The GRP provides support for various other activities that help foster the science, collaboration, and capacities needed to bring about significant and lasting benefit for the Gulf region and the nation.
National Academies Activities
Supporting National Academies work relevant to our focus areas allows us to help develop knowledge around a variety of topics in order to inform our future funding opportunities and investments. In 2018, there were six consensus studies, one workshop, and a standing committee under way for which the GRP provided full or partial funding.
- Understanding and Predicting the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: Critical Gaps and Recommendations: This GRP-led study identified existing knowledge gaps about the Gulf of Mexico LCS and provided recommendations for a suite of complementary efforts that could be undertaken to fill these gaps. The consensus study report was published in 2018.
- Designing Safety Regulations for High-Hazard Industries: This study, led by the Transportation Research Board, examined key factors relevant to government safety regulators when choosing among regulatory design types, particularly for preventing low-frequency, high consequence events. The consensus study report was published in 2018.
- Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast: This study, led by the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources, identified what research is needed to improve the understanding of interactions and feedbacks between physical processes and coastal development along the U.S. Gulf Coast. The consensus study report was published in 2018.
- Evaluation of the Use of Chemical Dispersants in Oil Spill Response: A comprehensive synthesis to assess the effects and efficacy of dispersants as an oil spill response. The study is being led by the Ocean Studies Board and will be completed in 2019.
- Measuring Community Resilience: A study to determine effective ways to measure the resilience of a community to natural hazards and other disruptions. The study is being led by the Office of Special Projects and will be completed in 2019.
- The Science of Effective Mentoring in Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine, and Mathematics (STEMM): A study to examine STEMM mentoring programs and practices at the undergraduate and graduate levels to assess the success of programs for mentoring individuals traditionally marginalized in STEMM fields. The study is being led by the Board on Higher Education and Workforce and will be completed in 2019.
- The Human Factors of Process Safety and Worker Empowerment in the Offshore Oil Industry: The workshop, held by the Board on Human-Systems Integration, explored human factors of process safety and worker empowerment in relation to the offshore oil industry. The proceedings of a workshop was published in 2018.
- Standing Committee to Advise the Gulf Research Program on the Understanding Gulf Ocean Systems Research Campaign: The committee of experts is guiding the GRP in the design, planning, and implementation of a long-term research campaign to improve understanding of the Gulf of Mexico LCS and other Gulf ocean systems.
Collaboration, Outreach, and Engagement
In 2018, various efforts occurred to help us collaborate, communicate, and engage more effectively with our stakeholders on topics relevant to accomplishing our mission and vision. Highlights include:
- Sponsoring the 2018 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference, which focused on science relevant to the Gulf of Mexico region.
- Sponsoring a summit led by the Society of Petroleum Engineers on safer offshore energy production to identify areas where research is needed to minimize and manage risks for both people and the environment to help minimize the possibility of a major offshore incident.
- Providing funding support for a pilot effort to convert an existing ocean mooring owned by Shell into the first long-term deep ocean observatory in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Collaborating with the Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Program to convene a series of regional workshops in coastal regions around the United States during 2018 and 2019 that are aimed at improving community preparedness for future oil spills.
- Sponsoring the 4th Student Workshop on International Marine and Coastal Management in the Gulf of Mexico, which brought together graduate students from the United States, Mexico, and Cuba in north central Cuba for 1 week of workshops.
- Providing data management training for GRP grantees and fellows in a workshop run by Data Carpentry.