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2016 Gulf Research Program Synthesis Grants Recipients

The Gulf Research Program announced the recipients of three synthesis grants, totaling over $2.1 million, for award year 2016.

Listed in alphabetical order by principal investigator, the award recipients and their research topics are:

Project Director: So-Min Cheong, Ph.D., University of Kansas
Larry B. Crowder, Ph.D., and Jacob Model, Stanford University
Kristi Lewis, Ph.D., St. Mary’s College of Maryland
Community cohesion and recovery after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill – $590,000

This team of researchers plans to use environmental, social, and economic data to examine how coastal communities’ abilities to self-organize and mobilize helped them respond to and recover from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. They will investigate the social-ecological drivers of community-level spill response and the role of nonprofit organizations and nonprofit networks in enhancing community cohesion after the spill. The researchers will generate outputs that scientists, nonprofits, and government stakeholders can use to help communities respond to and recover from oil spills more effectively.

Project Director: Molly McCammon, Alaska Ocean Observing System
Rob Bochenek, Axiom Data Science
Stephen R. Braund, M.A., Stephen R. Braund & Associates
Synthesizing ship tracking data, oil spill model results, and subsistence use information into a unique, interactive tool to aid research and planning in coastal communities bordering the Alaska Beaufort Sea – $530,000
The project team plans to develop an interactive, web-based mapping tool for planners, public and private stakeholders, and community members who rely on subsistence resources in Northern Alaska. This tool will integrate data products that describe vessel traffic patterns, estimated oil spill impacts, and subsistence use patterns for coastal communities along the Beaufort Sea. It is intended to help stakeholders understand how increased vessel traffic or an oil spill could affect different subsistence activities by comparing vessel track and spill impact density maps with newly available subsistence mapping and species distribution data. This tool could help decision makers and stakeholders in the Beaufort Sea area identify which subsistence use areas are particularly vulnerable to increased shipping activities and potential oil spills. A team of resource and community managers who are potential users of the tool will help guide its development. The final tool will have potential utility in other regions of the U.S. outer continental shelf that are experiencing some form of offshore oil development.

Project Director: Steven Murawski, Ph.D., University of South Florida
Claire B. Paris, Ph.D., University of Miami
James N. Sanchirico, Ph.D., University of California, Davis
Understanding oil spill impacts on fishing communities of the Gulf of Mexico: From Deepwater Horizon to future spill scenarios – $1,000,000

The project team plans to synthesize data to explore and quantify how oil spills like Deepwater Horizon affect fishing communities. This work includes both understanding how spills impact communities’ economic, ecological, and social systems — and modeling how these systems could be affected by future spills. Using high-resolution, fishery-dependent datasets, the team will identify how individual communities were affected by the Deepwater Horizon spill. Econometric and hydrodynamic modeling studies will be used to predict such impacts from future potential spills. Working with key fisheries stakeholders and local decision makers, the team plans to identify adaptive strategies that communities could use to mitigate future oil spills’ effects. This project has the potential to transform disaster planning and fisheries management responses to such disasters in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere.

About the Gulf Research Program’s 2016 Synthesis Grants

The Gulf Research Program’s 2016 synthesis grants are intended to support projects that apply scientific synthesis to connect environmental, social, and/or health data to advance understanding of the short- and long-term impacts of offshore oil and gas operations on human communities in coastal regions adjacent to the U.S. outer continental shelf. The grants also advance study design, tools, models and technologies for assessing human exposure to environmental contaminants, including acute or chronic exposures related to oil spills and other sudden and large-scale environmental disasters, and related impacts on individuals and populations.

View the full press release for this announcement.

Visit the grants and fellowships pages to learn more about other Gulf Research Program funding opportunities.