In Oil Spill, University Scientists' Expertise Was Dumped

Missteps in Gulf disaster point to need for a research emergency-response team

In Oil Spill, University Scientists' Expertise Was Dumped 1

Reuters, Sean Gardner

Smoke pours from a controlled burn of spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico last month.

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close In Oil Spill, University Scientists' Expertise Was Dumped 1

Reuters, Sean Gardner

Smoke pours from a controlled burn of spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico last month.

In what could have been one of the few slivers of good fortune in the murk of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, a university research vessel was stationed just 10 miles away when the Deepwater Horizon rig collapsed three months ago after a fiery blast.

Scientists on board the 116-foot R/V Pelican, operated by the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, immediately began taking sediment and water samples ahead of what researchers hoped would be a wave of colleagues rushing