Scientists in the College of the Coast & Environment (CC&E) are renowned experts in the oil and gas field, having dedicated decades to understanding the issues impacting this industry, as well as the industry’s impact on the environment. CC&E researchers study environmental baseline conditions, ecosystem impacts of oil and gas development, operations and accidental releases, ocean conditions, economics, energy policy, and more.
Environmental surveys are conducted to determine the baseline conditions of water quality, sediments, and marine organisms, all of which are essential to permitting requirements. In addition to understanding the environmental health of our rivers, coasts, marshes, mangrove forests and oceans, we help to determine impacts of energy operations located in or near those locations. Marine life is studied to understand its abundance and productivity and to assure food safety.
Because safety is a paramount concern to companies operating in Gulf and ocean, CC&E faculty and researchers observe the ocean’s circulation and fate, monitor the Loop Current and eddies for unpredictable changes, and model fine-scale turbulence to help companies make informed decisions about operating in ocean conditions. CC&E’s team uses real-time field measurements to monitor current conditions, forecast near-term conditions, and predict long-term implications of the changing environment.
When accidental releases occur, CC&E has a team of experts who track releases, monitor oil containment, and analyze chemicals to determine toxicity and degradation. After an assessment, the team will recommend the best avenues for remediation and restoration, and determine ecological effects.
Keeping our ecosystem healthy is of utmost importance. CC&E researches pollutants and their impacts on our waterways, sediment deposits and re-suspension, and fine-scale water sediment interactions to determine marsh resilience and restoration.
We provide expertise on the short- and long-term economic impacts of oil and gas industry activity, the future of liquid natural gas development for our state, energy trading, long-term trade-offs among alternative energy sources and the economics of world prices, energy transport and pipeline infrastructure.
Coastal and environmental research is critical to the oil and gas industry and to the communities in which we live. Our scientists use a balanced approach in studying the ecosystem in a comprehensive manner. Their work impacts energy, food, transportation, water quality, coastal resilience and restoration, the financial and insurance industries, fisheries, and many other industries impacted by changes to our coast and environment.