January 2016 Newsletter
Stay updated with our bi-monthly newsletters!
The University of South Florida, Eckerd College, Florida Institute of Oceanography, Florida State University, Georgia Tech, Harte Research Institute, Mind Open Media, Mote Marine Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, Technical University of Hamburg, Texas A&M University, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, University of Calgary, University of Miami, University of South Alabama, University of Western Australia, University of West Florida, Wageningen University, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

Happy New Year from the C-IMAGE Consortium! Between November and December, we closed out C-IMAGE I, continued research to be presented at the 2016 GoMRI conference, and kicked off an exciting second year for C-IMAGE II. Many significant new publications and news articles feature the diversity of C-IMAGE research. 
The Admin Team celebrates the Holidays on the bow of the
R/V Weatherbird II .

2016 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference - Tampa, FL
1-4 February, 2016

Conference Registration Deadlines (Registration Page):
Final Online Registration - 24 January, 2016

Conference Lodging & Hotel Rooms:
The conference has two hotels with conference rates available, the Marriott Waterside Tampa and Westin Tampa Harbor ( Conference Accommodations Webpage). 

Lodging near  Tampa Airport: The Hilton Garden Inn Tampa Airport
Lodging in  St. Petersburg (for the following weekend): The Hollander Hotel, The Courtyard Marriott.

C-IMAGE  All-Hands Meeting-Friday, 5 February:
The annual All-Hands meeting is scheduled for  Friday, 5 February , 8a-4:30p, at the Marriott Waterside Tampa, Grand Salon F. The All-Hands meeting will cover Year 1 research summaries from each of the six tasks, task breakout to discuss details of Year 2 plans, and discussion on incorporating synthesis into our research.

Visit our webpage for All-Hands Registration. Click  here  to complete registration.
A draft Agenda with local information can be found on our website.

The All-Hands will end at 4:30p and be followed by a dinner at David Hollander's house in Gulfport, FL (transportation will be provided).

For advice on lodging in either Tampa or St. Petersburg, please contact   Sherryl Gilbert  or   Ben Prueitt .

StoryCollider, 1 February, Stageworks Theater

The event is free to the public, you may register at the link above.


C-IMAGE I officially closed on 31 December, 2015, after confirming with the GoMRI Administration unit that all boxes were checked. C-IMAGE I included:
  • 12 institutions
  • Over 150 research team members (including 45 PhD and M.S. students)
  • 58 publications (53 datasets)
  • Approximately 250 outreach activities
We want to thank all those who helped make C-IMAGE I the success it was. Your efforts have laid the framework for a successful consortium.

Quarter 4 Activity Reports:
January is a reporting month for C-IMAGE II activity reports. Please submit word and excel documents to Ben Prueitt.

Conference Calls:
Task 5 Update Postponed, TBD:
With the All Hands Meeting coming up, we've decided to postpone the Task 5 update until after the conference. For a list of all scheduled calls and due dates, please visit:

Task 4 Update-Ecosystem Impacts, 1 December, 2015:
Lead PI, Steve Murawski, presented the summer updates from Task 4 research. Highlights of the update included mapping fate of Ixtoc I with satellites, migration of Risso & Spotted dolphin, carbon cycling and 15N: 13C of Tomtate populations off Alabama coast, and comparissons of fish catches in the northern and southern Gulf of Mexico.  Notes from this call are available upon request, contact Ben Prueitt .

Task 3 Update Notes Available
The notes from the Task 3 Update Call on 3 Nov, 2015 are available upon request. Contact Ben Prueitt for access.

Data Compliance Calls-Completed:
A gracious thank you to our data management team,   Richard McKenzie  or  Todd Chavez, for explaining new GRIID-C policies to all PIs.
45 Oral Presentations, 25 Posters, and 13 Session Chairs at the 2016 GoMOSES Conference - Tampa, FL, 1-4 February
Image: Carl Gandolfo
Researchers in final preparation for 2016 GoMOSES Conference
The annual Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference (GoMOSES), begins on Monday, 1 February. Our members are feverishly finalizing their research for the conference.

This year's conference features 70 presentations (45 oral presentations and 25 posters) from C-IMAGE members on every aspect of our research; Oil fate modelling, high pressure experimentation, oil and dispersant impacts on sediments, fish and marine mammals, fish ecotoxicology, and ecosystem modelling.

Thirteen C-IMAGE PIs are hosting sessions during the week-long conference.

The conference begins with special sessions covering science communication, human health, and ocean observing systems. Dr. Scott Socolofsky (Texas A&M) is hosting the Near-field Modelling Special Session beginning at 1:00p. This session highlights droplet size distributions, coupling models and ocean circulation, and integrating far-field transportation. Socolofsky et al. (2015) covers an introduction to this session's topics, link here.

Oral and poster sessions begin on Day Two of the conference and includes three C-IMAGE PIs leading sessions:

Dr. David Yoskowitz (Harte Research Institute),  Oral Session 01: Incorporating an Ecosystem Services Approach into Restoration and Coastal Management.

