LSU Professor of Oceanography and Coastal Studies Robert Carney has been named to the National Academy of Sciences’ Gulf of Mexico Program Advisory Group, developed in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
“It is an honor to work with the National Academy of Sciences helping to start a 30-year program that will link science, policy, industry and Gulf of Mexico restoration,” said Carney. “When the court awarded part of the BP fines to the Academy, it was in recognition of NAS’ long-standing and highly effective role of solving complex issues by drawing from the highest level and breadth of national talent.”
The group is tasked with create a strategic vision and guide the program’s development and implementation. Serving for one year, the advisory group will articulate the program’s mission, goals and objectives in order to develop a guiding outline of how the program will operate in its first three to five years.
“The advisory group brings distinction, expertise from diverse disciplines, and a wide range of experience to the task of defining the program,” said NAS President Ralph J. Cicerone.
The 24-member group draws on the science, engineering and health expertise of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council. Chaired by outgoing NAS Vice President Barbara A. Schaal, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, the group includes people with experiences in academia and industry, as well as people with deep connections to the Gulf region.
The $500 million, 30-year Gulf of Mexico program was established as part of the settlements of federal criminal complaints against BP and Transocean Ltd. following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion. It will focus on human health, environmental protection and oil system safety in the Gulf of Mexico and the United States’ Outer Continental Shelf, and will fund and carry out studies, projects and activities in research and development, education and training, and environmental monitoring.
To identify broad opportunities in these areas that best meet the program’s charge, the advisory group will work to understand what other organizations and agencies are doing in the Gulf region. As part of its information gathering activities, the group will conduct a series of in-person and virtual meetings in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Washington, D.C. to identify how the NAS program can make useful and lasting contributions.
The program will be run under the auspices of the National Research Council, the principal operating arm of the NAS and NAE. Together with the IOM, these private, nonprofit institutions provide science, technology, and health policy advice under a congressional charter granted to NAS in 1863. Chris Elfring is the director of the Gulf program at the National Research Council.
For more information about LSU’s coastal research, visit www.lsu.edu/coast.