Evaluation of a National Workshop Series to Minimize Health, Social, and Economic Disruptions from Oil Spills
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Evaluation of a National Workshop Series to Minimize Health, Social, and Economic Disruptions from Oil Spills

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  • Description:
    The Gulf Research Program (GRP), a division of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics (NASEM), identified the need for a national workshop series at the 2017 workshop, “Preparing for a rapid response to major marine oil spills: Protecting and assessing the health and well-being of communities,” in Washington, D.C. This workshop, cohosted by NASEM’s Health and Medical Division, addressed public health issues surrounding oil spills, with an emphasis on preparedness, response, and lessons learned. Workshop participants discussed potential challenges communities might face, suggesting that input was needed at the regional level to determine opportunities for the GRP to support preparedness around the country (Giammaria, Nicholson, & Snair, 2018). In late 2018 and 2019, GRP, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI), and multiple Sea Grant programs collaborated to host a series of workshops around the country focused on human dimensions of oil spill preparedness. The Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Program, Alaska Sea Grant College Program, University of Southern California (USC) Sea Grant Program, and Virginia Sea Grant College Program coordinated the effort, which resulted in five regional events (Hale, Covi, Holen, Partyka, Schulhof, Sempier, & Skelton, 2019). A project planning committee made up of GRP advisory board members, Sea Grant employees, emergency responders, and researchers developed the workshop series. Five workshops spanned multiple coasts, taking place from December 2018 through May 2019. Separate workshop committees headed by Sea Grant programs led each individual event. While every workshop in the series focused on the three topical areas of public health, social disruption, and economic impacts of oil spills, each workshop committee strove to make their agenda applicable to the unique needs of their region (Hale et al, 2019).
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