– Dr. John Trefry, Florida Tech professor of oceanography, has received $605,000 from the U.S. Department of Interior, Minerals Management Service, through
a contract with Battelle Science and Technology International. The funding supports the fifth, sixth and seventh years of field research by Trefry and his
team on the potential, long-term impacts of offshore oil exploration and production in the Alaskan Arctic.
The scientists will explore natural processes in rivers and offshore waters so that any future industrial inputs can be detected early. “We want to know
about potential problems before any significant impacts occur,” said Trefry.
In late July, the research team will return to the Beaufort Sea, where this past spring they studied offshore movement of river water and suspended
sediment under six-foot-thick ice. In July and August they will collect samples of water, suspended and bottom sediment and a variety of biological
specimens, including clams and fish.
Trefry, who earned the prestigious 2002 gold medal from the Florida Academy of Sciences, has a 25-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 Debra Woodall and Matt Alkire. The scientists are
working with researchers from Battelle; Kinnetic Laboratories; University of Alaska, Fairbanks; University of Texas, Austin; and Woods Hole Oceanographic