Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

ACT Goals

The OSU Marine Council established the Gulf of Mexico Action Coordination Team (ACT) in recognition that there are a number of OSU faculty involved in the Gulf of Mexico and that OSU has tremendous science capabilities that could be applied in the region. Our goal is to form a network of OSU faculty that have activities, interests and capabilities that can be applied to the Gulf of Mexico and in future proposal endeavors should funding become available.  The Team will work to identify and pursue opportunities for OSU to contribute our expertise and capacity in the Gulf.

Team Lead:

Dr. Stephen Brandt

 

Background

The OSU Marine Council established a Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Action Coordination Team (ACT) because there are a number of OSU faculty involved in the Gulf of Mexico and because OSU has tremendous science capabilities that could be applied in the region.  The goal of the ACT is to form a network of OSU faculty that have activities, interests and capabilities that can be applied to the Gulf of Mexico and in future proposal endeavors should funding become available.  

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was an unprecedented environmental disaster. The spill began on April 20, 2010 and resulted in approximately 60,000 barrels of oil being released into the Gulf each day for almost three months.  It is the largest oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry.  The spill resulted from an explosion that occurred as the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was drilling an exploratory well at a depth of about 5,000 feet.  Floating containment booms, skimmer ships, and other barricades have been placed along shorelines in an attempt to prevent oil from spreading to nearby beaches, wetlands and estuaries. The extent of environmental, social, and economic damage caused by the spill is still being determined.

 

Opportunities

Research and Facilities

The multidisciplinary Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill ACT has the capacity and available facilities to address many of the research questions arising from the spill.  Members have expertise in oceanography, geology, sedimentation, environmental and molecular toxicology, shellfish physiology, fisheries biology, cetacean genetics and demographics, and oil spill related issues that limit recovery of marine bird populations.  ACT members also have a vast array of research facilities available for conducting oil spill-related analyses (e.g., the Hatfield Marine Science Center quarantine for brining in organisms from out of state, and a Roche 454 Jr next generation sequencing instrument capable of gene expression analyses).

Partnerships

The ACT will coordinate and partner with other Marine Council ACTs and OSU faculty as appropriate.  Additionally, ACT members will distribute information on, and attend conferences about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to promote their own research and learn about the work of others.

University Advancement

OSU involvement in answering critical research questions on a national and media-intensive issue such as the Gulf of Mexico oil spill would help promote OSU’s marine science reputation. 

Funding Opportunities

ACT members have considered how their combined expertise can be utilized in the Gulf, and are exploring potential funding opportunities in the region.  There will likely be two phases of research (and funding) for ACT members to consider becoming involved with: (1) damage assessment and (2) restoration.  Note: Members who are federal employees may be exempt from accepting funding from British Petroleum and its contractors.

 

Membership

Stephen Brandt, Team Lead and Director, Oregon Sea Grant, Stephen.Brandt@oregonstate.edu

Kim Anderson, Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, kim.anderson@oregonstate.edu

Julie Brandis, Director, Corporate Relations, julie.brandis@oregonstate.edu

Lorenzo Ciannelli, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences (COAS), lciannelli@coas.oregonstate.edu

Jennifer Field, Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, jennifer.field@oregonstate.edu

Chris Goldfinger, COAS, gold@coas.oregonstate.edu

Miguel Goni, COAS, mgone@coas.oregonstate.edu

Scott Heppell, Dept of Fisheries & Wildlife, scott.heppell@oregonstate.edu

Alexander Kurapov, COAS, kurapov@coas.oregonstate.edu

John Lambrinos, Dept of Horticulture, lambrinj@hort.oregonstate.edu

Chris Langdon, Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station (COMES), chris.langdon@oregonstate.edu

Bruce Mate, Director, Marine Mammal Institute, College of Agricultural Sciences, bruce.mate@oregonstate.edu

Fred Prahl, COAS, fprahl@coas.oregonstate.edu

Daniel Roby, Dept of Fisheries & Wildlife, daniel.roby@oregonstate.edu

Adam Schultz, COAS, adam@coas.oregonstate.edu

Todd Simmons, Vice President, University Advancement, todd.simmons@oregonstate.edu

Kate Sinner, Federal Relations, kate.sinner@oregonstate.edu

Bill Stubblefield, Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, bill.stubblefield@oregonstate.edu

Marta Torres, COAS, mtorres@coas.oregonstate.edu

Anne Trehu, COAS, Trehu@coas.oregonstate.edu

Jo Tynon, College of Forestry, jo.tynon@oregonstate.edu

Rob Wheatcroft, COAS, raw@coas.oregonstate.edu