Oil Spill Science Outreach Team

The Sea Grant oil spill science specialists work together on multiple oil spill related research topics. Although each is based in a different state, they work regionally throughout the Gulf of Mexico.

Oil spill science specialists

Chris Hale mug

Chris Hale – Based in Corpus Christi, Texas, with the Texas Sea Grant College Program, Chris has an interdisciplinary background in marine science, fisheries, restoration and human dimensions. She previously served as a Sea Grant extension agent in the U.S. Virgin Islands. She works primarily on the environmental effects of the oil spill on ecosystems. Email: chris.hale@tamu.edu

Emily Maung-Douglass mugEmily Maung-Douglass, Ph.D. – Based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, Emily has expertise at the interface of ecology, chemistry and toxicology. She also has studied the impacts of environmental stressors on aquatic animals. She works on the chemical evolution of petroleum and dispersants and the interactions with ecosystems. Email: edouglass@lsu.edu

Larissa Graham mugLarissa Graham – Based in Mobile, Alabama, with the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, Larissa has outreach experience through her previous work with Sea Grant, the National Estuary Program and the National Estuarine Research Reserves. Her degrees and interest are in fisheries and environmental science and human health. She works primarily on the environmental effects of the oil spill on humans and ecosystems. Email: larissa.graham@auburn.edu

Monica Wilson mugMonica Wilson, Ph.D. – Based in St. Petersburg, Florida, with the UF/IFAS Extension of the Florida Sea Grant College Program, Monica has used her physical oceanography background to model circulation and flushing of coastal systems in the region and the impacts of tropical storms on these systems. She focuses on the distribution, dispersion and dilution of petroleum under the action of physical ocean processes and storms. Email: monicawilson447@ufl.edu

Management and support

Steve Sempier mugSteve Sempier, Ph.D. – Based in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, with the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, Steve has worked on several Gulf-wide issues, including the Gulf of Mexico Research Plan and a Gulf of Mexico hydrological restoration program through a partnership with the NOAA Restoration Center. He coordinates the overall outreach effort and synthesizes the results from the outreach program for GoMRI. Email: stephen.sempier@usm.edu

Skelton communicatorTara Skelton – Based in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, with the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, Tara has served as a science communicator for the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative and the CONsortium for oil spill exposure pathways in COastal River-Dominated Ecosystems (CONCORDE). She supports the oil spill specialists in the development of outreach products and presentations. Email: tara.skelton@usm.edu

 

Swann high-resolution headshotLaDon Swann, Ph.D. – Based in Mobile, Alabama, LaDon serves as the director of the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and Auburn University Marine Programs, and as the PI of the oil spill science outreach program. Responsible for implementing practical solutions to coastal issues through competitive research, graduate student training, extension and outreach and K-12 education, LaDon also conducts research on shellfish aquaculture and habitat restoration. He has over 25 years of experience designing, delivering and evaluating adult education programs. The Tennessee native worked 10 years with the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program at Purdue University, where he earned a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction for adults. He also served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, West Africa, in the mid-1980s. Email: swanndl@auburn.edu