(NEW ORLEANS, LA) – Two Dillard University researchers received a $127,000 grant to undertake comparative studies regarding the effects and responses of the 2010 Gulf oil spill
and the May 2015 oil spill in California. Biologist,
Dr. Bernard Singleton, and Social Scientist, Dr. Robert Collins, will jointly conduct the comparative study, which will examine both environmental and public policy responses to the disasters.
The project is in response to the May 19 event, when a severely corroded section of an oil pipeline ruptured along the coast in Santa Barbara County, California, spilling approximately 105,000 gallons of crude oil and created a nine- mile long oil slick in the Pacific Ocean and washing ashore onto nearby beaches forming tar balls as what happened on the Louisiana coastline with the BP Oil Spill.
NSF awarded the $127,000 grant through its Rapid Response Research Grant (RAPID) program, which is used for projects having a severe urgency with regard to availability of, or access to data, facilities or specialized equipment, including quick-response research on natural or anthropogenic disasters.
The project, titled “Comparative Assessment of Environmental Stress Factors Associated with Aerosol Exposure to Oil Spill Impacted Shorelines-in California”, began in September and will run through August of 2016. Drs. Singleton and Collins will lead a team of researchers and students from Dillard, California, and the University of Colorado-Boulder.
“This study will characterize a cohort of microbiological markers and toxic components associated with the oil spilled with additives on the California impacted shorelines and will make comparisons with the effects of the dispersants used in the Deepwater Horizon oil releases into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010,” said Dr. Singleton, the project’s principal investigator.
“This research is unique in that it is interdisciplinary between the natural and social sciences, combining the talents of the Biology and Urban Studies programs at Dillard,” added Collins.
“The project will help lay the groundwork for the ecological and epidemiological survey of oil spill impacted regions, as well as comparing disaster preparedness and remediation efforts to examine best practices when responding to future oil spills.”
Dr. Bernard Singleton can be reached at
and Dr. Robert Collins can be reached at