National Academies Press: OpenBook

The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2016 (2017)

Chapter: Summary of Grantees

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Suggested Citation:"Summary of Grantees." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24885.
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Summary of Grantees

AWARDED IN 2016

2016 Exploratory Grants

Enhancing community resilience and optimizing oil spill response through the participatory design of a decision support system – $460,000

Project Director: Tony Grubesic (Arizona State University)

Project Team Affiliations: Arizona State University in cooperation with University of Utah

The project team plans to develop an open-source decision-support system that helps responders minimize an oil spill’s environmental, economic, and social impacts by optimizing the deployment of response crews and equipment. By incorporating information from relevant stakeholders and community leaders and mathematically modeling different oil spill scenarios, this system is intended to help coastal communities proactively plan effective responses to deep and ultra-deep water oil spills.

Collaborative modeling with fuzzy cognitive maps: A novel approach to achieving safety culture – $407,000

Project Director: Antonie Jetter (Portland State University)

Project Team Affiliations: Portland State University in cooperation with Michigan State University, Northeastern University, and Vanderbilt University

Researchers plan to develop and test a scenario-planning toolkit that oil and gas industry stakeholders can use to explore the factors that strengthen or detract from their organization’s safety culture. They will consider how these factors can be modeled collaboratively, whether modeling can address uncertainty about these factors and their causal relationships, if this exercise helps participants understand what bolsters and hinders safety culture, and whether their participation results in actionable outcomes. Researchers hope this project will produce a modeling approach that organizations can use to develop context-specific safety culture training that is tailored to their unique needs.

Building coastal community subject-matter expert capacity through an innovative “citizen science” program to collect quantitative beach dynamic and tar ball data for oil spill planning and response in coastal regions with offshore oil and gas operations – $481,000

Project Director: Mark Kulp (University of New Orleans)

Project Team Affiliations: University of New Orleans in cooperation with Owens Coastal Consultants

The project team intends to pair community groups and volunteers with experienced scientists so the community members can learn how to collect shoreline data. These data can be used to inform oil spill planning and response. In addition to developing citizen scientists who can help address a typical gap in oil spill data, the project team intends to produce a program template that other coastal communities could use to develop similar efforts.

Suggested Citation:"Summary of Grantees." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24885.
×

Multidisciplinary knowledge integration to support Louisiana coastal indigenous communities’ response to natural and technological disasters and adaptation to climate change – $312,000

Project Director: Tara Lambeth (University of New Orleans Center for Hazard Assessment, Response, and Technology)

Project Team Affiliations: University of New Orleans Center for Hazard Assessment, Response, and Technology in cooperation with Louisiana Sea Grant, United Houma Nation, and University of New Orleans

The project team plans to collaborate with two United Houma Nation communities to document how environmental stressors affect the livelihoods of these communities and shape the mitigation strategies they use to protect their coastal lands. Team members will record traditional ecological knowledge, local adaption plans, current mitigation efforts, and the tribe’s adaptive capacities. They intend to produce a resource that can be used by the United Houma Nation and other indigenous communities facing similar challenges. This work may encourage other mitigation and adaption planning efforts and increase communication between communities and policy makers.

Developing a systems-theoretic, cross-disciplinary, scenario-based approach to reducing risk in offshore oil and gas operations – $231,000

Project Director: Nancy Leveson (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Project Team Affiliations: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Building on work that characterizes accidents as processes that involve complex interactions among social and technical factors, the project director plans to incorporate additional managerial, regulatory, environmental, and community preparedness factors into her new safety engineering approach. She proposes to strengthen cross-disciplinary efforts to prevent accidents such as Deepwater Horizon by creating tools that non-technical stakeholders can use to contribute relevant environmental and social knowledge to scenario planning, preventative design, and accident-response activities.

