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Matthew A. Tarr PhD
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By Dr. Whittenburg (on 3/31/2011 @ 16:09:55, in Oil Spill, read 1760 times)
ANTICIPATED THEMES: I. The physical distribution, and ultimate fate of contaminants associated with the Deepwater Horizon incident. Physical distribution, dispersion, and dilution of petroleum, its constituents, and any dispersants applied under the action of physical oceanographic processes, air–sea interactions, and tropical storms. II. The chemical evolution and biological degradation of the contaminants. Chemical evolution and biological degradation of the petroleum/dispersant systems and subsequent interaction with coastal, open-ocean, and deep-water ecosystems. III. The environmental effects of the contaminants on Gulf of Mexico ecosystems, and the science of ecosystem recovery. Environmental effects of the petroleum/dispersant system on the sea floor, water column, coastal waters, shallow water habitats, wetlands, organisms, and beach sediments; and the science of ecosystem recovery. IV. Technology developments for improved detection, characterization, mitigation, and remediation of offshore oil spills. Technology developments for improved response, mitigation, detection, characterization, and remediation associated with oil spills and accompanying releases of gas. V. Integration of the previous four themes in the context of human health. Fundamental scientific research integrating results from the other four themes in the context of public health.
By Admin (on 3/31/2011 @ 08:35:48, in Oil Spill, read 2151 times)

Registration Deadline is April 11th, 2011.

 Second Call for Submissions

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Conference: Research From the Four University Consortium

Hosted by Louisiana State University

Featuring Research from Louisiana State University, University of Louisiana Lafayette, Tulane University, University of New Orleans and the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON)

April 29th: Faculty Club, Highland Road, LSU Campus

This is the second call for submissions and registration in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Conference featuring research from the Four University Consortium.

On Friday April 29th at the Faculty Club on the LSU campus, consecutive sessions will run from 8:30 am to 3 pm. The sessions will be organized around the following oil spill related topics: Water Column/ zooplankton/food chain issues; Fate and Transport; Benthic Communities;  Hypoxia; Wetlands; Socioeconomic Impacts; Human Health; Engineering issues/solutions; Food Safety; Microbial ecology; Modeling issues; other issues. Each session will feature a 20 to 25 minute summary of available research findings and emphasize important directions for future research. These will not be standard scientific conference style presentations, but rather summary discussions based on research generated to date with a strong focus on what has been learned and what new research questions this knowledge has generated. The panelists for this portion of the conference will be recruited by the conference program committee. For those interested in participating in this part of the conference activities, please contact Richard Shaw ( or Matthew Lee ( ).

In addition, an extensive poster session will run concurrently to present the findings from individual research projects. All submissions for this conference will be poster presentations. Small scale breakout and informal meeting areas will be available throughout the day to accommodate groups interested in establishing new dialogue based on the summary discussions and the poster presentations.  


This conference is open to researchers from LSU, ULL, Tulane, UNO, and LUMCON. In the event that poster submissions exceed available space, the program committee will judge submissions for inclusion in the final program.

Registration and Submission Instructions:

There is no charge for this conference. The registration website is available at: . Registration is required and will close April 11th at 4:30 pm CST. If there are multiple authors on a submission and several plan to attend, each author should register separately.

Poster Dimensions:

Posters should be no larger than 3 feet by 4 feet, or 36 X 48 inches.

By Admin (on 3/3/2011 @ 09:12:55, in Oil Spill, read 2333 times)

Below is a new funding opportunity with EPA related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  This is NOT the RFP from BP that we have been waiting for.  Note that while the research is science/engineering related there must be an effective community outreach plan.  If you are interested in applying for this funding EITHER for the science/engineering OR the community outreach, please let me know and I will try to put a team together to submit a proposal for this project.  This email has been distributed to all faculty/staff.

 Title: Environmental Impact And Mitigation Of Oil Spills


 Open Date: 02/28/2011  -  Close Date: 06/22/2011

 Summary:  As part of the federal government's response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) received a $2 million Congressional appropriation for a grant or grants for "a study on the potential human and environmental risks and impacts of the release of crude oil and the application of dispersants, surface washing agents, bioremediation agents, and other mitigation measures listed in the National Contingency Plan Product List (40 C.F.R. Part 300 Subpart J)." To implement this appropriation through its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grant program, EPA is seeking applications proposing to develop a research program, including an effective community outreach program component, to mitigate the impact of oil spills.

The research program must address one or more of the following topics: (1) development of cost-effective innovative technologies to mitigate the impact of oil spills; (2) development of effective oil dispersants, surface washing agents, bioremediation agents, and other mitigation measures

("dispersants/agents/measures") with low environmental impact; and (3) investigation of the effects of oil spills and application of dispersants/agents/measures on the environment. Applicants must also submit a community outreach program plan, the objective of which is to help impacted Gulf Coast communities effectively participate in the study and use its results. To achieve this objective, the applicant should work collaboratively with affected communities to identify significant risks posed by oil spills to human health and the environment, obtain their input in the design of a study to help the communities address these challenges, and provide technical assistance to them so that they can use the results of the study.

