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Meet the Fellows / Class of 2012 MacArthur Fellow / Nancy Rabalais (with video)

Nancy Rabalais is a marine ecologist who is dedicated to documenting and mitigating the effects of hypoxic zones—aquatic areas with low dissolved oxygen levels commonly known as “dead zones”—that have expanded dramatically in the Gulf of Mexico and many other coastal systems around the globe. Since the mid-1980s, she has led a long-term monitoring program […]

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Mercury Levels in the Gulf of Mexico Quantified in NOAA Report

On August 29, researchers at the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) published an analysis of NOAA Mussel Watch Program contaminant monitoring data for mercury and methylmercury levels and distributions around the Gulf of Mexico. Data gathered from oyster and sediment samples from Texas to Florida revealed relatively elevated mercury concentrations (hotspots) in the […]

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Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone Task Force Convenes to Direct Future Work

NOAA is actively participating in the 23rd meeting of the Mississippi River Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force in Des Moines, Iowa, September 11, 2012.  The Task Force provides executive level direction and support for coordinating scientific activities and actions on nutrient management within the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed.  NOAA research has demonstrated […]

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Deep Coral Expert Leads Research Aboard Google Executive’s Philanthropic Research Vessel

From August 26 to September 6, Schmidt Ocean Institute Fellow Peter Etnoyer is serving as chief scientist aboard the R/V Falkor, owned by the institute, as part of sea trials for the new vessel and its equipment. Researchers and crew will employ the Global Explorer MK3 remotely operated vehicle and its state-of-the-art 3-D video and biological […]

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Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Grant Awarded to NOAA Partner

On August 10, 2012, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative awarded researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina, a partner institute of NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science Hollings Marine Laboratory, one of 19 grants that support studies determining environmental effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. The university researchers […]

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Big Drought Makes for a Small ‘Dead Zone’ – NYTimes.com

In yet another display of the inexorable interdependence of Earth’s ecosystems, a bad summer for Midwestern farmland has turned out to be a good one for life in the Gulf of Mexico. Researchers from the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium have found that this summer’s hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico – the oxygen-devoid area […]

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Dearth of Heartland Rainfall Linked to Smaller Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone

Last weekend, media outlets reported a NOAA announcement that this year’s Gulf of Mexico low oxygen ‘dead zone’ is the fourth smallest since 1985. A severe drought baking the nation’s midsection is responsible for less nutrient-laden Mississippi River water that triggers the annual phenomenon. By contrast, last year’s floods resulted in low oxygen over an […]

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