Program Update: Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative – May 2015
Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) researchers across all funding cycles are currently in their second quarter of 2015 research. So far, the program has funded the work of over 2,100 scientists, post-docs and graduate students and produced more than 500 peer-reviewed journal articles. For more information on the research activities taking place and publications that have come out of the GoMRI Program, thus far, check out our online Research Information System.
The RFP-V proposal submission window, to select the research activities for GoMRI Years 2016– 2018, closed in mid-March. Email reviews took place throughout April and May and review panels will be held in July in Washington, DC. The award announcement is expected to be made in mid-November.
The GoMRI presented a special award of $2,000 at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, PA, May 11-15. The winner was Sahil Veeramoney, a rising junior at the Oregon Episcopal School in Portland, OR. He developed a novel polymer-coated cotton for high efficiency marine oil spill absorption. After bonding an oleophilic and hydrophobic polystyrene to cotton, he tested its efficiency against other natural fibers (raw wool and pure cotton) and a commercially available oil-absorbing polymer, and determined that the polymerized cotton is the most efficient material. In the future, Sahil plans to conduct a cost analysis for large-scale production, once he patents his technology.
The 2016 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference will take place on February 1-4, 2016 at the Marriott Tampa Waterside in Tampa, FL. The 2016 conference theme, “One Gulf: healthy ecosystems, healthy communities,” will focus on opportunities to promote and sustain a healthy Gulf environment, community, and economy, including new discoveries, innovations, technologies, and policies. A strong emphasis this year will be placed on the human dimensions of oil spills in addition to the ecosystem science research that has led past conferences. On May 15, the Conference Executive Committee released a Call for Session proposals. All submissions are due by June 14. Additional information is available on our Conference website at www.gulfofmexicoconference.org.