Steven Buschang is the Texas General Land Office Director of Research and Development and State Scientific Support Coordinator and adjunct faculty in the Environmental Science Department at Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Mr. Buschang’s focus has been on environmental regulation and environmental assessment, oversight of oil spill research projects and development of data tools to assist in oil spill response. Mr. Buschang currently serves on the Science Advisory Panel for the Coastal Response Research Center, the Board of Directors for the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System, the planning board for Clean Gulf Conferences, as the Science and Tech Chair for Regional Response Team VI, and the Texas OneGulf Science Advisory Committee. He earned a BS in Marine Biology at Southwest Texas State University and a MS in Environmental Science from Texas A&M University Corpus Christi.
Dagmar Schmidt Etkin is the owner of Environmental Research Consulting, established in 1999, specializing in data analysis, environmental risk assessment, cost analyses, and development of comprehensive databases on oil/chemical spill incidents and spill costs. Her interests include analysis of oil spill impacts, particularly in the areas of risk analysis, environmental risk assessment, spill statistics, and spill response and damage cost modeling and analysis. Dr. Etkin is a member of the UN International Maritime Organization Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Protection as an oil spill data and analysis expert. She has provided analytical and data services to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (e.g., 2013’s Oil in the Sea III, Inputs, Fates, and Effects), US Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Minerals Management Services, Environment Canada, and other agencies as well as industry. She holds a PhD from Harvard University in organismic and evolutionary biology and a BA in biology from University of Rochester.
John W. Farrington
John Farrington is Dean emeritus at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) with expertise in marine chemistry and geochemistry. He joined WHOI in 1971 as a postdoctoral investigator. He held successive positions in the chemistry department for 17 years and simultaneously served for six years as director of the WHOI Coastal Research Center. His research interests include: marine organic geochemistry, biogeochemistry of organic chemicals of environmental concern, and the interaction between science and policy. He has served on committees and panels for international, national, and local organizations, including the UNESCO-Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, the National Academies, the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the Lloyd Center for Environmental Studies. Dr. Farrington is currently serving as a member of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Research Board. He participated in seven National Academies’ consensus studies, chairing three of the seven studies, and has been a member on the National Academies’ Environmental Studies Board, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, and the Marine Board. Dr. Farrington holds BS and MS degrees in chemistry and a PhD. in oceanography from University of Rhode Island.
Julia Foght is Professor Emerita at the University of Alberta, Canada where she was a Professor of Petroleum Microbiology in the Department of Biological Sciences from 1994 to 2014. Her expertise focuses on metagenomics of hydrocarbon-degrading microbial communities, biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons, fundamental studies on mechanisms of hydrocarbon transport across bacterial membranes, and the use of whole cell biocatalysts for biological upgrading of petroleum and refined products, and isolation and characterization of cold-adapted bacterial communities that live underneath glaciers. She received the Petro-Canada Young Innovators Award in 2001, a McCalla Professorship in 2011 from the University of Alberta, and in 2014 the Alberta Science & Technology Foundation (ASTech) award in Innovation in Oil Sands Research. She co-wrote a report on “The Behaviour and Environmental Impacts of Crude Oil Released into Aqueous Environments” with The Royal Society of Canada in November 2015. Dr. Foght received her PhD in Environmental Microbiology from the University of Alberta.
Dr. Carys L. Mitchelmore is a Professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory in Solomons, Maryland. Her expertise is in environmental health and toxicology and her research emphasis is on understanding the fate and effects of chemicals and other pollutants on resident organisms. Her work focuses on the detection of pollutants in various environmental matrices and understanding their uptake, routes of exposure, metabolism, mechanisms of toxicity, bioaccumulation and trophic transfer of chemical contaminants and their implications to organism health, including humans. She also carries out toxicity testing and application for risk assessment, regulation and management activities. Investigations have focused on the chemical partitioning and fate and effects of crude oils, oil spill dispersants, organic disinfection by-products and organic UV filters (components of sunscreens) in numerous invertebrate and vertebrate species, but especially sensitive and/or understudied species like corals and reptiles. Dr. Mitchelmore has served on two previous National Academies Studies: the Committee on the “Effects of Diluted Bitumen on the Environment: A Comparative Study (2016) and the Committee on “Understanding Oil Spill Dispersants: Efficacy and Effects” and was also a review coordinator for the recent 2020 Committee on “The Use of Dispersants in Marine Oil Spill Response”. Dr. Mitchelmore received her Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham (U.K.) in 1997 investigating the metabolism and effects of organic contaminants, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, to aquatic organisms.
