Rhode Island Science and Technology Advisory Council (STAC)

Making Innovation Central to Rhode Island's Future Gina M. Raimondo, Governor

URI Researchers Lend Resources to Aid Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup Effort

Published on June 4, 2010

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill has landed University of Rhode Island (URI) researchers and graduates in the heart of the tragic event to lend resources and expertise in an effort to aid cleanup.

Applied Science Associates (ASA), a Wakefield-based company founded by URI ocean engineering professor Malcolm Spaulding, has been working to track the spread of the oil and assess its potential impact on the environment.  Deborah French McCay, who received her doctorate from URI??s Graduate School of Oceanography, is leading the team and using software developed by the RI company to track the oil.  Spaulding said that ASA??s oil spill modeling systems, OILMAP and SIMAP, are the most widely used models in the world for tracking and assessing damage.

??For too long, we??ve taken our oceans for granted,? said David Farmer, dean of the URI Graduate School of Oceanography. ??Life begins in the oceans and life depends on the oceans.?

The University will also send out its research vessel, the Endeavor, to aid in the cleanup. The ship, carrying a team of scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and thirteen University employees, will deploy an underwater vehicle called Sentry that can operate in deep water and will track, characterize, and sample subsurface oil in the Gulf.  The Endeavor is scheduled to remain in the Gulf until June 30, a trip that is being funded by the National Science Foundation.

Read more about the oil spill here

Read more about the Endeavor's trip to the Gulf

Read M. Spaulding's prediction of the spill's flow

Read about ASA's work to track the oil spill

Read about President Obama's clean energy speech at Carnegie Mellon University

Read about Global Climate Change Impacts in the US, co-authored by Professor Jerry Melillo

RI Senator Sheldon Whitehouse announces legislation to protect oceans

Read Providence Journal article on Senator Whitehouse's legislation here

Attend Seeing Clear: Perspectives on the Gulf Oil Spill on September 29, 2010 at the University of Rhode Island

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