Science of Oil Spills Classes
A group of students work together during an SOS class.

Science of Oil Spills (SOS) classes help spill responders increase their understanding of oil spill science when analyzing spills and making risk-based decisions. They are designed for new and mid-level spill responders.

These trainings cover:

  • Fate and behavior of oil spilled in the environment.
  • An introduction to oil chemistry and toxicity.
  • A review of basic spill response options for open water and shorelines.
  • Spill case studies.
  • Principles of ecological risk assessment.
  • A field trip.
  • An introduction to damage assessment techniques.
  • Determining cleanup endpoints.

To view the topics for the next SOS class, download a sample agenda [PDF, 170 KB].

Where and When

SOS classes are held annually, usually in the spring at NOAA's Western Regional Center in Seattle, Wash. Class sizes are limited to allow for personalized instruction.

There is no tuition for the class; however, attendees are responsible for their own travel costs.

The next SOS class will be held August 4–8, 2014 in Seattle, Wash. Class will begin on Monday afternoon, August 4, and will conclude at noon on Friday, August 8. Applications for the class will be accepted through Friday, June 13. Notification to applicants regarding their application status will occur no later than Friday, June 27. Upon selection for the workshop, participants will be sent an email containing information about hotel accommodations in the area, a map and directions to the workshop location, as well as information regarding the field trip and other logistics.

Please be advised that classes are not filled on a first-come, first-served basis. NOAA ERD tries to diversify the participant composition to ensure a variety of perspectives and experiences to enrich the workshop for the benefit of all participants. This class will be limited to 40 participants.

Application Form

Download the SOS class application form [PDF, 315 KB]. You can send your application in one of two ways:

  1. Download and complete the form, then email it to
    Note: Use the latest version of Adobe Reader, Reader XI, to complete this fillable PDF.
  2. Print your completed form, and then mail it to the address shown at the bottom of the application.

Questions: Contact us with questions, comments, or suggestions about SOS classes.

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