Specialists to serve as sources of oil spill science in Gulf

By: Melissa Schneider / Published: Oct 10,  2014

Chris Hale, left, Monica Wilson, Steve Sempier, Larissa Graham and Emily Maung-Douglass make up the oil spill science outreach team. The four Sea Grant college programs in the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) are collaborating on an effort to share post-Deepwater Horizon oil spill research findings. GoMRI is a 10- year, $500-million program that has already invested more than $170 million in answering science questions related to oil spills. The four Sea Grant college programs are university-based programs that have shared coastal science with numerous communities throughout the region for the past 40 years.

Sea Grant has hired four full-time oil spill science outreach specialists to share GoMRI-supported research results with people whose livelihoods depend on a healthy Gulf of Mexico. These Sea Grant specialists will be working with fishermen, tourism specialists, ports and harbors employees, public health officials, natural resource managers, emergency responders and others.

The four oil spill outreach specialists have diverse expertise in scientific areas, such as physical oceanography, ecotoxicology and marine science. They will be translating the oil spill science and sharing the results through science seminars, publications and meetings. In addition, they will be gathering input on remaining oil spill science needs to share with GoMRI and the independent GoMRI Research Board.

The four Sea Grant college programs are Texas Sea Grant College Program, Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and Florida Sea Grant College Program.

View a description of the outreach program here.

About Sea Grant

The mission of Sea Grant is to enhance the practical use and conservation of coastal, marine and Great Lakes resources in order to create a sustainable economy and environment. There are 33 university-based Sea Grant programs throughout the coastal U.S. states and its territories. These programs are primarily supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the states in which the programs are located. For more information about the four Sea Grant programs that border the Gulf of Mexico, visit

About GoMRI

Administered by the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative is led by an independent and academic 20-member Research Board, which guides the research focus and the funding decisions to ensure the intellectual quality, effectiveness and academic independence of the GoMRI research. GoMRI was established using funds that are not associated with any oil spill penalties. For more information, visit GoMRI's website.


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