Experts from Clarkson University's Beacon Institute for Rivers & Estuaries (Beacon, N.Y. on the Hudson River) are available today for interviews about the Indian Point nuclear power plant transformer fire oil spill: its potential environmental impacts (possible toxicity, impact of dissolved oil), and monitoring of the Hudson River following the spill.
Tim Sugrue, president of the Beacon Institute; Jim Bonner, chief research officer at Beacon; and Clarkson Environmental Engineering Prof. Pooji Yapa are available for interview.
Faculty and researchers associated with the Beacon Institute have done extensive field research on the Hudson River watershed and maintain the River and Estuary Observatory Network (REON) on the Hudson to collect physical, chemical and biological data from various points using an integrated network of sensor arrays. Beacon Institute is focused on advancing real-time monitoring of New York's rivers, commercialization of emerging environmental sensor technology, long-term public policy solutions to protect waterways and expanded academic offerings. Yapa is an expert on the modeling of surface oil spills and the impact of oil spills on the ecosystem. During the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Yapa was invited by the U.S. government to be an adviser to NOAA on deep-water plumes and a member of the Flow Rate Task Group that calculated the oil discharge rate. He received the U.S. Geological Services director's award for exemplary services to the nation for the work he did during the Horizon response. He also has expertise in shallow water spills.
Bonner established the Shoreline Environmental Research Facility in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he developed and implemented technologies that use high-frequency radar to map surface water along the Texas coastline. He has developed new technologies that provide real-time continuous monitoring with in-situ sensing ("sensing in place") to measure important water parameters. With funding from the National Science Foundation, Bonner has undertaken a national effort to create a cyber-collaboratory framework, enabling collection and circulation of real-time data and data analysis in the study of oxygen depletion in water. He has long track record as a successful administrator including his present position and previous positions as the Regional Director of the Texas Engineering Experiment Station and the Coastal Oil Spill Simulation System (COSS) in Corpus Christi, Texas. He is the recipient of a 2012 OSPRA (Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act) award by the Texas General Land office for providing innovative technological solutions in oil spill preparedness and prevention.