Synthesis and Legacy Frequently Asked Questions

Please see below for responses to frequently asked questions.  Be sure to check back frequently, as responses will be added.

QUESTION 1: What do you mean by Synthesis & Legacy?

Synthesis means more than just producing a summary of what has been done. It involves describing the inter-relationship and significance of our findings, with each other and the general body of scientific knowledge, and the implications for policy and practice. Legacy means the improvements of knowledge, systems, techniques and practices that will continue to exist and be of value after the program has concluded in 2020.  More information on GoMRI’s Legacy goals can be found here.

QUESTION 2: What are the key questions to be addressed through GoMRI Synthesis efforts?

  • What was the state of the science (“baseline”) before Deepwater Horizon?
  • What have we learned?  (Critical assessment)
  • What major gaps in knowledge still exist?
  • How can we best apply what we have learned? (What will be the impact?)
    • For better oil spill preparedness, response, restoration etc?
    • To other regions?
  • Where do we go from here?

QUESTION 3: What is the anticipated level of involvement/guidance from the GoMRI Research Board (RB)?

While the RB members expect to be involved in the overall planning of synthesis efforts, the intent is for synthesis to be community driven, with the RB members serving as “motivators.” One additional role that the RB members will play is to communicate and coordinate between synthesis efforts, to avoid duplication and ensure comprehensive synthesis.

QUESTION 4: What is the anticipated size of the workshops (# of people)?

A series of synthesis workshops are anticipated; each will have different foci and goals.  The aim is for no more than 25-30 participants and should encourage early career/recently graduated /mid-career scientist participation and gender balance.

QUESTION 5: What is/are the anticipated product(s)/expected outcome?

As with all GoMRI products, the emphasis will be on open-access, peer-reviewed publications. Products will range from a single review paper to a dedicated special issue volume and will be based on what is necessary to communicate the results appropriately. For some general guidance, please see the suggested outline for what a synthesis workshop overview report could look like and address.

QUESTION 6: What is the level of support available to the leads (ie: staff support, funding, etc)?

The GoMRI RB endorsed the use of funds for synthesis efforts. As each effort is unique, the level of support available for each effort will vary.  Generally, GoMRI may support time for the core area leads, travel for non-GoMRI participants to attend workshops, and provide access to workshop facilities (and additional staff to support workshops). No funding of travel will be allowed for federal government employees.

QUESTION 7: Who is involved in synthesis? Is this confined to just currently funded GoMRI researchers?

The GoMRI Synthesis efforts will primarily engage the GoMRI community, both past and current, but will also include researchers who worked on NSF rapid grants, the Natural Resource Damage Assessment, state awards, and other Deepwater Horizon-related funding. The goal is to synthesize the best available science.

QUESTION 8: How would an individual synthesis workshop be structured?

Recognizing the wide variety of needs, topics and challenges that are being addressed through GoMRI Synthesis, the structure of each workshop is up to the discretion of the workshop leaders and experts. With that said, in an effort to provide some guidance, the Synthesis & Legacy committee has developed a general workshop format that has proven to be successful in the past and can be downloaded here.

Return to the GoMRI Synthesis home page.

If you have additional questions or want to know how to get more involved, please send us an