National Press Club

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative

April 25, 2011 9:00 AM

Location: Holeman Lounge

Announcement of the release of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Request for Proposals

Washington, DC -- The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GRI) Research Board will hold a press conference at The National Press Club in Washington, DC on April 25, 2011 at 9:00 AM. Accredited members of the news media are encouraged to attend. Please contact to provide name, affiliation, and contact information. Space is limited.

Speakers: Dr. Rita Colwell, Chairman, GRI Research Board

About the GRI Research Board:
On September 29, 2010, BP and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance announced plans for the implementation of BP’s $500 million Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GRI) to study the effects of the Deepwater Horizon incident and the potential associated impact on the environment and public health. The GRI is managed by a board comprised of scientists from academic institutions with peer-recognized credentials. BP and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance appointed an equal number of research scientists to the board. The GRI Research Board is chaired by Dr. Rita Colwell. A list of the Research Board membership and affiliations is provided.

The GRI was established to investigate the impacts and fate of the oil, dispersed oil, and dispersant on the ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico and affected coastal States in a broad context of improving fundamental understanding of the dynamics of such events and their environmental stresses and public health implications. The GRI will also work to develop improved spill mitigation, oil and gas detection, characterization and remediation technologies. The ultimate goal of the GRI will be to improve society's ability to understand, respond to and mitigate the impacts of petroleum pollution and related stressors of the marine and coastal ecosystems, with an emphasis on conditions found in the Gulf of Mexico. Knowledge accrued will be applied to restoration and to improve the long-term environmental health of the Gulf of Mexico.

About Dr. Colwell:
Dr. Rita R. Colwell is an internationally recognized environmental microbiologist and scientific administrator. Dr. Colwell serves as the Chairman of the GRI Research Board, and is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland at College Park and in the Bloomberg School of Public Health at The Johns Hopkins University. She has previously served as Director of the National Science Foundation. The recipient of numerous honorary degrees and the Order of the Rising Sun from the Emperor of Japan, in 2006 Dr. Colwell received the National Medal of Science. In 2010, Dr. Colwell was honored with the Stockholm Water Prize for her contributions to solving water-related public health problems. Dr. Colwell has authored or co-authored 17 books and more than 700 scientific publications.

GRI Research Board Members:

Rita R. Colwell, PhD
Research Board Chairman
Distinguished Professor
University of Maryland College Park and
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

Margaret Leinen, PhD
Research Board Vice Chairman
Associate Provost for Marine and Environmental Initiatives of Florida Atlantic University, Executive Director of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

Debra S. Benoit, MEd
Director of Research and Sponsored Programs, Nicholls State University

Peter G. Brewer, PhD
Senior Scientist, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Richard E. Dodge, PhD
Professor, Dean, Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center
Executive Director, National Coral Reef Institute

John W. Farrington, PhD
Professor and Interim Dean, School of Marine Science and Technology, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth
Scientist Emeritus, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Kenneth M. Halanych, PhD
Alumni Professor and Coordinator, Marine Biology Program, Auburn University

David Halpern, PhD
Senior Advisor for Earth Science Research, NASA Headquarters, Senior Research Scientist, California Institute of Technology/NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

William T. Hogarth, PhD
Interim Director, Florida Institute of Oceanography, College of Marine Science, University of South Florida

Jorg Imberger, PhD
Director, Centre for Water Research
Professor of Environmental Engineering, The University of Western Australia

Raymond L. Orbach, PhD
Director, Energy Institute at The University of Texas at Austin

Jürgen Rullkötter, PhD
Professor of Organic Chemistry, Institute of Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM)

David R. Shaw, PhD
Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Mississippi State University

John Shepherd, PhD
School of Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton

Bob Shipp, PhD
Chairman, Department of Marine Science
University of South Alabama

Burton Singer, PhD
Courtesy Professor, Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida

Ciro V. Sumaya, MD, MPHTM
Professor, Health Policy and Management,
Cox Endowed Chair in Medicine, Founding Dean (1997-2008), School of Rural Public Health, Texas A&M Health Science Center

Denis Wiesenburg, PhD
Vice President for Research, The University of Southern Mississippi

Charles Wilson, PhD
Professor and Executive Director, Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, Louisiana State University

Dana Yoerger, PhD
Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

For More Information On This Event, Contact:

Dr. Robert Gropp
202-628-1500 x250