In October 2021, a pipeline leaked about 25,000 gallons of oil into the ocean off the Orange County coast. The oil caked beaches and killed marine life, and almost as soon as it happened two UC Irvine Ph.D. students, Joana Tavares from the Department of Earth System Science and Melissa Brock from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, got to work. They headed to Newport Pier multiple times a week after the spill to sample the ocean water to gauge the health of the tiniest of marine organisms: phytoplankton. In a true multidisciplinary collaboration, scientists from across UCI joined the effort to help with sample analysis and other research.
Now, join the UCI School of Physical Sciences for a livestream event that will see Joana and Melissa tune in from Newport Pier on Earth Day to discuss what they’ve learned about the spill since they started sampling, and to answer questions about their science. They will be joined on Zoom by collaborators, including Professor Adam Martiny of the Department of Earth System Science and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Professor Katherine Mackey of the Department of Earth System Science, and Professor Christopher Olivares of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. UCI Physical Sciences Dean James Bullock will moderate the event.