recordings, and registration details for upcoming presentations, is available here.

Ocean Portal

Smithsonian Ocean Portal recently released a new article in partnership with the Consortium for Advanced Research on the Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment (CARTHE) called Five Methods for Tracking the Ocean’s Motion. After the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, responders needed to know where the oil was going in order to clean it up. Ocean currents in large part determine oil transport and fate, so understanding how those currents move can be a very helpful tool for researchers and responders in the event of an oil spill. In the article, Ocean Portal summarizes five technologies and techniques CARTHE researchers use in their experiments to learn about ocean currents in the Gulf of Mexico, including GPS drifters, acoustic doppler current profilers, planes, aerostats, and drones. Visit the article on the Ocean Portal site here to learn more.

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