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Spring 2016 Science of Oil Spills Class Held at the DRC
Students participate in the oiled feather exercise during the SOS class.
Students participate in the oiled feather exercise during the SOS class.

Each year, the Office of Response and Restoration's Emergency Response Division and the Disaster Response Center (DRC) hold the Science of Oil Spills (SOS) class. In 2016, it was held March 28 through April 1.

A diverse group of 40 students from federal and state agencies, industry, and academia attended the course. This week-long course explores topics such as:

  • Fate and behavior of oil spilled in the environment.
  • An introduction to oil chemistry and toxicity.
  • Review of basic spill response options for open water and shorelines.
  • Principles of ecological risk assessment.
  • Determining cleanup end points.

In addition to the standard classroom instruction, students attended a field trip to Dauphin Island where they toured the Dauphin Island Sea Lab Estuarium. They also took part in field activities designed to demonstrate core spill response concepts in a dynamic barrier island setting. This course is provided annually at the DRC as well as other times throughout the year in various locations. Visit the SOS page for more information.