Science of Oil Spills (SOS) Classes
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 multi-day trainings cover topics including:
- 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.
Most examples provided in the class relate to oil spills that have occurred in coastal and marine environments; however, much of this information applies regardless of the spill location (e.g., inland vs. coastal). To view the topics for the next SOS class, download a sample agenda [PDF, 170 KB].
Where and When
SOS classes are held 2-4 times per year in different regions of the United States. One course per year is held in the spring or summer at NOAA's Western Regional Center in Seattle.
The following SOS classes are currently scheduled:
- Mobile, Alabama, March 20-24, 2023: The application deadline for this class will be Jan. 27, 2023. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status by Feb. 6.
- Portland, Oregon, July 10-14, 2023: The application deadline for this class will be March 31, 2023. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status by April 7. This class will be co-hosted with Oregon State Department of Environmental Quality.
- Gloucester, Massachusetts, Sept. 11-15, 2023: The application form for this class will open February 27, 2023 and close May 5. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status by May 10.
Accepted applicants will be sent an email containing information about hotel accommodations in the area, a map and directions to the class location, and information regarding the field trip and other logistics.
Please understand that SOS classes are not filled on a first-come, first-served basis. We try to diversify the participant composition to ensure a variety of perspectives and experiences, to enrich the class for the benefit of all participants. Classes are generally limited to 40 participants, to allow for personalized instruction.
There is no tuition for SOS classes; however, attendees are responsible for their own travel costs.
Online Application: The online application form will be available during the application period for each scheduled SOS class.
If you experience any problems with the submission of your application, please send us an email.
Questions: Review our page, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about SOS Classes. You're also welcome to contact us with questions, comments, or suggestions about SOS classes.
Stay Updated: If you'd like to receive updates about our activities and events, including future SOS classes, you can do that in these ways:
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