Back to top

OR&R Lecture Series: You Don't Know What You Don't Know

Poster for the lecture series "You Don't Know What You Don't Know."

Welcome to OR&R’s online lecture series, You Don't Know What You Don't Know!

Each month, an expert presents on a topic related to emergency spill response, environmental protection and sometimes beyond. Topics will range from booms to birds, burning to bacteria, satellites to submarines. The goal of the series is to provide a larger, more diverse audience to presentations and lectures recently given at meetings or conferences.

The lecture speakers are specialists from federal/state government, academia, and industry. The presentation format is a 45-minute (or shorter) lecture via Adobe Connect, followed by 15 minutes of questions submitted on the Q&A (chat) function of Adobe Connect.

Join the lectures via Adobe Connect:

While our target audience is the professional spill planning/response and environmental science community, others are welcome to join.

This page will be updated with the upcoming lectures. Mark your calendar for the third Thursday of the month, at 3pm ET!

To learn more about our events and activities, follow us on social media (Facebook, X), or subscribe to our blog or our monthly newsletter.

Upcoming Lectures

June 20, 2024:  National Water Center Operations for Preparedness and Response, with Jason Elliot, Service Coordination Hydrologist with the National Water Center (NWC) Water Prediction Operations Division in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.


Past Lectures in the Series

May 16, 2024:  NO PROGRAM due to International Oil Spill Conference.

April 18, 2024:  Dang Nature, You're Scary! A survival guide to Gulf Coast Weather with Brandon Black, Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Mobile, Alabama.

March 21, 2024:  NO PROGRAM

February 15, 2024:  Wildlife Protection: Response to the Aleutian Isle Incident with Hanna Miller, Natural Resource Management Specialist with NOAA Fisheries' Office of Protected Resources.

January 18, 2024:  NO PROGRAM - Holiday break

December 21, 2023:  NO PROGRAM - Holiday break

November 16, 2023:  Deep Sea Mining: Impacts and Recent Studies with Travis Washburn, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

October 19, 2023:  Decision Support Services in the National Weather Service with David Lawrence, Meteorologist and Emergency Response Specialist, National Weather Service.

September 21, 2023:  NOAA OR&R 101 Series: Disaster Recovery 101 with Autumn Lotze, Natural Resource and Community Recovery Specialist, OR&R's Disaster Preparedness Program, Silver Spring, Maryland.

August 17, 2023:  NOAA OR&R 101 Series: Oil Chemistry and Properties with Dalina Thrift-Viveros, Chemist, OR&R's Emergency Response Division, Seattle, Washington.

July 20, 2023:  NOAA OR&R 101 Series: Planning for the Unplanned: Emergency Response to Marine Debris with Jessica Conway, Response Specialist, OR&R Marine Debris Division, Charleston, South Carolina.

June 15, 2023:  Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Event Response, through a group presentation given by: Sarah Pease, PhD, Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Event Response Coordinator at NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) Competitive Research Program; Quay Dortch, PhD, Senior HAB Scientist, NCCOS Competitive Research Program; and Marc Suddleson, MERHAB Program Manager, NCCOS Competitive Research Program.

May 18, 2023:  NO PROGRAM

April 20, 2023:  BSEE's Burner Project, with Karen Stone, Chief of the Response Research Branch within the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement's (BSEE) Oil Spill Preparedness Division (OSPD).

March 23, 2023 [Note: the fourth Thursday, rather than third]:  Integrated Ecological Modeling, with scientists from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE): Emily Russ, PhD, Research Biologist; Todd Swannack, PhD, Senior Research Ecologist and Co-Lead for Integrated Ecological Modeling Team; and Candice Piercy, PhD, Senior Environmental Engineer and Co-Lead for Integrated Ecological Modeling Team.

February 16, 2023:  BSEE’s Ohmsett Facility: Overview, Recent Activities, and Future Plans, with Dr. Tom Coolbaugh, Ohmsett's Facility Manager, providing an overview of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement's (BSEE) National Oil Spill Response Research and Renewable Energy Test Facility at Ohmsett.

January 19, 2023:  Lithium Ion Batteries: Considerations for Emergency Response, with Dalina Thrift-Viveros, Chemistry Team Lead in the Emergency Response Division of NOAA Office of Response and Restoration.

December 15, 2022:  NO PROGRAM - Holiday break

November 17, 2022:  Snowy Plovers and Oil Spills: A Review of Response Considerations, with Laird Henkel, Senior Environmental Scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR).

October 20, 2022:  Cancelled.

September 15, 2022:  NOAA OR&R 101 Series: Oil Spill Fate and Transport, with Dr. Amy MacFadyen, Response Support Supervisor, Emergency Response Division, NOAA OR&R, Seattle, Washington.

