Jun. 18,  2010

Experts: Gulf Oil Spill

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As the catastrophic Gulf Coast oil spill continues to unfold, Emory University experts in law, politics, science, health and business are available to provide perspective and long-term insight into the crisis.

Federal Response to Oil Spill Clean Up

Paul Rubin, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Economics
, prubin@emory.edu

Rubin's areas of expertise include many aspects of law and economics, and he is the author of a recent book on the evolution of economic and political behavior. He held several senior positions in the federal government in the 1980s, and can discuss the federal government's response to the disaster.

In a recent Wall Street Journal column, Rubin analyzes why the Gulf oil spill clean up has been so slow, and writes, "As the oil spill continues and the cleanup lags, we must begin to ask difficult and uncomfortable questions. There does not seem to be much that anyone can do to stop the spill except dig a relief well, not due until August. But the cleanup is a different story. The press and Internet are full of straightforward suggestions for easy ways of improving the cleanup, but the federal government is resisting these remedies."

Wall Street Journal Op-Ed: Why is the Gulf Cleanup so Slow?

Marine Life, Ecosystem Impact

Lori Marino, Marine Mammal Expert, Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology
, lmarino@emory.edu

Video: Lori Marino on the Ethical Treatment of Dolphins
Story: Can Whales and Dolphins Adapt to Oily Gulf?

Lori Marino has studied dolphins, whales and related species for nearly 20 years and can address the long-term effects of the oil spill on marine life, the food chain and ecosystem where they live. In 2001 she and a colleague published the first evidence for mirror self-recognition in bottlenose dolphins. Marino teaches a popular course on animal welfare that provides an academic context for the study of non-invasive models of science, animal welfare, advocacy and ethics.


Paul Wolpe, director, Emory Center for Ethics, pwolpe@emory.edu, 404-727-2277

Video: Paul Root Wolpe on Valuing the Elderly

"The oil spill in the Gulf has subjected the American psyche to a kind of mental strain.  Up until now Americans have generally believed that they can serve their environmental consciences by recycling and buying hybrids, while still maintaining their general lifestyles and continuing suburban development. The unmitigated disaster that we are witnessing has challenged our complacency, emphasized the cost of our addiction to oil, and revealed the ethical conundrum that lies at the bottom of our casual environmentalism: We cannot both ravish the earth and protect it, and so some very difficult choices must be made."

Wolpe also serves as the first bioethicist for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), where he is responsible for formulating policy on bioethical issues and safeguarding research subjects. His work focuses on the social, religious and ideological impact of technology on the human condition.


Impact of Toxins

Dana Boyd Barr, PhD, is a new Emory Rollins School of Public Health faculty member who came to Emory from the CDC where she served for two decades as chief of the Pesticide Laboratory in the National Center for Environmental Health. While at CDC, Barr developed analytical methods for measuring a variety of chemical toxicants in human matrices including pesticides, PCBs, volatile organic compounds, chemical warfare agents, and flavorants. Barr has measured concentrations of toxicants in the general US population and in support of many important epidemiologic studies in collaboration with top researchers in environmental health. In addition, she has provided significant laboratory support to many emergency response situations.  She continues her work in her lab at Emory.

Barr can discuss environmental consequences for animals in the Gulf, as well as potential human exposures from eating contaminated animals and in cleanup efforts.  Additionally, she can discuss bioaccumulation of chemicals in the oil.

She has been a frequent resource for media while at the CDC.

Video: Pesticide Exposure and ADHD in Children

Media Contact: Kathi Baker, 404-727-9371, kobaker@emory.edu

Environmental Threats to Health

Linda McCauley, PhD, FAAN, RN, FAAOHN, dean of the Emory School of Nursing, is a renowned environmental expert. She is frequently asked to serve in an advisory role on national panels examining the impact of environmental threats on health, most recently serving on the Advisory Committee for the Farmworker Health and Safety Institute, the National Biosurveillance Advisory Subcommittee, the IOM Committee to Evaluate Agent Orange and Vietnam Veterans and the Board of Scientific Counselors for the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. 

She can discuss the psychological stress of the spill and its toll on the population; the massive cleanup needed and the lack of preparation and education of the workers who will be called in to do this work; the need to monitor exposures not only to the oil and its byproducts, but the chemicals that will be used to clean the environment.