Applicable Category(s): Grant/Fellowship Announcements

By Dr. Whittenburg (on 2/1/2011 @ 10:55:22, in Oil Spill, read 1725 times)
Still no word on the BP RFP. Those UNO faculty wishing to seek money related to the BP funding should proceed in two ways: (1) develop your own collaborations and work on a proposal to be submitted and (2) be ready to contribute something to the proposal that the four research universities are putting together. If you are interested in contributing to the four-university proposal you should have a one page whitepaper ready to go on some research topic you believe would be of interest. When the RFP is released and we know the topic areas you should be ready to rewrite the whitepaper for one of those topics and then send a copy of the whitepaper to me. When the RFP is released, I will notify the campus.
By Dr. Whittenburg (on 12/10/2010 @ 14:01:15, in Oil Spill, read 2010 times)
Several of us listened to the EPA webinar from FAMU yesterday on the BP GRI funding ($500M over 10 years). I also had a phone conference following the webinar with the VC/VPs for Research from several of the other Louisiana research universities. The bottom line from the webinar is that the RFP is not out yet, individual proposals will be accepted BUT consortial proposals will have a much better chance, proposals probably will be due in February, 2011 and the money available June 1, 2011. The VC/VPs for Research have already been working on a consortial proposal. We are awaiting the RFP to help guide further development of the proposal.
By Admin (on 12/2/2010 @ 15:48:37, in Oil Spill, read 1664 times)

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) has reserved room 438 in the CERM building for the webinar detailed below on BP funding on December 9, 2010. Individuals may register and watch on their own computer, or can attend the webinar in the conference room we have reserved. If you would like to attend the webinar with ORSP please r.s.v.p. at so we can ensure the room is large enough to accommodate everyone.

On December 9, 2010, a workshop on the "EPA Office of Research and Development's Grant Process: How It Works and How Best to Compete" will be held at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida. This workshop will be available via web and representatives of the National Science Foundation and the British Petroleum (BP) Corporation will also participate in this event.  This workshop will be similar to the workshop held at Dillard University on October 28, 2010.

This workshop is being offered to share with you oil spill-related research needs resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Responding to this unprecedented disaster has revealed numerous research needs in the areas of oil spill response, remediation, and restoration.  The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation will be independently soliciting research grant applications in the near future from eligible organizations, universities, and colleges located in the Gulf Coast Region to conduct much needed research that addresses the many gaps that have become apparent in dealing with the oil spill.  BP will also be soliciting research proposals for research projects under its own competitive process.

In addition to describing oil spill-related research needs, the workshop will include presentations on the grant competition process and the time lines for soliciting applications and awarding the grants.  Time will also be allotted to respond to questions and discussing topics of interest to potential applicants.  
Included please find the formal invitation with more information from Mr. Christopher Zarba, Deputy Center Director for EPA's National Center for Environmental Research, and a draft agenda.  Please also go to


Attached File:  ORD Workshop at FAMU.pdf

By Admin (on 11/3/2010 @ 15:40:01, in Oil Spill, read 1725 times)

As you may be aware, BP has announced more details of their Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GRI), which will provide $500 million in competitive research awards to academia and industry research organizations over the next ten years.  That announcement is attached.  A workshop was recently held at Dillard at which time more details were released.  BP is working with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance ( which is a partnership of the states of AL, FL, LA, MS and TX through the respective Governor’s Offices.
Some of those details are:

The GRI will establish a GRI Executive Committee (anticipated by the end of November) which will consist of 20 members (10 chosen by BP and 10 by the Alliance).  We have nominated two possible members of the Executive Committee from UNO.

Once the Executive Committee is finalized an RFP will be released. The Executive Committee will have final approval over the RFP. The goal is to release the solicitation by early December. The Alliance will widely advertise the RFP once it is released, including on a new GRI website that is currently under development.

Researchers will be given about 45 days to submit a proposal electronically to the Alliance (the due date will be around February 1, 2011).  The Alliance will oversee a peer review process similar to the National Science Foundation.

Chosen projects will be determined by the Executive Committee and announced around April 1. Funding will be provided to the awardees around June 1.  Research teams receiving GRI funding will be expected to publish their research results in scholarly journals and make their data transparent and accessible. Research findings will not need to be reviewed by BP or the Alliance prior to publication.  This first competitive RFP will be used to fund projects for up to three years. Each project will have to be approved annually for renewal (i.e. funding will not be provided upfront for three years of research, but projects can be renewed for up to three years based on performance). Funding cannot be used for acquisition, infrastructure or education/community outreach activities.

Project proposals must fall into one of the five identified research themes, listed below. These themes will be revisited in year four of GRI, once the first three years of competitive projects initiated by the upcoming RFP have concluded.

  • The physical distribution and ultimate fate of contaminants associated with the Deepwater Horizon incident.
  • The chemical evolution and biological degradation of the contaminants.
  • The environmental effects of the contaminants on Gulf of Mexico ecosystems, and the science of ecosystem recovery.
  • Technology developments for improved detection, characterization, mitigation, and remediation of offshore oil spills.
  •  Integration of the previous four themes in the context of human health.