August 18, 2022:  NOAA OR&R 101 Series: Natural Resource Damage Assessment, with Kevin Kirsch, Southeast Branch Manager, Assessment and Restoration Division, NOAA OR&R, St. Petersburg, Florida.

July 21, 2022:  NOAA OR&R 101 Series: Environmental Tradeoffs, with John Tarpley, Regional Operations Branch Chief, Emergency Response Division, NOAA OR&R, Seattle, Washington.

June 23, 2022 [Note: the fourth Thursday, rather than third]:  NOAA's Tsunami Warning System, with Dave Snider, Tsunami Warning Coordinator, NOAA’s National Tsunami Warning Center, Palmer, Alaska.

May 19, 2022: Hurricane Preparedness and Storm Surge Risk, with Dr. Cody Fritz, Storm Surge Specialist, NOAA's National Hurricane Center in Florida.

April 21, 2022: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety, with Christina Garrard, Chief, Training and Exercise Branch, US Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

March 24, 2022: [Note: the fourth Thursday, rather than third] Shipwrecks From Space: Oil Slick Observations for Monitoring and Rediscovery, with Geoffrey Thiemann, CGG Satellite Mapping, a geoscience company based in the United Kingdom. 

February 17, 2022: Weather and Atmospheric Research, with Nicholas Bond, Climatologist for the state of Washington; principal research scientist with the Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean, and Ecosystem Studies (CICOES) at the University of Washington.

January 20, 2022: Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) Maps and Data, with Nicolle Rutherford, ESI Program Manager, NOAA OR&R.

December 16, 2020: NO PROGRAM - Holiday break

November 18, 2021: Marine Oil Snow, and Other Complications of Organic Matter, Dr. Uta Passow, Prof., Canada Research Chair-1, Ocean Sciences Centre, Memorial University Newfoundland, Canada. Dr. Passow will discuss the importance of marine snow being used as transport vehicles for oil, resulting in the sedimentation of oil to the deep seafloor. Currently her team is focusing on the interactions between oil, dispersants, exopolymers and particles as part of the Multi-Partner Research Initiative under Canada's Ocean Protection Plan.

October 21, 2021: Offshore Wind, Andrew Lipsky, Fisheries & Offshore Wind Lead, Northeast Fisheries Science Center.

September 16, 2021: Oil Spill Effects Literature Synthesis, Dr. Jacqui Michel, President/Geochemist, Research Planning, Inc. A specialist in hazardous materials spill response and natural resource damage assessment, Dr. Michel will provide an oil spill effects literature synthesis of spills of >20,000 barrels of crude oil, condensate, and diesel.

August 19, 2021: Section 7 Consultations of the Endangered Species Act, Felix Lopez, Ecologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Caribbean Field Office.

July 15, 2021: Tsunamis, Walter Dudley, PhD, NOAA Center for Tsunami Research, Professor of Oceanography and Director of the Kalakaua Marine Education Center at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

June 17, 2021: Post-disaster Pollution Assessment, Adam Davis, NOAA SSC for USCG District 8.
NOTE: This lecture was originally planned on the topic, NOAA Aircraft for Emergency Response, with members of NOAA Aircraft Operations Center (AOC) and Remote Sensing Division planning to discuss how NOAA's Twin Otters and the King Airs contribute to emergency responses. Due to the presenters becoming unavailable, the topic and speaker were changed to Adam Davis, NOAA Scientific Support Coordinator from District 8, who discussed post-disaster pollution assessment lessons learned and what we are doing now.

May 20, 2021: Storm Surge, with Jamie Rhome, Storm Surge Team Lead, NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, Miami, Florida.

April 15, 2021: Wind Engineering and Infrastructure Resilience, with Forrest J. Masters, PhD, Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Facilities, Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, University of Florida.

March 18, 2021: Mallows Bay History, with Susan B.M. Langley, PhD, Director of the Maryland Maritime Archaeology Program within the State Historic Preservation Office; Adjunct Professor of Anthropology, St. Mary's College of Maryland.

February 18, 2021: Dolphins and Turtles and Birds, Oh My..., an overview of international oiled wildlife preparedness activities, with Michael Ziccardi, DVM, MPVM, PhD, Executive Director, Oiled Wildlife Care Network.

January 21, 2021: Well, it's flooding down in Texas, and the natural gas pipeline is down, with Adam Davis, Scientific Support Coordinator for U.S. Coast Guard District 8.

December 17, 2020: What can underwater robots do in a crisis? Everything but the kitchen sink, with Amy Kukulya, Research Engineer, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).

