The organizers, sponsors and participants of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference share the common goal to improve society’s ability to understand the Gulf of Mexico, from its ecosystems to its people, and ensure the region’s long-term health and resiliency. An important aspect of this goal is to understand the impacts of petroleum pollution and related stressors on marine and coastal ecosystems and on coastal populations, and to apply that information to improve future response, mitigation, and restoration following spills. Each year since the conference’s inception in 2013, researchers have gathered together to share what they learned and identify what other work needs to be done. Now it is time to turn our attention to making all that has been learned more useful.
The 2017 conference theme, “Ecosystem Approaches to Gulf Response and Restoration,” encourages researchers to consider the application of their results to practical use. Looking across a broad range of disciplines, what have we learned about oil spills and their impacts that can advance response strategies and improve how we approach restoration?
What have we learned that leaves the Gulf and other regions better prepared for oil spills and other environmental management challenges?
What have we learned that can help reduce uncertainty and mitigate ecological, social and health impacts of a future spill?
What do resource managers and response and restoration practitioners still need to know about oil breakdown, long-term fate and impacts of oil on ecosystems and communities when responding to a spill and designing subsequent restoration projects?
Ultimately, the many researchers who have worked on oil spill response and restoration since the Deepwater Horizon spill are trying to gain knowledge that better positions us – the region and the nation – to respond to a future disaster
Through plenary and concurrent sessions, the conference will provide a forum for the Gulf of Mexico research community (nationally and internationally, funded through private, federal and non-federal support) to share the latest scientific results with academic, agency, non-profit and industry stakeholders and bring greater context to and integration of ongoing research. Time is allowed to promote dialogue about how research will impact response, restoration, conservation, policy and management, and enhance public understanding of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem.
2017 Conference Objectives
Using scientific research will be critical to informing planning, preparedness, response and recovery for future events. Connecting this to decision makers in the response and restoration communities will be key in areas such as:
Biogeochemical processes, ecological impacts and human dimensions contributing to effective restoration and recovery efforts.
Topics can include restoration science, restoration methods, transfer of technology and monitoring protocols from other spills, incorporating oil spill science, recovery process of injured/restored habitat, case studies, damage assessment tools
Discoveries and innovative technologies in future oil spill response and management strategies.
Topics can include dispersants, novel clean up strategies and technologies, response tools, mitigation, community disaster response
Human dimensions of oil spills and developing strategies that reduce harms of oil spills and enhance the resilience of communities.
Topics can include public health, environmental health, socioeconomics, fisheries (food safety and management), community impacts of disasters
Ecological impacts that inform future spill outcomes and response.
Topics can include ecological impacts (coastal, pelagic, benthic, food webs, large marine vertebrates, birds), ecosystem services, exposure trials, monitoring, fisheries (populations)
Long-term fate and impacts.
Topics can include baseline data, monitoring, information needs from other Outer Continental Shelf areas, data availability from other spills, integrating information across fields, long-term impacts, integrating field data into models, methodologies for measuring impacts
Breakdown and transport of hydrocarbons.
Topics can include biodegradation, droplet formation, marine oil snow sedimentation and flocculent accumulation (MOSSFA) events, aerosols, toxicity of weathered oil and by-products, impact of dispersants on processes
Incorporation of data from various sources into databases, models and decision-making tools.
Topics can include database management, data analysis, modeling, informatics, decision-making tools
Outreach and science communications to link new research and findings to policy and management decisions.
Contributions can include communications tools, outreach strategies, stakeholder engagement, environmental health literacy
Cvent Online Event Registration Software | Copyright © 2000-2017 Cvent, Inc. All rights reserved.