Join us for an upcoming oil spill science seminar, Understanding the toxicity of oil and dispersant mixtures, and the development of alternative dispersants on May 20th in Lafayette, LA. This event is free and open to the public, and will feature speakers from LSU AgCenter and Louisiana Sea Grant. Additionally, there will be a question and answer period, followed up by an audience input session. To learn more about this seminar, click here.
Many restoration planning documents and programs in the Gulf of Mexico highlight the need to address climate change impacts as part of the restoration framework. While precedent exists on how to integrate climate change into restoration decision-making, many post-Deepwater Horizon restoration projects fail to adequately address climate change impacts.
At the same time, coastal communities in the Gulf of Mexico region are both on the front line of climate impacts, as well as the ones hit hardest by the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.
This webinar will bring together a panel of experts to discuss the complex intersection of climate change, community resilience and Gulf of Mexico restoration, focusing on the challenges of and opportunities for creating restoration projects that both incorporate climate change considerations and are responsive to the needs of coastal communities.
The webinar will take place from 1-3 p.m. (Central Time), on Friday, April 10.
Webinar details – View speaker list and topics.
Register for free webinar – Register to join the webinar.
On March 18, 2015, the Oil Spill Science Outreach Team will be holding a fisheries seminar, “Oil Spill Science Seminar: Five years later, what have we learned?” This seminar is free and open to the public. Scientists will present the latest fisheries-related research about the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and dispersant application on Gulf of Mexico habitats, communities, and individual species. For more information, please click here or email Larissa Graham with Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant.
When oysters hatch, the microscopic larvae are totally at the mercy of the environment. Controlled by time and tide, they move where and when the water takes them, sometimes landing far from where they were spawned. When they finally come to rest, the place where they settle may or may not be a suitable place for them to grow.
Two researchers, marine ecologist Ruth H. Carmichael of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and coastal physical oceanographer Keyong Park of Texas A&M University in Galveston, have combined their expertise to discover more about how these processes affect the larvae of oysters and other commercially important seafood populations as they make their first journeys. Read more
Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium Director LaDon Swann has been selected to serve on the Ocean Research Advisory Panel (OARP). The panel advises the National Ocean Research Leadership Council and provides independent recommendations about ocean research and related issues to the federal government.
Swann’s appointment is for a four-year term. Members of the panel represent the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, ocean industries, state governments, academia and others, including individuals who are eminent in the fields of marine science, marine policy, or related fields, including ocean resource management.
The panel’s duties include providing advice in several areas, including policies and procedures to implement the National Oceanographic Partnership Program; selection of partnership projects and allocation of funds for partnership projects for implementation under the program; and matters relating to the national oceanographic data requirements. The panel also fulfills any additional responsibilities that the National Ocean Research Leadership Council considers appropriate.
The ORAP is an advisory committee under the Federal Advisory Committee Act and is the only FACA body chartered to advise all the ocean agencies.
The panel has no more than 18 members and no less than 10. Members are appointed by the Chairman of the Council, and the appointments are renewed on an annual basis by the Secretary of Defense.
Swann is also the director of marine programs for Auburn University.
Larissa Graham has joined the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and Auburn University’s Marine Extension and Research Center as a Gulf of Mexico oil spill extension specialist.
Each Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant program has hired an oil spill science extension specialist as part of a $1.5-million program funded through the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI). The four extension specialists will work as a team to create education programs to share GoMRI-funded oil spill research results with groups who depend on a healthy Gulf of Mexico for their livelihoods.
“Larissa has an exceptionally strong background as an adult educator, and she knows how to work with science and diverse audiences,” said LaDon Swann, director of Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant and Auburn University Marine Programs.
The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative was created in 2010 with $500 million to invest over a 10-year period to investigate oil spill science topics and impacts of the spill. Universities across the United States are conducting research, which may also focus on improving mitigation and remediation technologies.
Chuck Wilson, GoMRI’s chief scientific officer and former Louisiana Sea Grant director, said Sea Grant has a rich history of working with science and reaching the audiences that use science-based information.
“There are very few, if any, organizations that have the capacity inherent in Sea Grant’s extension network,” he said.
Graham is a trained facilitator and has experience developing and evaluating outreach programs for various audiences. She has worked with Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Mississippi and the New York Sea Grant College Program. She has a master’s degree in fisheries and wildlife science from Virginia Tech.
“There is a lot of valuable information that is coming out of the GoMRI-funded research projects looking at the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the environment and public health,” Graham said. “It is important that those results and products are provided to the different audiences that can use the information.”
Graham can be reached at Larissa.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Gulf of Mexico Climate Outreach Community of Practice has awarded the 2014 Gulf of Mexico Spirit of Community Award for the local community category to Corpus Christi, Texas.
Heather Wade, left, a Coastal Planning Specialist with the Texas Sea Grant College Program and member of the Gulf of Mexico Climate Outreach Community of Practice, presents Danielle Converse, Environmental Services Superintendent with the City of Corpus Christi’s Office of Environmental and Strategic Initiatives, with the Spirit of Community Award on April 9 in Orange Beach, Ala.
Members of the community of practice, a group of professionals in the Gulf who work together to learn how coastal communities can adapt to sea-level rise, precipitation changes and other climate-related issues, selected Corpus Christi for the award to recognize its leadership in planning for climate change.
“The creation of Corpus Christi’s Integrated Community Sustainability Plan was a data-driven process conducted by an interdisciplinary team with input from city decision makers and community stakeholders at every step,” said Heather Wade, Coastal Planning Specialist with the Texas Sea Grant College Program. “It generated implementation recommendations on topics from climate to urban agriculture to bicycle trails in the form of\action items that range from no-cost community-based activities to major capital improvements to the city.”
Corpus Christi participates in other resilience activities through Texas Sea Grant, the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve and the Texas Nature Conservancy. The city also has a presence at public events and aims to educate the public on issues related to climate, such as coastal hazards, drought and water conservation.
The Gulf of Mexico Climate Outreach Community of Practice is made up of more than 400 education, outreach and extension professionals, as well as community leaders and planners, whose work includes contributing to the resilience of coastal communities.
The award has special meaning because recipients must be nominated by their colleagues and voting is open to all members of the Climate Outreach Community of Practice in the entire Gulf of Mexico.
Corpus Christi was applauded for its climate-change outreach and planning efforts during the group’s annual meeting April 9 in Orange Beach, Ala.
For more information, see http://masgc.org/climate-outreach-community-of-practice.