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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Gulf Research Program
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Gulf Research Program Activities

The activities, projects, and publications on this page represent work directly undertaken or led by the Gulf Research Program and its staff.


Activities, Projects, or Opportunities Currently in Progress

Standing Committees
Standing Committee to Advise the Gulf Research Program on the Understanding Gulf Ocean Systems Research Campaign
The National Academies has appointed a group of experts to serve on a standing committee to guide the Gulf Research Program in the design, planning, and implementation of a long-term research campaign to improve understanding of the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current and other Gulf ocean systems. The campaign is based on recommendations outlined in the consensus report Understanding and Predicting the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: Gaps and Recommendations. Committee members have expertise in a range of disciplines, including observational physical oceanography, ocean engineering, ocean observation networks, oceanographic and atmospheric modeling and forecasting, and management of a large multidisciplinary oceanographic campaigns. Committee members are required to be free from conflicts-of-interest and will not be eligible to apply for funding opportunities developed from the committee’s work. View the list of standing committee members
Completed Activities and Projects

Consensus Studies
 Loop Current report cover Understanding and Predicting the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: Critical Gaps and Recommendations (2018)
As the dominant ocean circulation feature in the Gulf of Mexico, the behavior of the Loop Current System influences all types of ocean processes and has major implications for a variety of human and natural systems. However, despite the far-reaching impact of the Loop Current System, knowledge about the underlying dynamics that control its behavior is limited. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine undertook a study to identify existing knowledge gaps about the Loop Current System and to develop a list of recommended efforts to fill those gaps. The resulting report calls for an international, multi-institutional campaign of complementary research, observation, and analysis activities that would help improve understanding and prediction of the Loop Current System.

Get the report | Report highlights
| Watch recorded webinar about report | Learn about the study process
Workshops
cover Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Community Resilience and Health: Summary of a Workshop (2015)
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.
 
Middle-Skilled Workforce Report Cover Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Middle-Skilled Workforce Needs: Summary of a Workshop (2014)
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. 
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cover Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Monitoring Ecosystem Restoration and Deep Water Environments: Summary of a Workshop (2015)
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.