As efforts to stem oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico continue, the U.S. government has hosted two science summits to address and coordinate the federal response to the spill. The Consortium for Ocean Leadership convened a third meeting at Louisiana State University June 3 in Baton Rouge, La., and the University of Delaware took part.
Attending the event was College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE) Dean Nancy Targett, who is chair of Ocean Leadership’s board of trustees. Targett, who was named chair of the Washington-D.C.-based nonprofit’s 12-member board earlier this spring, said the event’s purpose was to bring together the country’s research community to deal with the spill.
The one-day meeting was led by non-federal scientists to discuss the urgent issues involved with both short-term response actions for the spill and long-term monitoring of the environmental and human health impacts. Federal representatives provided an update on the response to date, and on the existing federal research efforts, while also learning from the experience of the extramural research community.
Scientists discussed the state of knowledge and identified information gaps and opportunities to improve understanding of the magnitude, fate, transport, and ecosystem and human impacts of the oil and the dispersants.
Ocean Leadership worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other government organizations as co-sponsors of the event.
The Consortium for Ocean Leadership represents 95 of the leading public and private ocean research and education institutions, aquaria, and industry through ocean research, education, and sound policy.