Gulf Research Program awards over $340,000 to assist research impacted by hurricanes


WASHINGTON – The Gulf Research Program (GRP) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced 11 grant awards totaling $341,283 to assist in the recovery of Gulf Coast scientific research efforts impacted by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. These awards are the result of the first of two fast-track grant cycles for Scientific Research Disaster Recovery Grants announced last November to help with repair, replacement, or recovery of equipment, data, or other research materials damaged or lost as a result of the hurricanes and their aftermaths.

"Following last fall's devastating hurricanes, the GRP examined what it could do to assist with recovery efforts that would align with its mission and allowable uses of its funding," said Maggie Walser, director of education and capacity building for the GRP. "The result was these grant opportunities to help scientists whose research was impacted by Harvey and Irma recover from their losses and carry on with work that could eventually strengthen the Gulf region's resiliency to hurricanes and other adverse events in the future."

Affected scientists whose research pertains to the GRP's focus on enhancing human health, environmental resources, and offshore energy safety in the Gulf of Mexico region were eligible to apply for grants of up to $50,000.

The 11 awardees for the first cycle, listed in alphabetical order by recipient name, are:

  • Anna Armitage (Texas A&M University – Galveston)
    Award: $10,000 to assist with removal of Hurricane Harvey debris from a coastal wetland research site.
  • Judson Curtis (Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi)
    Award: $49,657 to recover and replace equipment and data used in fisheries research that was displaced or lost because of Hurricane Harvey.
  • Deana Erdner (University of Texas – Austin)
    Award: $45,000 to replace toxic algae research specimens lost as a result of Hurricane Harvey.
  • Colette Feehan (Montclair State University)
    Award: $18,362 to replace equipment and establish new study sites for coral reef research disrupted by Hurricane Irma.
  • Lee Fuiman (University of Texas – Austin)
    Award: $49,412 to replace equipment used in marine ecosystem research that was destroyed during Hurricane Harvey.
  • Xingping Hu (Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi)
    Award: $9,814 to repair and replace sensors used in ocean acidification research that were damaged by Hurricane Harvey.
  • Aran Mooney (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
    Award: $46,500 to replace equipment used in coral reef research that was lost during Hurricane Irma.
  • Jenny Oakley (University of Houston – Clear Lake)
    Award: $7,119 to assist with replacement of a research vehicle used in river monitoring research that was destroyed during Hurricane Harvey.
  • Brandi Reese (Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi)
    Award: $17,170 to replace sensors used in a Texas wetland study that were lost or damaged during Hurricane Harvey.
  • Michael Starek (Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi)
    Award: $41,084 to re-establish and install equipment for research sites used in Gulf of Mexico geospatial modeling research that were impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
  • Robert Weisberg (University of South Florida)
    Award: $47,165 to repair real-time meteorological and oceanographic monitoring research moorings that were damaged during Hurricane Irma.

The awards for the second cycle of the GRP's Scientific Research Disaster Recovery Grants are expected to be announced in late spring 2018.

These awards are part of the portfolio of Gulf Research Program funding opportunities outlined at


The National Academies' Gulf Research Program is an independent, science-based program founded in 2013 as part of legal settlements with the companies involved in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. It seeks to enhance offshore energy system safety and protect human health and the environment by catalyzing advances in science, practice, and capacity to generate long-term benefits for the Gulf of Mexico region and the nation. The program has $500 million for use over 30 years to fund grants, fellowships, and other activities in the areas of research and development, education and training, and monitoring and synthesis. Visit to learn more.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. The Academies operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln. For more information, visit

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