Weisberg on Capitol Hill

Chancellor Brogan, academic task force to brief Congress on oil spill research.


By  Vickie Chachere


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (May 27, 2010) – Chancellor Frank T. Brogan and members of the Oil Spill Academic Task Force briefed members of Congress on Wednesday regarding how university researchers are helping the state and nation contend with the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


The briefing is hosted by U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor of Tampa and U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns of Ocala, Florida's two members serving on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Florida Senators Bill Nelson and George LeMieux also sent a joint letter to their Senate Colleagues urging their attendance.


Joining Chancellor Brogan will be USF ocean circulation expert Robert H. Weisberg.


“Members of Congress want to learn more about the oil spill and would like to hear directly from some of the scientists involved,” Brogan said. “We will discuss how our universities are assisting the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other state and federal agencies. We will also discuss how researchers are assessing the scope and nature of the spill and how our experts are advising governmental leaders on mitigating the damage and managing the recovery.”


The Oil Spill Academic Task Force consists of scientists and scholars from throughout the State University System of Florida working in collaboration with colleagues from private colleges.


Joining Chancellor Brogan and Weisberg on the panel was: Ross Ellington, Chair of the Oil Spill Academic Task Force, Associate Vice President for Research, Florida State University; and Hank M. Bounds, Commissioner of Higher Education, Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.


The Oil Spill Academic Task Force briefing covered the current status of the oil spill, the university efforts to assist with the response; the use of predictive models in the effort; collaborative efforts with industry and government; short-term and long-term damage assessment; efforts at mitigation, now and in the future; and those efforts relationship to university research.


“I want to thank Representative Castor and Representative Stearns for hosting this panel discussion and for giving our scientists an opportunity to contribute to greater understanding of the crisis and what can be done to limit the damage to the Gulf Coast ecology and economy,” Brogan said.


The Oil Spill Academic Task Force was formed to bring research tools to focus on the crisis in the Gulf of Mexico. It provides information on the task-force efforts and links to partners and resources through its Web site, http://oilspill.fsu.edu/.


Read coverage of the Capitol Hill briefing here.