University of New Hampshire professor Nancy Kinner, sought after for her expertise in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, will speak about advances in oil spill response at a U.S. Senate forum Tuesday, April 21. The session is hosted by the UNH Center for Spills in the Environment and will include experts from the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), two key government agencies working on oil spill response.
"Five years after the nation's largest marine oil spill, we're giving our elected officials a clear picture of what we've learned, how things have improved and what we still don't know regarding spill response going forward," says Kinner, who directs the Center for Spills in the Environment.
Kinner, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, is sought after for her expertise on oil spills and, in particular, the use of chemical dispersants. During the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010, she shared her expert commentary with hundreds of national media outlets and testified before federal lawmakers three times. In addition, she took a leadership role in creating and disseminating scientific knowledge in support of clean-up efforts, hosting several high-level meetings among spill responders, scientists, and other stakeholders in the Gulf of Mexico spill region.
In October 2014, the Center for Spills in the Environment convened dozens of high-level government, industry and academic experts at a two-day forum on lessons learned and emerging issues for oil spill response in the wake of the Exxon Valdez and the Deepwater Horizon.
Joining Kinner on the Senate forum will be U.S. Coast Guard Captain Claudia Gelzer, Chief, Marine Environmental Response, and Dave Westerholm, Director, NOAA Office of Response & Restoration. The forum, supported by Senators Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen from New Hampshire, is closed to the media.