Oil Spill Science Seminar: Impacts to Gulf Wetlands

Oil spill science seminar - Wetlands 1
Attendees learn how the Deepwater Horizon impacted Gulf wetlands. (Louisiana Sea Grant)

August 11, 2015 – Slidell, LA

This workshop was a full-day event in which Scientists shared published, peer-reviewed work regarding the impacts of Deepwater Horizon to wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico. Specific topics covered included ecosystem effects, impacts to marsh life, and shoreline response and restoration. A breakout session to gather audience input followed the seminar presentations.

View a video of the workshop here.

Introduction to the Oil Spill Science Outreach Program
Dr. Emily Maung-Douglass is an oil spill extension specialist at Louisiana Sea Grant (LSU). She facilitated the day’s workshop and gave attendees an explanation of the Sea Grant-GoMRI oil spill outreach program. View the PDF here.

Keynote address: Impacts of Deepwater Horizon on wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico
Dr. Robert Twilley
is Executive Director of Louisiana Sea Grant College Program and professor of oceanography and coastal sciences at LSU. Dr. Twilley set the stage for the day by providing a background on Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the wetlands of the Gulf.

An update: The effects of the Macondo Oil Spill on Coastal Ecosystems
Dr. Eugene Turner
is an LSU Boyd Professor and Professor/Director of Coastal Ecology Institute in the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences (LSU) and a PI of the Coastal Waters Consortia (CWC). Dr. Turner provided attendees a closer look at widely-accepted ecosystem response paradigms pre-Deepwater Horizon versus what actually happened during and after the spill. Topics included coastal erosion and persistence of hydrocarbons. 

Louisiana salt marsh biogeochemistry and microbial community dynamics following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
Dr. Brian Roberts
is an Associate Professor at Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) and a PI of the Coastal Waters Consortium (CWC). Dr. Roberts delved into how marsh biogeochemistry and associated microbial communities were impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

How was biology of a marsh fish affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill?
Dr. Fernando Galvez
is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at LSU. Dr. Galvez described the physiological, genomic, and developmental consequences of Deepwater Horizon on the marsh killifish.

Remote Sensing Based Approach to Monitor the Health and Productivity of Coastal Wetlands
Dr. Deepak Mishra
is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at University of Georgia. Dr. Mishra explained how remote sensing was used by his team to understand the biophysical impacts of Deepwater Horizon on the marsh, including parameters such as chlorophyll and biomass.

Heavily Oiled Salt Marsh following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Ecological Comparisons of Shoreline Cleanup Treatments and Recovery
Dr. Scott Zengel
is a Senior Scientist with Research Planning, Inc., and served as one of the NOAA shoreline assessment leads during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Dr. Zengel wrapped up the seminar portion of the workshop by describing outcomes of shoreline clean up treatments post-Deepwater Horizon.

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Workshop speakers. From left to right: D. Mishra, F. Galvez, S. Zengel, B. Roberts, R.E. Turner. (Louisiana Sea Grant)

If you would like to learn more about our seminars, please visit our presentations webpage .