2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 332-12
Presentation Time: 4:35 PM


WALSER, Maggie L., Gulf Research Program, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 500 Fifth Street NW, Washington, DC 20001, mwalser@nas.edu

In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon explosion and fire caused the release of approximately 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The oil spill was the largest in U.S. history and it caused significant impacts on the Gulf environment and people. As part of legal settlements with the companies involved, the federal government asked the National Academy of Sciences – an independent, non-profit organization chartered by Congress in 1863 to provide independent, expert, scientific, engineering, and healthcare advice to the nation – to establish a new $500 million, 30-year research program focused on human health, environmental protection, and oil system safety in the Gulf region. The new program, called the Gulf Research Program, is directed to work in three areas: research and development, education and training, and environmental monitoring. Program activities will focus on the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. outer continental shelf regions where human communities, ecosystems, and energy production co-exist, but activities that transfer knowledge to or from other offshore U.S. or international hydrocarbon-producing regions is allowed under the mandate. The program, which began planning in July 2013, now has had two years to take shape. This presentation will introduce the program, summarize program planning, outline the program’s mission and goals, and describe first-year activities and initial funding opportunities. It will highlight the program’s emphasis on funding and facilitating innovation, education, collaboration, and cross-disciplinary work.