– Dr. John Trefry, Florida Tech professor of oceanography, has received $182,000 from the
U.S. Department of Interior, Minerals Management Service, through a contract with Battelle Science and Technology International. The funding supports the
seventh year of field research by Trefry and his team on the potential, long-term impacts of offshore oil exploration and production in the Alaskan Arctic.
Project funding now totals $1.1 million.
Scientists will sample water for suspended sediment and dissolved trace metals through six-foot ice in the coastal Beaufort Sea during May and June. From a
boat in July and August, during the open-water season, they will check the water for suspended and bottom sediment and several biological specimens,
including clams and fish. The researchers seek to detect signs of industrial inputs early. “We want to know about possible problems before any significant
impacts occur,” said Trefry.
Trefry, who earned the prestigious 2002 gold medal from the Florida Academy of Sciences, has a 27-year history of studying potential environmental impacts
from offshore oil exploration and production.
On the Florida Tech team with Trefry are senior research associate, Bob Trocine, and graduate students Carrie Semmler and Debra Woodall. The scientists are
working with researchers from Battelle; Kinnetic Laboratories; University of Alaska, Fairbanks; University of Texas, Austin; and Woods Hole Oceanographic