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Talking oil spill science in Arctic Alaska

  • Author: Hannah Heimbuch
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published March 2, 2013

For those that want to soak up a little more information about crude oil and its relationship with water, two upcoming Tuzzy talks may be the perfect stop.

New Hampshire Professor Nancy Kinner, Ph.D., has traveled to Barrow three times to discuss oil spill topics with the residents and professional organizations of Alaska. For the next two Saturdays she'll be offering her expertise via video conference in an interactive discussion at Tuzzy Library in Barrow.

The talks are open to the public and aim to provide community members with information about crude oil, its properties, and its potential interactions in a coastal environment.

The second of the one-hour talks begins at 1:30 p.m. on March 9.

Kinner is a professor of engineering at the University of New Hampshire. Beyond that she is the Director of the University's nationally known Coastal Response Research Center and the Director of the Center for Spills in the Environment.

Both of those unique organizations focus on research and development associated with marine oil spills and how communities and industry respond to them.

Kinner was in Barrow most recently in November to help the Coastal Response Research Center host a workshop on natural resource damage assessment and Arctic emergency response regarding oil spills.

"The whole idea is to have the local and Alaska Native people start to, in the villages and the communities of the Northwest Arctic Borough and the North Slope Borough, begin to understand the process of natural resource damage assessment," Kinner told the Arctic Sounder in November.

The topic for the upcoming video talks are broader, focusing on the nature of crude oil rather than damage assessment specifically.

The Center for Spills in the Environment, Ilisagvik College, the Barrow Arctic Science Consortium and Alaska's Online With Libraries collaborated to make this interactive event a possibility.

This article originally appeared in the The Arctic Sounder. It has been reproduced here with permission. Contact Hannah Heimbuch at hheimbuch(at)

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