Can deliberative discussions lay a foundation for integrated decision-making networks? – $259,000

Project Director: Susan Lovelace (South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium)

Project Team Affiliations: South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium in cooperation with College of Charleston and University of Oklahoma

The project team will use an established approach in a new way to educate and engage coastal residents and community leaders. The team’s goal is to empower these stakeholders to prioritize coastal management issues and become more active in local natural resource management decisions. Through surveys, educational activities, and small-group discussions, project team members plan to identify insights about coastal management priorities and decision making that they can share with local, state, and regional leaders, particularly those in areas with offshore oil and gas activity.

Advancing a societal impact assessment framework for oil and gas operations in the Northern Gulf of Mexico – $250,000

Project Director: Richard McLaughlin (Harte Research Institute, Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi)

Project Team Affiliations: Harte Research Institute, Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi

The project team plans to develop a framework that coastal decision makers can use to measure and track the socioeconomic impacts of offshore oil and gas operations in the context of environmental change and extreme weather. After reviewing relevant publications, conducting interviews and surveys, and holding focus groups with affected communities, the project team will create a formal societal impact assessment protocol that Gulf of Mexico communities can access online.

Suggested Citation:"Summary of Grantees." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24885.
×

Factoring in the human in offshore operations: Forces for scenario planning – $199,000

Project Director: Ranjana Mehta (Texas A&M University)

Project Team Affiliations: Texas A&M University in cooperation with Benchmark and The University of Texas at Austin

Researchers plan to explore how fatigue affects workers’ performance during simulated offshore drilling scenarios. They also plan to identify which methods drillers would be most likely to adopt to reduce fatigue during their shifts. By characterizing drillers’ cognitive performance across shifts and capturing the physiological impact of maintaining performance, this project could help planners develop scenarios to prevent or mitigate human (or systems) error that align more closely with workers’ capabilities.

Virtual reality offshore operations training infrastructure: Enhancing expert containment, decision making, and risk communications – $383,000

Project Director: Saeed Salehi (University of Oklahoma)

Project Team Affiliations: University of Oklahoma

The project team plans to develop training modules to evaluate and strengthen workers’ decision-making skills by developing tools and modules that simulate loss of well control scenarios in the offshore oil and gas environment. These modules could enhance process safety in offshore oil and gas operations by helping operators, training organizations, and regulators assess and manage preventable risks related to human factors.

2016 Synthesis Grants

Community cohesion and recovery after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill – $590,000

Project Director: So-Min Cheong (University of Kansas)

Project Team Affiliations: University of Kansas in cooperation with St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Stanford University

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.

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

Project Director: Molly McCammon (Alaska Ocean Observing System)

Project Team Affiliations: Alaska Ocean Observing System in cooperation with Axiom Data Science and Stephen R. Braund & Associates

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

Suggested Citation:"Summary of Grantees." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24885.
×

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.

Understanding oil spill impacts on fishing communities of the Gulf of Mexico: From Deepwater Horizon to future spill scenarios – $1,000,000

Project Director: Steven Murawski (University of South Florida)

Project Team Affiliations: University of South Florida in cooperation with University of California, Davis, and University of Miami

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.

COMPLETED OR IN PROGRESS IN 2016

Visit www.nas.edu/gulf/grants/funded-projects for more information about projects completed or in progress in 2016.

2015 Exploratory Grants

Identifying critical middle-skilled positions and career pathways in the upstream oil and gas industry – $138,000

Project Team Affiliations: Houston Community College

Status: Completed in 2016

Assessing long-term linkages between development of oil and gas industry–related coastal infrastructure, societal well-being, and ecosystem function in coastal Louisiana – $130,000

Project Team Affiliations: The Water Institute of the Gulf

Status: Completed in 2016

Advancing optimization of ecosystem services to inform management and restoration of the Gulf of Mexico – $128,000

Project Team Affiliations: Stanford University in cooperation with University of Minnesota and The Nature Conservancy

Status: In progress into 2017

Expanding ecosystem service provisioning from coastal restoration to minimize environmental and energy constraints – $148,000

