Oil Spill Scientists and GoMRI Community Gather in Tampa

(From Spring 2016 Newsletter) This year’s Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference took place from February 1-4, 2016 at the Tampa Marriott Waterside in Tampa, Florida. More than 975 people from 16 countries, including the U.S., participated in the conference to discuss ongoing oil spill science and research related to this year’s conference theme “One Gulf: Healthy Ecosystems, Healthy Communities.” The conference included eighteen sessions, 285 oral presentations (including 42 oral student presentations) and 246 posters (including 120 student posters).

The opening plenary featured a Keynote Address by Dr. Marcia McNutt, Editor-in-Chief of Science, on Big, Open Data: Enhancing Science and Decision-making for the Gulf of Mexico. A panel discussion followed on the importance of data accessibility and data sharing. Dr. Peter Brewer, GoMRI Research Board member from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute moderated the panel, which included Dr. Brooks Hansen from the American Geophysical Union, Dr. Donald Lindberg from the National Library of Medicine at NIH, Dr. Robert Gropp from the American Institute of Biological Sciences, and Dr. Lisa DiPinto from NOAA’s Assessment and Restoration Division.

Eighteen sessions were held over two and a half days and covered a wide variety of topics, from understanding the ecosystem response to oil exposure to the impacts of oil exposure on public health. A description of the sessions can be found here. The closing plenary included summaries of each of the eighteen sessions from the session chairs and a screening of the “Dispatches from the Gulf” documentary (see page 3 for more information on the documentary).

Several workshops, poster sessions, and others events took place throughout the week. NPR’s local affiliate, WUSF, attended the conference and wrote a story, which includes an interview with Dr. Rita Colwell. Click here to read the article and listen to the piece. Five scientists from the oil spill science community teamed up with Story Collider to share their individual stories and how they are connected to the Deepwater Horizon spill and research. Read more about that event here.

More information on the conference can be found on the conference website here and in the conference’s online program here. An official conference report will also be posted to the conference website in the near future.

[Back to the Spring 2016 Newsletter]