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Cameron's Task Force Issues Oil Spill Report

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood June 17, 2010 at 11:31AM

James Cameron, in his recent round of interviews about the Gulf oil spill, said he had assembled an ad hoc task force of leading Woods Hole scientists, and so he did. Here's the result of their labors. Read it and weep. A video report is on the jump.
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Thompson on Hollywood

James Cameron, in his recent round of interviews about the Gulf oil spill, said he had assembled an ad hoc task force of leading Woods Hole scientists, and so he did. Here's the result of their labors. Read it and weep. A video report is on the jump.

On June 1, 2010, members of the staff of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) participated in a meeting at the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Washington, D.C., to consider possible alternative solutions to capping or controlling the flow of oil from the Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico. The conclusions and recommendations of the Deep Ocean Task Force, the ad hoc group initiated and convened by director James Cameron, are now available online.

The ad hoc group included twenty-eight experts in deep ocean engineering and exploration from the marine industry, government agencies, ocean advocacy, and oceanographic research organizations.

An independent research institution, WHOI is a leader in oceanographic research and engineering at all ocean depths and has four decades of experience conducting and managing the science of oil spills. WHOI is home to the National Deep Submergence Facility (NDSF), which operates deep-sea exploration vehicles for the benefit of the entire U.S. oceanographic community.

WHOI participants included Rob Munier, vice president for Marine Facilities and Operations; David Gallo, director of special projects; Bill Lange, the director of the WHOI Advanced Imaging and Visualization Lab; and Dana Yoerger, a senior scientist and developer of remotely operated and autonomous underwater vehicles.

The ad hoc group also discussed the research needs to characterize, monitor and assess the impacts of the spill as well as a framework for response preparedness for future spills. Among the steps discussed were the deployment of long-term undersea environmental monitoring systems, the establishment of environmental baselines, and the design and development of a rapid response capability.

The summary report was published with the intention of stimulating discussion across a wide area of expertise in offshore oil production, oceanography and ocean engineering. A date for the group’s next meeting, which will be held at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, has not yet been set.

This article is related to: Directors, Video, James Cameron


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.