On December 5, the Council hosted Science Night, an evening to hear about the latest research affecting the safe transportation of oil through Prince William Sound. This annual event is an initiative of the Council’s Scientific Advisory Committee. SAC, as it’s known, ensures Council projects are based on the best scientific practices available.
All four presentations are below.
How Visualizing Data on Cook Inlet Wild Resource Harvests Can Improve Oil Spill Planning and Response
Presenter: Davin Holen
Holen is a coastal community resilience specialist for Alaska Sea Grant. Holen discussed a project that integrated a socio-economic data layer called the Wild Resource Harvest and Use by Cook Inlet Communities into the Cook Inlet Response Tool (CIRT) and discuss how similar information could be used in other communities impacted by oil, gas, and other natural resource and industrial activities.
Remediation is in the Eye of the Smolder
Presenter: Olga Stewart
Stewart is an environmental engineer with Geosyntec Consultants in Anchorage. Stewart shared information about STAR, an innovative thermal treatment technology for environmental remediation based on the principles of smoldering combustion. It was invented as a remediation technique in 2005, piloted in 2009, and has been used in over 50 projects since its first full-scale application in 2015.
Sea Ducks in Nearshore Marine Systems
Presenter: Dan Esler
Esler is a Research Wildlife Biologist with the Alaska Science Center of the US Geological Survey. Esler discussed how sea duck responses to the recent marine heat wave event have been muted relative to dramatic responses seen in predators from pelagic food webs (e.g., sea birds and whales). These contrasting responses to different system-wide perturbations offer insights into drivers of sea duck populations and resiliency of nearshore ecosystems.
Oil-Related Marine Snow: Implications for Oil Spill Planning and Response in the Gulf of Alaska
Presenters: Jesse Ross and Susan Saupe
Ross recently completed a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering at the University of New Hampshire. Saupe is the Director of Science & Research for the Cook Inlet RCAC. Ross and Saupe discussed the impacts of oil-related marine snow and how it should be considered in oil spill preparedness and assessment of impacts.