November 19, 2020: OHMSETT Wave Test Tank: Overview, Recent Activities, and Future Plans with Dr. Tom Coolbaugh, Program/Facility Manager for Ohmsett, the national oil spill response research and renewable energy test facility.

October 15, 2020: Harmful Algal Blooms with Quay Dortch, PhD, Senior Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Scientist, NOAA.

September 24, 2020: The History of Oil Spills with NOAA OR&R's Senior Marine Biologist Gary Shigenaka.

September 17, 2020: Movement of Sunken Oil with Missy Gloekler, PhD candidate, University of New Hampshire.

September 10, 2020: Crisis Leadership - Lessons Learned From A Few Great Leaders in the Navy, the Coast Guard, and at NOAA with Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.), NOAA.

September 3, 2020: Catch and Release Whaling: Using advanced technologies to investigate the underwater behavior of humpback whales with Dr. David Wiley, NOAA Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary.

August 27, 2020: Invasive Pacific Lionfish: A Threat to Atlantic Reef-Fish with Dr. Mark Albins, University of South Alabama, Marine Science Department.

August 20, 2020: Design and installation of a successful containment system—successfully capturing over 1,000 gallons per day—with Tim Couvillion, Couvillion Group.

August 13, 2020: NOAA-BSEE subsurface oil source and flow characterization survey—and the successful development and installation of the containment system—with Andrew Mason, NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS).

August 6, 2020: Decision Making in the Face of Weather Hazards with Dr. Kevin Kloesel, Director of the Oklahoma Climate Survey and University Meteorologist for University of Oklahoma.

July 30, 2020: Effects of Oil on Wildlife and Rehabilitation with Michelle Knapp, Oil Programs Manager, Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, Inc. Note: Some of the wildlife images in this presentation contain graphic content. View discretion is advised.

July 23, 2020: Adding Insult to Injury: Marine Debris Following Natural Disasters with Dr. Caitlin Wessel and Amy Gohres, NOAA OR&R Marine Debris Program.

July 16, 2020: Special Two-Hour Program - Corals: Threats, Restorations, and Hope for the Future. The program, hosted by NOAA OR&R's Senior Marine Biologist Gary Shigenaka, will be a conversation with four renowned experts on the life and times of corals, threats posed by oil and physical damage, restoration of reefs, and hope for the future: Jennifer Moore, NOAA; Dr. Abby Renegar, NOVA Southeastern University; Greg Challenger, Polaris Applied Science; Dr. David Vaughan, Plant a Million Corals.

July 9, 2020: Remote Sensing Under Burning Slicks with Dr. Paul Penetta, Chief Scientist, OHMSETT. Development of high resolution slick thickness measurements from ROV platforms and oil volume measurements for in situ burning and remote sensing.

July 2, 2020: NO PROGRAM - Fourth of July break

June 25, 2020: Remote Sensing, GIS, and Modeling in Texas with Steve Buschang, Director of Research and Development/Scientific Support Coordinator, Texas General Land Office.

June 18, 2020: Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Releases with Dr. Bill Lehr, Scientist Emeritus, NOAA OR&R.

June 11, 2020: Sunken Oil Mats with Dr. Jacqui Michel, President/Geochemist, Research Planning, Inc.

June 4, 2020: Droplet Formation and Transport due to Blowouts and Waves with Dr. Michel Boufadel, Professor, New Jersey Institute of Technology.

May 28, 2020: Modeling Drifting Whales with Dr. Chris Barker, Oceanographer, NOAA OR&R.

May 21, 2020: Using herding agents to corral oil and a remotely controlled jet-ski to ignite it with Dr. Tim Nedwed, Researcher, Exxon/Mobil - Promising new uses for existing technology.

May 14, 2020: Oil Detection Canines with Ed Owens, Owens Coastal Consultants, Ltd. Dogs can detect drugs, but did you know they can find buried oil, too?

May 7, 2020: Historic Subsea Pollution Potential - "Case History & State of the Art: Removing the oil threat from sunken ships" with Aaron Jozsef, Resolve Marine.

April 30, 2020: Satellite Detection of Oil Slicks: A New Science, A New Skill, A New Tool with Ellen Ramirez, Satellite Analysis Branch, Marine Pollution Surveillance Program, NOAA NESDIS (National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service).

Send your comments, questions, and lecture suggestions!

We welcome ideas for additional topics, speaker suggestions, and comments. Please consider presenting on a topic from your area of knowledge, skills, or expertise. Or, suggest a presentation that you watched and particularly enjoyed. Send your ideas to the lecture planning team at

We look forward to you joining us!


Last updated Tuesday, June 18, 2024 9:29am PDT