Video: Linda McCauley on NewsCertified Exchange

Media Contact: Kathi Baker, 404-727-9371, kobaker@emory.edu

Psychological Impact

Charles R. Raison, MD, is clinical director of the Mind-Body Program and director of the Behavioral Immunology Program in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory School of Medicine.

The catastrophe that has unfolded in the Gulf affects all Americans, and nobody more than the people who worked on the rig and the citizens who live along the coast. Emotions run the gamut from trauma and feelings of helplessness to anger and fear. Dr. Raison is available to explain how people can begin to cope with this tragedy.

Dr. Raison serves as the mental health expert on Dr. Sanyjay Gupta’s Health.com team.

Media Contact: Kathi Baker, 404-727-9371, kobaker@emory.edu

Environmental Law

William Buzbee, director of Emory's Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program, wbuzbee@emory.edu, 

Environmental law expert William Buzbee of Emory Law School can discuss the government and citizens' roles in dealing with the oil spill, as well pending federal environmental legislation, regulation and environmental policy. 

Buzbee is director of Emory's Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program and its Center on Federalism and Intersystemic Governance.

Buzbee worked on environmental cases taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court, has testified before Congress on environmental legislation and court decisions, and has written extensively about state and federal roles in protecting the environment, the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, hazardous waste and spill law, federalism and preemption battles, and citizen "standing" to bring environmental law cases against polluters and the government.  

He has counseled legislators, regulators, the private sector, and environmental groups regarding environmental and regulatory issues.

National Political Impact

Alan Abramowitz, Alben W. Barkley Professor of Political Science, polsaa@emory.edu, 404-727-0108

Alan Abramowitz is a renowned expert on national politics and can discuss the political ramifications of the oil disaster for the President and Congress. His expertise includes polling, election forecasting models, party realignment in the United States, congressional elections and the effects of political campaigns on the electorate. He is author of the recently released "The Disappearing Center: Engaged Citizens, Polarization and American Democracy" (Yale University Press, 2010).

Green Energy, Fossil Fuel Alternatives

Craig Hill, Goodrich C. White Professor of Chemistry, chill@emory.edu

Craig Hill conducts research in inorganic, catalytic and nanomaterials chemistry and has developed major breakthroughs in artificial photosynthesis - the focus of intense research around the world in the quest for sustainable, clean energy. Hill addressed the Council of Scientific Society Presidents in Washington on his lab's recent breakthrough in sustainable solar energy research, and is taking part in meetings with the Department of Energy on solar energy.

Work by Hill's lab on water oxidation catalysis, a crucial component of converting solar energy into clean hydrogen fuel, was recently published in Science, and is the centerpiece of the Emory Bio-inspired Renewable Energy Center.

Related story: Gulf Oil Mess Fuels Interest in Green Energy


Economic Impact

Jeff Rosensweig
, associate professor of finance
, jeff_rosensweig@bus.emory.edu, 

Jeff Rosensweig is an associate professor of International Business and Finance. He is also director of the Global Perspectives Program. Jeff specializes in global strategy, global economics, and international finance.

Marketing/Brand Management

Doug Bowman
, professor of marketing
, doug_bowman@bus.emory.edu, 404.727.5008

Doug Bowman's research focuses on empirically investigating the long-term effects of marketing strategies, the effects of competition on marketing strategy, on understanding how buyer-seller relationships evolve over time, and understanding the conditions which favor standardization versus customization of marketing programs.

Best contacted via email

Risk Modeling

Patrick Noonan, associate professor in the practice of 
decision and information analysis, patrick_noonan@bus.emory.edu, 404.727.0549

Patrick Noonan's field is "decision analysis," which draws on both the wisdom and the analytical methodologies of economics, psychology, statistics, sociology and engineering to provide prescriptions for improving decision making in business, in the professions, in health sciences, in politics and in life.

Business Communications

Molly Epstein, 
associate professor in the practice of management communication, molly_epstein@bus.emory.edu, 404.727.6715 work, 404.605.9003 cell

Molly Epstein teaches communication courses to undergraduates and a teaching course to Ph.D. students.  Her background in both language and business enables her to help students maximize their professional presentation and writing abilities. As a consultant, she coaches senior executives in effective writing, presenting and meeting management.

Originally posted on June 10, 2010


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