Job Aids for Spill Response

NOAA OR&R has prepared a number of job aids to help oil spill responders complete their response tasks. Use the links below to learn more about the job aids and to download electronic (PDF) versions of the job aids, or order spiral-bound print versions of the aids by using the Job Aid Order Form or by contacting our Photos and Orders Specialist.

Trajectory Analysis Handbook
This 2002 guidebook explains the basic concepts involved in analyzing the trajectory of spilled oil, including an overview of the physical processes that affect oil movement and behavior in the marine environment. It can help the spill responder and planner understand physical processes and potential uncertainties as they incorporate trajectory analysis into the response. This job aid is not available for purchase at this time.

Open Water Oil Identification Job Aid for Aerial Observation
An important step in spill response is to assess the character and extent of oil spilled on the water. This information is used by the Incident Command to prioritize response and direct cleanup resources. This job aid helps responders perform efficient assessments and use standard language to communicate their findings effectively.

Dispersant Application Observer Job Aid
This job aid was prepared as a companion field guide for individuals who have completed training in dispersant application observation. It is designed to be a refresher on observing and identifying dispersed and undispersed oil, describing their characteristics, and reporting this information to decision-makers. We recommend that this book be used with the Open Water Oil Identification Job Aid for Aerial Observation (above) to help describe both surface and dispersed oil.

Shoreline Assessment Job Aid
A supplement to the Shoreline Assessment Manual, this job aid provides visual examples of many of the terms that spill responders use during shoreline assessments. The color photos include surface oil distribution, oiling descriptors for thickness and type, sediment types, shoreline types, and cleanup methods to aid in the shoreline cleanup and assessment (SCAT) process.

Characteristic Coastal Habitats: Choosing Spill Response Alternatives
This job aid illustrates typical attributes of North American coastal habitats at risk from oil spills. The text describes each habitat and discusses how oil is likely to behave there, as well as considerations for treating oil. This job aid is also useful for training people who will participate in cleanup assessment as part of an Environmental Unit within the Incident Command System.

Characteristics of Response Strategies: A Guide for Spill Response Planning in Marine Environments
This job aid was designed to help spill responders select appropriate response options to minimize environmental impacts when oil spills in coastal habitats. The response methods include natural recovery; mechanical, chemical, and biological treatments; and in situ burning. The job aid focuses on maximizing response effectiveness while minimizing resource impacts. It serves as a useful aid for people who will be participating in cleanup assessments as part of Operations and Planning Units within the Incident Command System.

Observers' Guide to Sea Ice
This job aid was designed for volunteers who report aerial, shipboard, or shoreline observations of ice conditions at sea to authorities such as the National Weather Service, National Ice Center, U.S. Coast Guard, pilots associations, port authorities, or other maritime interests.

Order a Job Aid

Job Aid Order Form: Some job aids are available in print for a nominal cost from OR&R. Use this form to order them.


Questions: To obtain a job aid that is not listed on the Job Aid Order Form, send an email to OR&R's Photos and Orders Specialist and request a copy.