Project Team Affiliations: Louisiana State University

Status: Completed in 2016

Suggested Citation:"Summary of Grantees." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24885.
×

Virtual offshore safety awareness (VOSA) site – $125,000

Project Team Affiliations: Houston Advanced Research Center

Status: Completed in 2016

Immersion simulation: Interdisciplinary training for the Gulf of Mexico workforce – $125,000

Project Team Affiliations: Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

Status: Completed in 2016

Using problem-based learning to develop a future labor force of environmentally knowledgeable and safety-certified workers – $125,000

Project Team Affiliations: Mobile Area Education Foundation in cooperation with University of South Alabama; Sarpy and Associates, LLC; Mobile County Public Schools; and AH Environmental Consultants

Status: Completed in 2016

Linking energy-production technologies to human health protection: A “to and through” approach to the interdisciplinary training of a middle-skilled workforce – $125,000

Project Team Affiliations: Tulane University in cooperation with Fletcher Technical Community College and South Central Louisiana Technical College

Status: In progress into 2017

The effect of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on human well-being in the Gulf of Mexico – $118,000

Project Team Affiliations: Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi

Status: Completed in 2016

Modeling stress-associated health effects of multiple impacted ecosystem services in the Gulf of Mexico – $126,000

Project Team Affiliations: College of Charleston in cooperation with University of Maryland, University of South Carolina, and University of Illinois

Status: Completed in 2016

Preparing underserved communities for career paths in energy, environmental health, and restoration – $177,000

Project Team Affiliations: Oxfam America in cooperation with Limitless Vistas, Inc.

Status: Completed in 2016

Developing a decision-support tool to evaluate ecosystem services and associated uncertainties using a Bayesian belief network – $124,000

Project Team Affiliations: University of Southern Mississippi

Status: In progress into 2017

2015 Synthesis Grants

Understanding the trajectory of coastal salt marsh structure, function, and processes in the face of sea-level rise: A synthesis from historical imagery, biophysical processes, and hierarchical modeling – $507,000

Project Team Affiliations: University of Southern Mississippi in cooperation with University of Georgia

Status: In progress into 2017

Suggested Citation:"Summary of Grantees." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24885.
×

The transport of oil to the coast in the top centimeter of the water column – $433,000

Project Team Affiliations: Florida State University

Status: In progress into 2017

Living shorelines: Synthesizing the results of a decade of implementation in coastal Alabama – $469,000

Project Team Affiliations: Dauphin Island Sea Lab in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy and Northeastern University

Status: In progress into 2017

Integrating visual and acoustic data on cetacean abundance and habitat in Gulf of Mexico deep water – $451,000

Project Team Affiliations: Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Status: In progress into 2017

Utilizing secondary data to assess the health and health system impacts of natural and technological disasters in the Gulf – $181,000

Project Team Affiliations: Texas A&M University Health Science Center

Status: In progress into 2017

Synthesizing spatial dynamics of recreational fish and fisheries to inform restoration strategies: Red drum in the Gulf of Mexico – $480,000

Project Team Affiliations: University of Florida in cooperation with Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

Status: In progress into 2017

Quantifying environmental and anthropogenic drivers of sea turtle distribution and abundance in the Gulf of Mexico – $494,000

Project Team Affiliations: University of Central Florida in cooperation with University of Miami

Status: In progress into 2017

Synthesis of historical observations using novel model approaches to improve understanding and predictability of deep Gulf of Mexico circulation – $897,000

Project Team Affiliations: Florida State University in cooperation with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Florida State University, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, Leidos Corp., Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada, and Tendral, LLC

Status: In progress into 2017

Improved understanding of the northern Gulf of Mexico pelagic ecosystem: Integration, synthesis, and modeling of high-resolution zooplankton and fish data – $504,000

Project Team Affiliations: University of Maryland in cooperation with Oregon State University

Status: In progress into 2017

Suggested Citation:"Summary of Grantees." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24885.
×

Acknowledgments

The GRP would like to acknowledge and thank the numerous individuals who assisted and contributed to the GRP’s work in 2016 as collaborators, advisors, participants in consensus studies and workshops, and grant and fellowship application reviewers—all of whom acted in a volunteer capacity. Without their efforts the work of the GRP would not be possible.

