MPB series on science of Gulf oil spill

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — “The Science of the Spill,” a four-part series about how science is being used to manage, contain and study the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, opens Tuesday on Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

A companion website — http://www.spillscience.com/ — lets people submit questions they’d like answered.

The opening program will be about dispersants, and how they interact with oil and the environment. It features three panelists from the University of Southern Mississippi and its Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, and one from the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and University of South Alabama.

Other broadcasts will be Sept. 3 and 30 and Oct. 28.

They’ll all look at what previous research tells about Gulf ecosystems and oceanography, oil production, and marine oil spills; the limits of current knowledge and understanding; how studying the spill is adding to our knowledge of the Gulf; and how science has been used to make decisions about management and containment of the spill.

The National Science Foundation, Mississippi State University, USM and the Gulf Coast Research Lab joined Mississippi Public Broadcasting to produce the series.

Tuesday’s panelists are Monty Graham, associate professor of marine sciences at Dauphin Island and South Alabama; Jim Franks, senior research scientist at the USM lab, Joe Griffitt, assistant professor at USM’s Department of Coastal Sciences; and Harriet MacGill Perry, director of the USM lab’s Center for Fisheries Research and Development.