Another important component of the GRP’s work involves conducting outreach, engaging stakeholders, and encouraging collaboration in ways that help foster the science and other activities needed to bring about significant and lasting benefits for the Gulf region and the nation. 2016 highlights included the following:
- Participation by GRP staff and advisory board members in a wide variety of meetings and events with various stakeholders from government, industry, and nongovernmental organizations. Our involvement helped inform people about what the GRP is and get perspectives on research needs and the areas where the GRP can provide the most effective support in helping to address shared challenges relating to offshore energy systems, human health, and environmental resources.
- Improved data management policy to ensure that all data and information generated by GRP-funded projects are ultimately available to other researchers and the public for future applications. This has involved ongoing collaboration with other funding organizations to ensure all data are available in common locations and compatible formats.
- Convened a GRP Advisory Board meeting in Villahermosa, Mexico to initiate discussion about international collaboration with the other Gulf of Mexico countries and begin setting up a framework for future collaborations.
- Increased the volume and reach of outreach activities, including campaigns for five grant opportunities aimed at different applicant pools. This required identifying new audiences, building new tailored contact lists, and growing subscriptions to our email updates.
- Provided support for the 2016 Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference, including sponsorship of a session focused on research synthesis and a workshop on communication about science.
- Collaborated with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on our first joint funding opportunity, which allowed us to connect with new, broader audiences in the areas of human health and community resilience.
- Continued coordination with multiple federal agencies and Deepwater Horizon–related programs—including Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Interagency Coordinating Committee on Oil Pollution Research, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, RESTORE Act state Centers of Excellence, and RESTORE Council—to share information and coordinate activities on issues of common interest.