December 17, 2014  

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Gulf Coast Research Lab seeks ‘Citizen Scientists’ to Assist with Oil Spill Research

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The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) is seeking volunteers to participate in research related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

GCRL and the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography are putting together the COAST (Community Outreach for Accurate Science Translation) Team. This COAST Team will be tasked with assisting scientists as they work to advance our understanding of how oil and dispersant affect the growth of commercially important blue crab and ecologically important grass shrimp.

Participants will spend several Saturdays between March and June on the project. On three of these days, the group will explore crab and shrimp biology and the Deepwater Horizon spill. The remaining three days will be spent in the lab and out in the field alongside the scientists. The culmination of this project will be an outreach event on Saturday, June 1st at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center for Arts and Education where volunteers will present information they have prepared to share with the public.

Workdays will take place in Ocean Springs at GCRL. Lunch will be provided on workdays and travel expenses will be reimbursed. If a participant completes the entire program he or she will earn a stipend. The hope is for this group to enhance their understanding of the natural surroundings and become active coastal stewards in the community.

For additional information about the program or to print out an application please go to www.usm.edu/gcrl/blue.crab.outreach/index.php. You may also contact Aaron Lamey, Marine Educator, GCRL/MEC – 228.818.8861.

The mission of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Mississippi's marine laboratory, is scientific discovery related to coastal and marine resources, development of new marine technologies, and the education of future scientists and citizens.