Where is the Oil, and What Effects is it Having on the Gulf’s Marine Ecosystem?

For Immediate Release


Dave Walsh, Media Officer on board the Arctic Sunrise ,
dwalsh@greenpeace.org , +31 20 712 2616
Molly Dorozenski, Media Officer in New York,
molly.dorozenski@greenpeace.org, +1 917-864-3724

Where is the Oil, and What Effects is it Having on the Gulf’s Marine Ecosystem?

Experts available on board the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise to discuss scientific research into Gulf oil spill impacts

GULF OF MEXICO - Greenpeace Research Director Kert Davies, and
scientists Rainer Amon and Clifton C. Nunnally are currently on board
the Arctic Sunrise and available for interview. The Arctic Sunrise is a
164-foot ice-class Greenpeace ship currently on a three-month expedition
in the Gulf of Mexico to study the environmental impacts of the
Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.

The independent scientific research team on board the Arctic Sunrise
is studying the extent, composition and impacts of the oil and gas that
has entered the Gulf’s deep water following the oil spill. Following
the report released in early August by the National Incident Command
that revealed that between three and four million barrels of oil remain
in the Gulf environment, this research will make an important
contribution to increasing our understanding of the environmental
aftermath of the spill. The work will include documenting the status of
the chemical and biological aspects of the Gulf’s waters, in order to
assess the impact of the oil spill on the gulf ecosystems, gauging
dissolved oxygen levels, and the ratio of stable carbon isotopes present
in dissolved inorganic carbon chemicals, as a way to locate areas
affected by the oil spill.

The Arctic Sunrise is performing transects of the Gulf in an area
to the west of the Deepwater Horizon site, south of Texas and
Louisiana, collecting water samples from depths of up to 1.25 miles. The
ship will also spend time close to the disaster site, where the science
team plans to take sediment samples, to find out how much oil has
reached the sea floor and what effect it has had on the organisms that
live there.

Kert Davies, Research Director at Greenpeace US will be available to discuss:

  • The ongoing effects of the disaster
  • The Arctic Sunrise three-month mission
  • What’s really happening in the gulf – compared to what BP or the government are saying
  •  The influence of big oil on US politics
  • Future alternatives to oil

Rainer Amon will be available to discuss:

  • The significance of his research into dissolved oxygen levels
  •  How his work complements that of other scientists
  • What the science will tell us
  • How, technically, the work is carried out
  • What they have discovered so far during this expedition
  • The potential impact on the Gulf ecosystem, based on findings

Cliff Nunally will be available to discuss:

  • The significance of his sediment research, and what the oil spill means for the Gulf ecosystem
  • How the team is working with other scientists to understand the oil spill effects
  • How his research is carried out
  • What he has learned so far

Kert Davies
Greenpeace US Research Director
Davies directs
Greenpeace's research team. He works closely with investigative
journalists and frequently represents Greenpeace at international
climate negotiations and scientific conferences. Davies has also
partnered with major global corporations to help them implement
solutions to global environmental problems. In 2008, he served as part
of a team that convinced Unilever to introduce the first
climate-friendly freezers into the United States. He also created and
runs the Greenpeace websites and blogs ExxonSecrets.org and
PolluterWatch.org, which expose how ExxonMobil, Koch Industries and
other polluters have attempted to influence the public debate about
global warming and energy policy.

Since the BP oil disaster, Davies has been interviewed on PBS
Newshour, CNN, BBC, MSNBC, Al Jazeera and quoted in major publications
such the Washington Post. Kert Davies studied environmental studies at
Hampshire College, and received his master's in environmental studies
from the University of Montana in 1994.

Dr Rainer Amon
Professor, Department of Marine Sciences, Texas A&M University, at
Galveston, and Department of Oceanography at Texas A&M University,
at College Station

In June 2010, Dr Amon was on board the NSF vessel RV Cape Hatteras,
tracing the movement of subsurface oil plume near to the Deepwater
Horizon site. This time out, he will be studying the extent, composition
and impacts of the oil and gas that has remained in the Gulf’s deep
water, by gauging dissolved oxygen levels and stable carbon isotopes of
dissolved inorganic carbon as a way to locate areas affected by the oil

Dr. Amon holds a Ph.D. in marine sciences from the University of
Texas and a Masters in Zoology from University of Vienna. After his
Ph.D. Dr. Amon spent eight8 years as a researcher at the Alfred Wegener
Institute in Germany before accepting his position at TAMUG in 2003. He
has worked extensively in the Arctic, using organic matter from Russian
rivers flowing into the Arctic Ocean, to trace pollution, the movement
of water masses, and other environmental changes.  Amon has participated
in numerous research expeditions to the Amazon River and the Arctic
Ocean during his career.  More locally, Amon is a co-investigator to
study the growth of E coli in Houston bayous by combining geochemistry
with molecular ecology, a multiyear study funded by the Texas Commission
for Environmental Quality.

Clifton C Nunnally, Phd. Student in Oceanography, Texas A&M, at Galveston
focus on board the Arctic Sunrise is on the sediment communities close
to the Deepwater Horizon disaster site, where he will investigate
whether oil has reached the bottom, and if it has, to examine the how it
has affected the biota – such as marine invertebrates.

With a Bachelor Degree in Science from Abilene Christian University
(1998) and a Masters from Texas A&M University (2003), Nunnally’s
work has centered on two large oceanographic studies:  the Deep Gulf of
Mexico Benthos (DGoMB) project which was a initial survey of deep-water
habitats prior to the expansion of oil and gas exploration on the
Northern Gulf of Mexico continental slope, and the physical and
biological processes behind the Gulf of Mexico ‘Dead Zone’.  Clifton
Nunnally also spends each summer at Alice Cover Research Station located
near Simpson Bay in Prince William Sound, Alaska, where he focuses on
benthic invertebrates such as clams and starfish, which sea otters feed

Dave Walsh, Greenpeace Media Officer on board the Arctic Sunrise , dwalsh@greenpeace.org , +31 20 712 2616
Molly Dorozenski, Greenpeace Media Officer in New York, molly.dorozenski@greenpeace.org, +1 917-864-3724

Please join us at http://greenpeace.org/usa/live on Friday, September
24th for a live video press/blogger briefing and Q&A with
Greenpeace experts at the front lines of the campaign for clean energy
future, including Greenpeace USA Research Director Kert Davies live from
the ship. 


Independent campaigning organization that uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

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