Science of Chemical Releases Class Held in Jacksonville, FL
June 5, 2023 — After teaching Science of Chemical Releases (SOCR) classes virtually since 2020, the OR&R training team, comprised of Kim Albins, Bob Bradley, Adam Davis, Charlie Henry, Dalina Thrift-Viveros, Savannah Turner, and Al Valeriotti, offered the class in person again. This class was held at the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Jacksonville, Florida facility from May 22- 25, 2023. There were 36 students representing the USCG, U.S. Navy, NOAA, State of Florida, State of Idaho, and private sector in attendance.
SOCR is a four-day intensive training designed to help spill responders and planners increase their understanding of chemical spill science, reduce risk, aid in decision making, and be better prepared for when a chemical release occurs. The class takes students through a thorough overview of key chemical properties and ecotoxicology, chemical air dispersion modeling and model limitations, chemical monitoring equipment and PPE as well as numerous case studies, most of which are put together from firsthand experience by OR&R's expert instructor team. The course features demonstrations and use of many powerful tools that OR&R supports including the Computer-Aided Management of Emergency Operations (CAMEO) Software Suite, which includes programs like CAMEO Chemicals, ALOHA, and MARPLOT as well at the Chemical Aquatic Fate and Effects (CAFE) database, and more. These tools are valuable for responders before and after a hazardous materials or oil incident. Students use laptops in class to access these programs inputting the parameters needed and learning the importance of interpreting model outputs. The final exam is a new scenario where students use all the tools they have learned to model air and provide response recommendations.
This year, a huge highlight for the team was being in person. Some of the team met each other in-person for the first time after working together for three years, and while virtual classes offer some efficiencies, getting to engage with students one-on-one was incredibly valuable to the team and students. OR&R is excited to take the lessons learned from this year's SOCR to keep improving it for future classes.