Drs. Zach Aman (University of Western Australia) and Micheal Schlüter (Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg), Oral Session 02: Physical and Biological Processes of Oil Droplet Dispersion, Transport, Sedimentation and Bio-degradation.

Drs. David Hollander (USF) and Adolfo Gracia (UNAM), Oral Session 03A: A Tale of Two (Mega) Spills: Comparison of DWH and IXTOC-1 Scenarios, Fates and Effects.
Results from the C-IMAGE Ixtoc cruise this summer are in! This session gives a 30-year perspective of oil spills using the 1979 Ixtoc spill as a model for the future of Deepwater Horizon.

The Ixtoc-I session continues in the morning, and three other PIs begin their sessions:

Dr. Joel Kostka (Georgia Tech), Oral Session 06: Oceanographic Controls of Oil Transport and Microbial Hydrocarbon Biodegradation in the Water Column: from the Surface to the Deepsea. The goal of this session is to improve our predictive understanding of the physical, chemical and biological processes influencing both lateral and vertical transport of oil and other active tracers in the Gulf of Mexico.

Drs. Steven Murawski (USF) and Dana Wetzel (Mote Marine Laboratory), Oral Session 09A: Animal Oil/Dispersant Exposure Trials Post-Deepwater Horizon: Design, Analysis and Interpretation of Results.

Drs. David Portnoy (Harte Research Institute) and Will Patterson (University of Southern Alabama-Dauphin Island Sea Lab), Oral Session 15A: Ecological Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Impacts Across Multiple Scales.

Dr. David Hollander, Oral Session 16A: The Evolution of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Updates on Fate and Transport of the Oil

Dr. Jeff Chanton (Florida State University), Oral Session 17: The Chemistry of Oil Evolution and Exopolymeric Substances and their Interaction with Microbes in Oil Spills.

It will be a busy four days for C-IMAGE where we plan to post Facebook and Twitter posts throughout the conference. Follow us on social media for the conference:  Follow us on Twitter    Like us on Facebook  View our videos on YouTube

C-IMAGE Students of the Month
December 2015
Inok Jun, PhD Student, Texas A&M University, Zachry Department of Civil Engineering. 

Jun's research topic mainly focuses on understanding and predicting the behavior of petroleum fluids in the ocean using the numerical simulation.
Attending the lab experiment about the behavior of bubble with & without current in OTRC (Offshore Technology Research Center) at Texas A&M University.

To read more about Inok's research, visit the blog post here.

January 2016
Travis Washburn, PhD Student, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Travis Washburn analyzes sediment samples looking for infauna (small animals within the sediments).
For our first Student of the Month of the New Year, Travis Washburn from Harte Research Institute/Texas A&M-Corpus Christi works with animal communities living within the  sediments  known as infauna communities. His main question of "Why the deep sea matters?" will be answered to understand the ecosystem services provided by infauna communities.

Read Travis' full Student of the Month Blog, here
Showing the total extent of Ixtoc I surface oil by combining Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZSC) and Landsat imagery. Sun et al (2015)
A recent publication from the University of South Florida-College of Marine Science and Harte Research Institute have tracked the surface oil from the 1979 Ixtoc I spill through archived satellite imagery.

The Ixtoc I spilled an estimated 475,000 metric tons of oil into the southern Gulf of Mexico. It is suggested that 15% of this oil landed on beaches in Mexico and Texas. But the tracking of oil fate and trajectory based solely on where tarballs and slicks washed ashore.

The article, published in Marine Pollution Bulletin, gives an accurate depiction of the impacted water following the Ixtoc I oil spill.

Diagram of the impacts of Corexit 9500A on two bacteria strains, Alcanivorax and Acinetobacter. Overholt et al. (2015)
In 2015, two studies published similar findings on the impact of dispersants on oil degrading bacteria. Overholt et al. (2015) found Acinetobacter growth was inhibited by 34% when exposed to Corexit 9500A. However, Alcanivorax growth increased by 10% with added Corexit 9500A.

Hydrocarbon-degrading bacterial species demonstrate a unique response to dispersed oil compared to their response to crude oil, with potentially opposing effects on toxicity.

The result of this study and  Kleindienst et al (2015) may change the practice of adding dispersants on the surface or at the well head. It was previously thought that adding dispersants increased surface area of oil droplets and biodegradation rates increased. 

C-IMAGE: Reaching Out in the Community....
"Bile: a natural tool for the detection of oil exposure" , Healthy Gulf Seafood Seminar, Long Beach, MS
USF College of Marine Science PhD Student, Susan Snyder, presented at the Healthy Gulf Seafood Seminar on 18 November, 2015. Her talk covered how fish bile can be used to determine exposure to oil and dispersants during oil spills. Susan's findings were published in Environmental Science & Technology, full article.


Breakfast with the Sunrise Rotary Club
C-IMAGE PI Steven Murawksi spends a morning with the Sunrise Rotary Club presenting our research.  The St. Petersburg Sunrise Rotary Club is a network of business professionals committed to supporting the community. They were a gracious bunch!!

Graduate Student Symposium
We consider it a professional development opportunity anytime graduate students take advantage of public speaking.  Five of our graduate students presented their research at the Graduate Student Symposium, Friday January 15.  

