Winter 2019 – Note from the Research Board Chair
– APRIL 5, 2019
(From Winter 2019 Newsletter) Dr. Rita Colwell, University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University
The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI), led by the GoMRI Research Board, has emphasized the importance of communication and outreach to share GoMRI science with audiences beyond the scientific community. The initiative has accomplished this through the GoMRI website, newsletters, and social media; external partnerships with the Smithsonian Ocean Portal, Screenscope Films, and the Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Program; and education and outreach programs and activities led by the research consortia and individual investigators funded by GoMRI.
As GoMRI will complete its mission in 2020, there are several ongoing efforts to archive GoMRI-funded education and outreach products and provide resources to keep these available beyond the end of the program. Also, work is being done to provide a synthesis of what has been learned and to disseminate the findings as outreach and education-related lessons learned and as useful resources of value to educators, the general public, outreach specialists, and others outside of the scientific community. Thus, GoMRI initiated an education and outreach archive of consortia-produced resource materials and products that will be available on the GoMRI Education site for several years after the program ends. Consortia outreach coordinators recently shared lessons learned and their recommendations for integrating outreach into research projects and programs in an article published in the August 2018 issue of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin, called Recommendations for Science Outreach Program Development: Perspectives from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Consortia. An announcement of this publication, a GoMRI outreach legacy product, was made in the Summer 2018 GoMRI newsletter.
The GoMRI Research Board is pleased to announce that the GoMRI outreach coordinators partnered to produce a special issue of the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) journal, Current: The Journal of Marine Education, recently published and available on the GoMRI website and the Current website to NMEA members. Current is a peer-reviewed journal that features “in-depth articles and activities relating to all aspects of the world of water.” The GoMRI-sponsored special issue, Special Issue Featuring the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative: Research Resulting from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, provides an excellent synthesis and legacy product showcasing scientific highlights of GoMRI-funded research and a collection of activities that educators can use in their classrooms to incorporate oil spill science. More information about the content and goals of the issue is available on page 1 of this newsletter. The GoMRI Research Board is very proud of the accomplishments of its outreach efforts, and I encourage you to read and share this special issue.