In addition, we would like to offer a special thanks to seven departing GRP Advisory Board members whose terms ended in 2016: Thomas Hunter (Chair), Donald Boesch, Danielle Deane, Bernard Goldstein, Christopher Reddy, LaDon Swann, and Isiah Warner. These members played an integral role in guiding the GRP through its initial start-up years. We would also like to offer a special thanks to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for its collaboration and financial contribution of $5 million on a joint grant opportunity being administered by the GRP.

Thank you to this entire community of amazing people for their time, service, and dedication working for the benefit of communities and ecosystems in the Gulf and beyond.

About the Gulf Research Program

In collaboration with others in the Gulf region and around the nation, the Gulf Research Program works to improve understanding of the connections among offshore energy production, the environment, and the people who depend on both. The Gulf Research Program is a division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Learn More

Visit www.nas.edu/gulf to learn more and to sign up for e-updates about program activities and funding opportunities. To learn more about the National Academies, visit www.nationalacademies.org.

Contact the Gulf Research Program

Phone: (202) 334-1973

Email: gulfprogram@nas.edu

CREDITS

Schmahl/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

Woody Woodrow, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

iStock/fallbrook

iStock/Michael Fitzsimmons

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

From top to bottom on the page: John Durban; Scott Hemmerling/The Water Institute of the Gulf; Win Henderson/Federal Emergency Management System; Gulf Research Program/B. Mabee

Top: National Aeronautics and Space Administration/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio; Second from top: Sherry Callaway/Limitless Vistas, Inc.; Third from top: K. Mansfield, University of Central Florida Marine Turtle Research Group (Permit: NMFS 19508)

Top: Margie Savage; Middle: Mote Marine Laboratory/Conor Goulding; Bottom: Photo by Kevin Meazell

Third from top: Image courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Okeanos Explorer Program

Bottom: Image courtesy of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Top: iStock/RainervonBrandis; Bottom: iStock/RoschetzkyIstockPhoto

Top: iStock/michaelbwatkins; Bottom: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/U.S. Department of Commerce

iStock/aguonaaa

Suggested Citation:"Summary of Grantees." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24885.
×

image

Over its 30-year duration, the Gulf Research Program will work to enhance oil system safety and the protection of human health and the environment in the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. outer continental shelf areas by seeking to improve understanding of the region’s interconnecting human, environmental, and energy systems and fostering application of these insights to benefit Gulf communities, ecosystems, and the nation.

Image

Suggested Citation:"Summary of Grantees." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24885.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Summary of Grantees." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24885.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Summary of Grantees." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24885.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Summary of Grantees." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24885.
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Suggested Citation:"Summary of Grantees." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24885.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Summary of Grantees." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24885.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Summary of Grantees." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24885.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Summary of Grantees." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2016. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24885.
×
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The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2016 Get This Book
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Each year, the Gulf Research Program (GRP) produces an annual report to summarize how funds were used. These reports review accomplishments, highlight activities, and, over time, will assess metrics to determine how the program is progressing in accomplishing its goals. The 2016 annual report is the third report in this series.

The GRP is an independent, science-based program founded in 2013. Through grants, fellowships, and other activities, it seeks to enhance oil system safety and the protection of human health and the environment in the Gulf of Mexico region and other areas along the U.S. outer continental shelf with offshore oil and gas operations.

This report captures key developments and successes in 2016, as the GRP ramped up its grant offerings with five competitions for five different grant types: exploratory, synthesis, capacity building, research-practice, and research and development. The GRP continues to build on its past work and seeks to learn, think about, and plan for how and where it can have the greatest cumulative and lasting impacts.

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