Upcoming Events:
C-IMAGE Story Collider, 1 February, 7:30p, Stageworks Theater In conjunction with NPR and Mind Open Media, a  StoryCollider night on 1 Feb is scheduled in Channelside, Tampa. We will have four researchers (Steven Murawski, Kendra Daly, Ernst Peebles, and Isabel Romero) and one local reporter (Jim Verhulst) tell their personal story of how the oil spill impacted their lives. The event is open to the public and will be promoted through local NPR affiliates. For more information, contact  Ben Prueitt .

Journey to Planet Earth: Dispatches from the Gulf Premiere, 29 February
Please distribute!!

Teacher Professional Development
C-IMAGE II Education Team facilitated a C-IMAGE II research and GLOBE Environmental Monitoring including Soil Moisture to support NASA Mission-Climate Monitoring, for the Broward County School District. Eighteen participants were 15 elementary, middle and high school teachers and 3 school district STEM training staff. Great to extend the GoMRI and C-IMAGE II education to a new group of teachers along the east coast of Florida. 

Florida Oceans Day,  10-11 February, Florida Capitol

C-IMAGE Spotlight Videos
Advice for Young Scientists
Advice for Young Scientists
Our outreach team is releasing  short videos  highlighting individual  C-IMAGE scientists. These include videos about Dr. John Gold, Dr. Chuanmin Hu, and more. Videos are all available on our  YouTube page .

Community outreach and education is something C-IMAGE continues to focus on throughout the RFP-IV. Consortium members look to continue to relay new found knowledge to the community.

The C-IMAGE outreach team wants to hear more about how our members interact with the communities. If there is an upcoming event, let Ben Prueitt know and we can promote it through social media, and highlight it in upcoming newsletters.
Grad Student Chancellor Estimates Deepwater Horizon Impacts on Larval Fish, GoMRI Scholar 
Emily holds a Burr fish caught in Tampa Bay
Emily Chancellor is applying her engineering and computer science background to a field that inspires her - marine science - focusing on how the oil spill may have impacted larval fish populations.

Emily recently completed her masters in marine resource assessment at the University of South Florida (USF) and is a  GoMRI scholar with the  C-IMAGE Consortium. She discussed her journey from engineering to marine science and what she has learned along the way.

Read the full interview here.

Tunnell Mound, the newest named feature of the northern Gulf.
About 210km south of Houma, LA is the newest named feature of the northern Gulf of Mexico, Tunnell Mound.

In honor of Dr. Wes Tunnell (Harte Research Institute/Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) for his decades of work understanding the Gulf of Mexico.  Tunnell has published five books and more than 100 papers on topics related to the Gulf of Mexico.
 Tunnell Mound: 27°48'15.44"N,  90°50'43.23"W

"It is a great honor and privilege to have something in the Gulf of Mexico named for me and my work. It is a good example of how collaborative work and sharing of data can pay off in the long run," Tunnell said.

Read the full article here.
AAAS Selects Dixon, Daly & Murawski as Fellows!
Dixon, Daly, and Murawski honored by AAAS as 2015 Fellows.

C-IMAGE I PIs Dr.  Jacqueline E. Dixon, Dr. Kendra Daly, and Dr. Steve Murawski were all honored by the American Association of the Advancement of Science.

Dixon: "For distinguished contributions to the fields of marine science and geology."

Daly: "For distinguished contributions to the field of ocean science, particularly for advancing knowledge of Antarctic marine food webs and ecosystem dynamics in ice covered seas."

Murawski:  "For distinguished contributions to the fields of fisheries and marine ecosystem science, particularly for theoretical and empirical contributions to understanding the dynamics of exploited ecosystems."

Read the full press release here.

Congratulations to all three for this Honor!
Recent Publications

Weisberg, R.H., L. Zheng, Y. Liu, A.A. Corcoran, C. Lembke, C. Hu, J.M. Lenes, and J.J. Walsh. Karenia brevis blooms on the West Florida Shelf: A comparative study of the robust 2012 bloom and the nearly null 2013 event. Continental Shelf Research (accepted).

As research is submitted and published through the months, please remember to have this exact phrase in the Acknowledgements or a similar section:

"This research was made possible by a grant from The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative.  Data are publicly available through the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Information & Data Cooperative (GRIIDC) at  https://data.gulfresearchinitiative.org (doi: <doi1> [, <doi2>, <doi3> ...])."


"This research was made possible in part by a grant from The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, and in part by [list other sources]. Data are publicly available through the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Information & Data Cooperative (GRIIDC) at  https://data.gulfresearchinitiative.org (doi: <doi1> [, <doi2>, <doi3> ...])."

Additionally, before submitting any manuscript for publication, verify with the data team ( Richard McKenzie & Todd Chavez) that GRIID-C has the data in place. 
News Articles

GoMRI eNews - 3 November, 2015

GoMRI eNews - 17 November, 2015

GoMRI Newsletter: Fall 2015 - GoMRI - 10 December, 2015

GoMRI eNews - 15 December, 2015

GoMRI eNews - 12 January, 2016
The C-IMAGE II Consortium
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