Oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident moved from deep waters to coastal shorelines, overwhelming their natural defenses which, in turn, slowed or prevented their recovery. Scientists with the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) have been assessing the health of these complex environments that experience stressors from multiple sources, providing information that can inform response decisions during future disturbances.
The Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal published an article that describes how scientists are using the In Situ Ichthyoplankton Imaging System (ISIIS) to photograph zooplankton organisms and gather information about salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and light levels.
Oil spill material that enters the water column may adhere to resuspended seafloor sediments and be transported to other areas. Stephan O’Brien is investigating how physical factors, such as wind and waves, affect the suspension and subsequent transport of sediments in the Mississippi Sound and Bight.
Trust in scientific findings is especially important when the research relates to your livelihood and health as it did for commercial and recreational fishing communities after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Many scientists conducting early studies on the spill believed that they were considered trustworthy, like firemen and policemen. However, it became apparent as the spill unfolded that the relationship of the public, science, and trust was complex and sometimes on shaky ground.
Oil droplets can attach to tiny sediment particles suspended in the water column, causing them to sink to the seafloor where they can linger for a long time. Sediment grain size influences if and how oil droplets are resuspended into the water column.
Scientists monitored a major river discharge event in Mobile Bay in March 2011 to better understand how such inputs affect Gulf of Mexico nearshore water transport.
It’s a catchy name, but the common phrase “Red Tide” for the algal bloom happening right now in the northern Gulf of Mexico is not quite right, scientifically. The bloom is not always red and it’s not always related to tides.
The University of Southern Mississippi’s Department of Marine Science (www.usm.edu/marine) seeks a Postdoctoral Scholar in the field of coastal ocean numerical modeling.
The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative recently awarded CONCORDE a grant to study nearshore currents and circulation flows and their potential role in creating sub-surface oil exposure pathways.
The Ocean Sciences Branch of the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) at Stennis Space Center (SSC), MS is seeking a postdoctoral associate in physical oceanography with research interests in the areas of ocean observations, ocean mixing, ocean fronts, and biophysical interactions.