Dispatches From the Gulf
Environmental chemist Helen White and student Katie Sheline '13 are part of a team of scientists on a research cruise that will study how the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the chemical dispersants used to break up the oil are affecting marine life at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.
The researchers will survey the bottom remotely and will also take a closer look during six scheduled dives aboard ALVIN, best known as the high-tech sub used to survey the wreckage of the Titanic. They will also collect samples of sediment and corals that will be analyzed later in the lab.
White is part of a team of scientists from Penn State, Temple University and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. The group received funding for the expedition through the National Science Foundation's RAPID Collaborative Research Grant program, which helps scientists in their efforts to respond quickly to natural disasters and other events.
Sheline was able to join the cruise thanks to funding from the KINSC's travel stipend program, which supports student research. She and White are posting photos and daily reports about their experiences on White's blog at: http://news.haverford.edu/blogs/hkwlab/
A special website created by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute is also documenting the nine day expedition with video, photos, interviews and daily reports from sea. View the website at: http://www.divediscover.whoi.edu/