C3: 10 years since Deepwater Horizon – Lessons learned from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is a 10-year, $500 million, privately funded research effort focused on the short- and long-term impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Scientific advancements achieved through GoMRI enabled new fundamental understanding of the dynamics of oil spills and their resulting environmental stresses and public health implications. Within this session, representatives of academia, industry, federal agencies, and the general public will explore the GoMRI model and highlight examples of how its scientific results have influenced the way different sectors manage, mitigate, prepare, and communicate about future environmental disasters. 
As GoMRI reaches its conclusion in 2020, this session will explore not only how its results bridge the science, policy, and decision-making sectors, but also highlight the benefits of a large-scale coordinated research collaboration. This multi-institution and cross-disciplinary initiative produced an exceptional number of peer reviewed publications in the scientific literature, trained more than 500 Ph.D. candidates and 300 post-doctoral fellows, and established a legacy of data sharing and community outreach that will live well beyond the end of the program. The unique design, leadership, and consistency of an independent research initiative like GoMRI enabled even more productivity than initially imagined and offers a model for responding to future complex environmental challenges, whether natural or human-induced.



  • Michael Feldman, GoMRI Program Manager, GoMRI/Consortium for Ocean Leadership    
  • Rita Colwell, GoMRI Research Board Chair, Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative
  • Antonietta Quigg, Senior Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, Texas A&M University at Galveston
  • Steve Sempier, Oil Spill Science Outreach Manager, Sea Grant        
  • Lisa DiPinto, Senior Scientist, Office of Response and Restoration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Paul Schuler, Director for Regional External Affairs, Oil Spill Response Ltd.