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Lecture Series Provides New OR&R-Focused Topics

AUG. 1, 2022 — Beginning in April 2020, in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, a small team in OR&R’s Emergency Response Division began sharing knowledge in the form of live, virtual lectures on emergency spill response, environmental protection, and related topics.

A lecture series poster.

Dubbed “You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know,” the lecture topics have ranged from booms to birds, burning to bacteria, and satellites to submarines. Presented by specialists from federal and state governments, academia, and industry, the goal of the series was to provide a larger, more diverse audience to presentations and lectures recently given at meetings or conferences.

New to the series are some lectures that borrow from the OR&R’s popular Science of Oil Spills classes. On July 21, attendees learned from ERD’s regional operations branch chief, John Tarpley as he presented the first of the “OR&R 101” lectures. 

In his presentation, Environmental Tradeoffs and Selecting Treatment Methods, John reviewed the National Contingency Plan priorities for response: protecting human health and safety, minimizing overall environmental impacts, and minimizing economic impacts. He stressed the importance of employing a cleanup strategy that doesn’t harm or make the environmental impacts worse. Also important is the need to re-evaluate the selected methods as the spill progresses. Spill response is not an exact science; it can be an intricate balancing act.

If you are active or interested in oil spill response and restoration, you’ll want to tune in to these upcoming lectures in the OR&R 101 series:

  • On Aug. 18, 2022, Kevin Kirsch, Southeast branch manager of OR&R’s Assessment and Restoration Division, will present on natural resource damage assessment.
  • On Sept. 15, 2022, Amy MacFadyen, response support supervisor in OR&R’s Emergency Response Division, will present on oil spill fate and transport.

Mark your calendar for the third Thursday of the month at 3 p.m. ET: More information is available on the lecture web page.

For further information, contact the lecture team at

Last updated Tuesday, November 8, 2022 1:40pm PST