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Reports from the Gulf Research Program



cover The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2015
(2016)

Authors
Gulf Research Program

Each year, the Gulf Research Program produces an annual report to summarize how funds were used. These reports review accomplishments, highlight activities, and, over time, will assess metrics to determine how the program is progressing in accomplishing its goals. The 2015 annual report is the second report in this series.

The Gulf Research Program is an independent, science-based program founded in 2013. Through grants, fellowships, and other activities, it seeks to enhance oil system safety and the protection of human health and the environment in the Gulf of Mexico region and other areas along the U.S. outer continental shelf with offshore oil and gas operations.

This report captures key developments and successes in 2015, as the Gulf Research Program began to implement its strategic vision and conducted its first funding competitions, investing over $6.5 million in institutions and people in the Gulf region and beyond. It also introduces four initiatives that characterize the program’s main areas of interest. These initiatives will guide the development of a portfolio of grants, fellowships, and other activities with cumulative and lasting impact.

2013-2014 annual report


The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2013-2014
(2015)

Authors
Gulf Research Program

The 2013-2014 annual report highlights the establishment and first activities of the Gulf Research Program, an independent, science-based program founded in 2013. Through grants, fellowships, and other activities, the Gulf Research Program seeks to enhance oil system safety and the protection of human health and the environment in the Gulf of Mexico and other regions along the U.S. outer continental shelf with offshore oil and gas operations.

This report reviews some of the Gulf Research Program’s key accomplishments and demonstrates how what was learned throughout the planning process shaped the Program’s foundation—from its strategic vision to the initial funding opportunities. The Gulf Research Program will build on this foundation while evolving to meet new challenges during its 30-year duration, 2013-2043.

Each year, the Gulf Research Program will produce an annual report to summarize how funds were used. These reports will review accomplishments, highlight activities, and, over time, assess metrics to determine how the Gulf Research Program is progressing in accomplishing its goals. The 2013-2014 annual report is the first report in this series.

cover Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Community Resilience and Health: Summary of a Workshop 
(2015)

Authors
Gulf Research Program

There are many connections between human communities and their surrounding environments that influence community resilience and health in the Gulf of Mexico. The impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Gulf communities and ecosystems - coupled with the region's preexisting health challenges and environmental stressors - illustrate the need to better understand these connections. In the future, natural and man-made disasters, climate change impacts, and other environmental stressors will present complex challenges to the physical, mental, and social well-being of communities in the Gulf. Understanding the interrelationships among health, ecological, and economic impacts of disasters and other environmental stressors will be crucial to addressing these challenges.

Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Community Resilience and Health summarizes a Gulf Research Program workshop held on September 22-23, 2014, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The workshop examined opportunities to improve the health, well-being, and resilience of communities in the Gulf region through discussions with about 50 participants with diverse expertise and experience. These discussions identified perceived needs, challenges, and opportunities that align with the Gulf Research Program's mission and goals - particularly its goal to improve understanding of the connections between human health and the environment to support the development of health and resilient Gulf communities. This workshop is expected to lead to the development of additional Program activities and opportunities for the research community.

cover Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Monitoring Ecosystem Restoration and Deep Water Environments: Summary of a Workshop
(2015)

Authors
Gulf Research Program

Environmental monitoring in the Gulf of Mexico poses extensive challenges and significant opportunities. Multiple jurisdictions manage this biogeographically and culturally diverse region, whose monitoring programs tend to be project-specific by design and funding. As a result, these programs form more of a monitoring patchwork then a network. At the same time, the Gulf monitoring community faces a unique opportunity to organize and think differently about monitoring—including how best to allocate and manage the resources for this large marine ecosystem and its communities—as a result of the infusion of resources for environmental restoration and related activities after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Monitoring Ecosystem Restoration and Deep Water Environments summarizes a Gulf Research Program workshop held on September 3-4, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The workshop gathered about 40 participants from the energy industry, state and federal government, academia, and nongovernmental organizations to examine two broad issues that were seen as time-sensitive opportunities in light of significant investments in the Gulf for restoration and accelerating development of energy resources in the deep Gulf: monitoring ecosystem restoration and deep water environments. As participants explored potential opportunities for the Program to consider, they noted the essential role that communication and outreach play in successful monitoring, and the importance of applying an ecosystem service approach to monitoring, forging partnerships among stakeholders, and supporting efforts to organize and manage monitoring data.

cover  Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Middle-Skilled Workforce Needs: Summary of a Workshop
(2014)

Authors
Gulf Research Program; Policy and Global Affairs (PGA)

During the period 1990 to 2010, U.S. job growth occurred primarily in the high-skilled and low-skilled sectors. Yet, one-third of projected job growth for the period 2010-2020 will require middle-skilled workers – who will earn strong middle-class wages and salaries – important to both the production and consumption components of our economy. These jobs typically require significant training, often requiring more than a high school diploma but less than a baccalaureate degree. In the Gulf of Mexico, middle-skilled workers play key roles in maintaining oil system safety, completing the numerous environmental restoration projects needed along the Gulf coast, and as workers in an integrated and resilient public health system. Educational pathways that lead to middle skilled jobs in these areas include: apprenticeship programs offered by schools, unions, and employers; high school career and technical education programs; community college courses, certificates, and associate degrees; and employer provided training.

Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Middle-Skilled Workforce Needs
is the summary of a workshop held on June 9-10, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. This workshop convened 40 thought leaders from the Gulf region’s education, employer, and policymaking communities to facilitate a discussion of the current state of education and training pathways for preparing the region’s middle-skilled workforce in both the short- and long-term and to identify perceived needs and potential opportunities that might be addressed by the GRP. Workshop participants discussed a variety of opportunities around building capacity in the region’s middle-skilled workforce, including the need for competency-based education and training approaches and stronger partnerships among the region’s employers and institutions of higher education.

cover The Gulf Research Program: A Strategic Vision
(2014)


Authors
Gulf Research Program


In 2010 the Deepwater Horizon explosion and fire in the Gulf of Mexico caused the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, resulting in significant impacts on the region’s environment and residents. Legal settlements with the companies held responsible led the federal government to ask the National Academy of Sciences to form and administer a 30-year program to enhance oil system safety, human health, and environmental resources in the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. continental shelf areas where offshore oil and gas exploration and production occur or are under consideration. The new Gulf Research Program will receive $500 million to support activities using three broad approaches: research and development, education and training, and environmental monitoring.

The Gulf Research Program: A Strategic Vision establishes the Program’s foundation and introduces its mission, goals, and objectives. It describes some initial activities and sets out the Program’s vision for contributing lasting benefit to the Gulf region and the nation. The Program is an extraordinary opportunity to foster science on a regional scale and over the long term.

The document will be of interest to scientists, health professionals, engineers, and educators who wish to learn about, collaborate with, and submit proposals to the Program, and to all those who share the goal of enhancing resilience in areas where offshore energy production, vibrant communities, and dynamic ecosystems coexist.