Researcher Gets $1.2m Grant to Study Valdez Eighteen years after the Exxon Valdez ran aground and spilled nearly 11 million gallons of crude oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound, the oil continues to cause environmental problems along some of Alaska's shoreline. To help determine why the oil continues to linger long after experts predicted it would disappear, Temple University has been awarded a three-year, $1.2 million grant by the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council. "Every indication tells us that the oil should have biodegraded," says Michel Boufadel, chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering in Temple's College of Engineering and the principal investigator for the grant. "But what we've seen is there are still plenty of places where the oil still exists." According to a recent study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Geological Survey and Alaskan agencies found that oil levels in the sands around the sound are much the same as they were when Boufadel tests were done five years ago. The study says oil has seeped down 4 to 10 inches. During the next two summers, Boufadel and graduate students will travel to Prince William Sound for 20 days and 50 days, respectively, to conduct field studies, take samples and try to get an understanding of the motion of the water and effects of the waves along the beaches. "Our goal is to understand what is happening at the oil-water interface, since that is where the biodegradation of oil typically occurs," said Boufadel, an expert in oil spillvremediation. "We will be examining the biodegradation from both sides of that interface - fromvinside and outside the oil patches." Boufadel said the researchers currently believe that micro-organisms, which wouldvtypically consume the oil, may play a key role in the oil's lack of biodegradation along thevbeaches. Boufadel hypothesizes that the microorganisms, which live in the water and need other nutrients to be able to consume the oil, may not be getting enough nitrogen, phosphorus or oxygen in order to do that. Or, he adds, a layer or sort of "skin" may have developed around the oil patches, making them impenetrable by the micro-organisms. Boufadel also believes that environmental factors such as temperature could be inhibiting the micro-orgamisms. "There may be enough nutrients, but the temperature may be so low that these micro-organisms cannot grow fast enough to consume the oil that lingers on these particular beaches," he said. As part of the Prince William Sound study, the research team will be using a numerical model developed by Boufadel to account simultaneously for all the factors causing the lack of biodegradation. (Photo courtesy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council) Affordable Luxury When You're Anchored in Boston The antiquity and charm of the original Mariners House has been updated to include all the modern amenities, featuring completely renovated private rooms, private baths, elegant common rooms and all the in-room necessities of modern life. We now offer a variety of conference packages. Please call for details. SAVE Heavy Duty Hydraulic Power Unit 15HP 3000 PSI · Variable Volume 0-15 GPM · Pressure Compensated Puts you in complete control of heavy duty m arine equipment such as cable & boom winches, thrusters, steering, lots more! $$$$ $ 50 per night including breakfast. Lunch and dinner offered daily. Guests must be active seafarers with proof of service. Starting at RUSH PURCHASE ORDER BUY DIRECTand SAVE! Price includes Electric Motor 208/230/460V, 3 Phase, 60 Hz $ plus full instructions & Service Manual 1600 BACKED BY THE INDUSTRY'S STRONGEST WARRANTY! Specify Stock No. VPU1515-XN Variable GPM delivery! Pressure-compensated power units automatically deliver only the amount of oil needed to properly operate the circuit. There can be no excess of pumped oil: therefore, all the energy is put to useful work. Volume can also be adjusted manually and the pressure compensation feature will automatically control GPM delivery from the manual setting down to 0 ... increasing and decreasing GPM as required to prevent overload and operate at greatest efficiency. Pumps are internally mounted in a steel 30 gal. reservoir which also contains filter, oil level gauge and pressure gauge. External 3/4" pipe connections. Size 20"x20"x20"x45" H. 200 lbs. fob Chicago. 150 Years of Hospitality and Guidance to Professional Mariners 11 North Square, Boston, MA 0 2113 Voice (617) 227-3979 Fax (617) 227-4005 email@example.com www.marinershouse.org To Make a Reservation, call 1-877-SEA-9494 MARINERS HOUSE 1-YEAR GUARANTEE Full purchase price BACK less transportation cost if unsuitable in ANY way! Order Now! Call (312) 829-1365 or Fax (312) 829-9679 or order on secured website www.hydraulicbargains.com ROBERTS ELECTRIC CO. 311 N. Morgan St., Dept. 6923 Chicago IL 60607-1381 May, 2007 · MarineNews · 33
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