Nancy N. Rabalais
Nancy Rabalais is Professor and Shell Oil Endowed Chair in Oceanography and Wetland Studies at the Louisiana State University’s College of the Coast and Environment. Dr. Rabalais' research includes the dynamics of hypoxic environments, interactions of large rivers with the coastal ocean, estuarine and coastal eutrophication, environmental effects of habitat alterations and contaminants, and the impacts of the Macondo oil on the Louisiana continental shelf, in coastal waters and on intertidal wetlands. Dr. Rabalais is an AAAS Fellow, an AGU Fellow, an Aldo Leopold Leadership Program Fellow, and a National Associate of the National Academies. She received the 2002 Ketchum Award for coastal research from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and shares the Blasker award with R.E. Turner. She was awarded the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Ruth Patrick Award and the National Water Research Institute Clarke Prize in summer 2008. She was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2012. Dr. Rabalais has served on thirteen National Academies committees and served as member and chair of the National Academies’ Ocean Studies Board (2000-2005). Dr. Rabalais received her PhD in zoology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1983.
Jeffrey Short runs the consulting firm, JWS Consulting, in Alaska. Dr. Short began his career in oil pollution research in 1972, working for the National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA on oil toxicity effects on Alaskan marine fauna prior to development of the Prudhoe Bay oil field and marine oil terminal in Valdez, Alaska. In investigating the Exxon Valdez spill, Dr. Short led numerous studies on the distribution, fate and effects of the oil over two decades; these studies led to discovery of embryotoxic effects of oil pollution affecting fish at much lower concentrations that had been recognized previously, and quantitative assessments of lingering oil stranded on beaches and of other pollution sources in the Exxon Valdez spill region. He also worked on evaluating oil dispersant effectiveness under sub-arctic conditions, and contributed to the oil budget for the Exxon Valdez spill, which provided a basis for evaluating the effectiveness of response measures. Dr. Short received his PhD in fisheries from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks in 2006, his MS in physical chemistry from the University of Califronia, Santa Cruz, and his B.S. in biochemistry & philosophy from the University of California, Riverside.
Scott Socolofsky is a Professor in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University. His research is in the broad area of Environmental Fluid Mechanics, with emphasis on laboratory experiments and data analysis to elucidate mixing mechanisms by turbulence and coherent structures. Dr. Socolofsky’s expertise includes oil spill modeling, marine natural seeps, and physical/chemical characteristics of oil. He received his PhD and MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his BS in Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering from University of Colorado Boulder.
Berrin Tansel is a Professor of Environmental Engineering and Undergraduate Program Director for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Florida International University. She has conducted extensive research on oil-water emulsions and remediation of contaminated media (water, sediments and soil). Her research interests include land-based inputs of oils, weathering of crude and refined oils, formation and treatability of oil-water emulsions, partitioning and persistence of oil based fractions in different phases (slick, emulsion, dispersed, sediment and tar) and their mobility. Dr. Tansel is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and Diplomate of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers. She received her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering, with a Minor in Chemical Engineering, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1985, an MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1979 and a BS in Chemical Engineering from Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey in 1978.
Helen White is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Haverford College in Haverford, Pennsylvania. Dr. White’s research interests are centered in biogeochemistry, with a focus on examining the sources, sinks, and cycling of organic matter. More specifically, she is interested in the persistence of human-derived compounds in the marine environment and how chemical structure, physical associations, and bioavailability of specific organic compounds determine their cycling and eventual fate. Before joining the Haverford faculty, she completed the Microbial Science Initiative Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard University. In 2015, she received the National Academies Gulf Research Program Early-Career fellowship and served as a member of the National Academies study, Committee on the Evaluation of the Use of Chemical Dispersants in Oil Spill Response (2018). Dr. White received her Ph.D. in Chemical Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Michael H. Ziccardi
Michael Ziccardi is the Co-Director of the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center (WHC). Dr. Ziccardi has been an oil spill response veterinarian and oiled wildlife response director during more than 50 spills nationally and internationally – most notably as the Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Group Supervisor for NOAA during the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010. He has worked as a Contract Veterinarian for the California Department of Fish and Game/Wildlife, a Research Epidemiologist for the Lincoln Park Zoo, and as both a Program Coordinator and Senior Wildlife Veterinarian for the WHC. Currently, in addition to being the Co-Director of the WHC, he is Director for California’s Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) as well as a Health Science Clinical Professor in the Department of Medicine & Epidemiology. Dr. Ziccardi received his DVM, as well as his MS and PhD in epidemiology, from the University of California, Davis.