Hypoxia Researcher Receives Prestigious MacArthur Fellow Award
Nancy Rabalais, the Executive Director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium was recently awarded the MacArthur Award, for her dedicated, long-term efforts spanning multiple decades, documenting and mitigating the effects of the “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Rabalais’s work has been instrumental in making the connection between nutrient inputs from the Mississippi River watershed and hypoxia (i.e., low dissolved oxygen levels) in the Gulf which set into motion Federal efforts through the Mississippi River Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force to understand, monitor and reduce the size of the hypoxia zone.
These efforts have been largely supported through the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science’s NGOMEX program where NOS has taken a leadership role in funding critical research on hypoxia, its impact to living resources and the transition of predictive ecological forecasting tools to stakeholders in the region. Every year Dr. Rabalais maps the hypoxic zone which results in annual media interest and ground-truthing and refinement of NOAA’s hypoxic zone forecast from earlier in the year.