CARTHE receives 3rd GoMRI grant

CARTHE has been awarded another highly competitive research grant from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI), providing 2 more years of funding to complete our mission that started in 2012. In total, CARTHE will spend over 8 years studying the fate of oil released into our environment through some of the largest oceanographic experiments ever attempted, through improved model outputs, and through innovative laboratory experiments and instrument development.

“Much of CARTHE’s success relied on the fact that we focused on two large coordinated experiments per funding cycle, and aimed at delivering more than what we have promised in our already ambitious proposals,” explained Professor Tamay Özgökmen, Director of CARTHE.  “It is definitely high-pressure work, but I believe that when we look back in a few years, it will be also deeply satisfying, a very special period for all involved.

With an enormous amount of data (over 2 million data points from drifters alone) from our most recent experiment, SPLASH, we will spend much of the next few years analyzing data and writing high quality, peer reviewed scientific publications.  We also hope to continue our work in instrument development, improving surface current and deepwater plume models, and laboratory experiments. The outreach program will continue to engage the public, students, and scientific and spill response agencies through a variety of different projects.  We are working to ensure that CARTHE and GoMRI leave a significant legacy when the program ends in 2010.

“I like to think of GoMRI, a 10-year, 1000 scientist, $500 million project, as the Moon Mission for the ocean; it has the same narrow focus, clear vision, finite yet adequate timeframe, the emotional involvement by the scientists and close coordination with the funding agency,” said Özgökmen.  “We are honored that we were able to succeed three times in a row in these extremely competitive contracts and will be part of GoMRI throughout its life cycle. We deeply understand that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for oceanographic basic science to make rapid progress through massively-collaborative work.”

We would like to thank the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative for their trust and support, as well as our host institution, University of Miami Rosenstiel School, and all of our collaborators. With 48 principle investigators, 39 graduate students, 52 research staff/post docs, and 5 administrative staff to date, the Consortium has been a true team effort, working together impressively to accomplish great science.  Cheers to 2 more years!