Newswise — As the Gulf Coast oil spill continues to be a major problem, we have expanded our list of faculty and staff who can speak authoritatively on various aspects, including assessments of ocean currents that could be key factors in determining what land areas will be most affected by the spill. The updated list follows and will be posted — and perhaps periodically updated — in the “hot topics” section of our news page at tamunews.tamu.edu.
Oil Spills, Oil Cleanup
Dr. Ayal Anis, a physical oceanographer at Texas A&M-Galveston, can discuss physical actions of oil spills taking place in the water.
Dr. Drew Vastano, professor of oceanography at Texas A&M, has done research with modeling surface currents. He can also speak about winds that might move oil spills around.
Dr. Norm Guinasso Jr. is director of the Geochemical Environmental Research Group (GERG) at Texas A&M and is very familiar with oil spills, movement of oil spills and containment procedures. He has years of experience working in the Gulf of Mexico.
Effect of Oil Spills on the Environment
Dr. Chuck Kennicutt, a member of the Geochemical and Environmental Research (GERG) group at Texas A&M, can talk about environmental monitoring and oil spills. He worked as part of the team that assessed the damage done by the Exxon Valdez spill.
Dr. John Tunnell Jr. is associate director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. He can discuss effects of oil spills on coral reefs, marine life and estuarine systems, and the long-term effects of oil spills.
Effect of Oil Spills on Marine Life
Dr. John Wormuth is a biological oceanographer with expertise in the marine life of the Gulf of Mexico.
Dr. Steve DiMarco can discuss physical oceanography of the Gulf of Mexico and how oil spills might affect the “dead zone,” a large are of the gulf that has very low oxygen levels that can be harmful to marine life. He can also speak about the pollution effects of oil spills.
Dr. Gilbert Rowe is with Texas A&M Galveston and his research includes deep-sea biology, and the biogeochemistry of benthic communities.
Oil Pollution and Control
Dr. Ernie Mancini, director of the Berg-Hughes Center for Petroleum and Sedimentary Studies at Texas A&M, is an expert in petroleum systems in central and eastern Gulf of Mexico, carbonate reservoir characterization and modeling and conventional and unconventional petroleum systems studies.
Ocean Engineering, Rig and Offshore Operations
Dr. Bill Bryant, professor of oceanography and former department head, has expertise in ocean engineering as well as the geotechnical and geophysics of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.
Tracking Oil Spills
Dr. Piers Chapman is professor and head of oceanography. His research interests include marine pollution, oil production control methods, particularly dispersant usage. He is currently the lead researcher on a major NOAA-funded project investigating the hypoxic zone over the shelf of Louisiana and Texas, and serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Geophysical Research (Oceans).
Dr. Robert Hetland, associate professor of oceanography, is an expert in ocean current modeling and can discuss “loop” currents and how these currents change over time. He can aslo speak about projections of where spills may be headed.
Dr. Andy Kronenberg, head of Geology & Geophysics Dept. at Texas A&M, is an expert in structural geology, tectonophysics and mineral physics, with emphasis on mechanical properties of Earth materials.