Given the expected quick turnaround once the RFP is released in December, I encourage UNO researchers to start organizing their teams and ideas now according to the above five themes.  Monday and Tuesday of this week the BoR held a conference in New Orleans related to research and the Horizon Oil Spill.  The list of attendees and posters from that conference may be helpful in finding collaborators. If you need help identifying possible research partners please let me know.  Although researchers in the Gulf region are expected to receive preference for funding, proposals will be accepted from across the country. Additionally, partnerships with industry and state or national labs are not precluded from receiving funding.

Attached File:  BP GOMA Press Release.pdf

By Admin (on 10/19/2010 @ 15:35:54, in Oil Spill, read 1758 times)




SPEAKER:     Toby Roesler, Southeastern Geophysical Society

TOPIC:           The Causes of the Deepwater Horizon Blowout:

Technological Failure or Human Error?

DATE:            Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010

TIME:             3:00 PM

PLACE:          SC 1053





Please note the announcement of the meeting at Tulane regarding the Unified Command plan related to sub-surface oil and dispersant monitoring.  Parking and shuttle information is provided at the bottom the email.  This message has been distributed to all faculty/staff.

From: Burton, Loula M []
Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2010 11:35 AM
Subject: Invitation from Dr. Laura Levy, Tulane VP for Research - Unified Command Meeting for BP Oil Spill

Dear Colleagues:
On behalf of Vijay John, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Tulane University, I write to let you know about an important upcoming meeting.  The Unified Command for the BP Oil Spill will be holding a meeting in the Rogers Memorial Chapel at Tulane University on Thursday, September 2nd from 1-3 pm.  Professor John will host the meeting, whose purpose is to seek input and inform the academic research community about the goals, strategies and implementation of the sub-surface oil and dispersant monitoring plan being developed by the Unified Command. This draft plan responds to a tasking by the National Incident Commander, Admiral Thad Allen, for a comprehensive plan to determine the distribution and concentration of oil and dispersants in nearshore and offshore waters and sediments of the Gulf of Mexico.  This meeting will seek input relative to the scope (variables to be monitored), scale (spatial distribution), intensity, and frequency of sampling to assure careful monitoring of the fate and distribution of DWH oil and related dispersants released into the environment.  This plan specifically targets the fate of oil and dispersants, levels of dissolved oxygen and other key physical and chemical parameters. This plan is focused on the near term and does not consider the wider ecological effects per se, although input on these subjects may be discussed in the meetings.  Participants should be prepared to offer suggestions on the proposed program, understanding the existing constraints (e.g., what is covered by Response and Restoration, and duration), as well as the potential roles academic partners can play in the design, collection and interpretation of data.  Participants should also be prepared to hear from the Unified command as to the boundaries set on this specific effort. The draft plan is attached.
Please share this invitation with investigators at your institution who may be interested in attending.  Logistical information about the meeting may be found below.
Laura S. Levy, Ph.D.
Professor of Microbiology & Immunology
Vice President for Research
Tulane University


The meeting will be held in the Rogers Memorial Chapel on Tulane’s uptown campus. Parking will be extremely tight but may be found near the campus on the Broadway Street side.  A good alternative is to take the shuttle from University Square at 200 Broadway Street.
Please find a campus map here:
(the Chapel is Building 73 at the top of the map, 1100 block of Broadway Street)
Parking is readily available at University Square ( There is a free shuttle to campus that leaves at 12:20pm and will arrive in front of Howard Tilton Library at 12:35pm. The chapel is a short walk away. Return shuttles will leave Howard Tilton Library at regular intervals, including at 3:15, 3:35 and 3:55 to return to the University Square parking lot. (Complete shuttle schedule:
General visitor information, including maps and driving directions, can be found at

Attached File:  SubSurfaceDirStrategy8.18.pdf

By Admin (on 8/10/2010 @ 11:05:47, in Oil Spill, read 1717 times)

The Office of Research and the Office of External Affairs along with several key faculty members have been working with the other research universities in Louisiana to prepare a proposal to BP to request a share of the $500M that BP has targeted for research related to the oil spill and a resilient Gulf Coast.  That proposal is attached.  Also attached is a letter drafted by the group to explain some of the key points of the proposal.  The proposal: 

(1)    Establishes the Gulf Research Institute for a Resilient Louisiana (GRI-RL) to be housed within the Coastal Sustainability Consortium (CSC).  The CSC is a consortium of the four research universities in Louisiana active in coastal sustainability issues (UNO, LSU, Tulane, ULL)

(2)    Eighty-percent (80%) of the BP funds will be distributed to researchers throughout the state through a peer-reviewed proposal process

(3)    All universities in Louisiana may participate either by becoming affiliate members of the CSC or as principal investigators (or co-PIs) on proposals to the GRI-RL

 The Office of External Affairs is currently working with state officials and our national legislative delegation to help encourage BP to fund the proposal.  We will keep you updated on any news.

Attached File:

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