Denslow one of 29 faculty members named to UF oil spill task force

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Distinguished Service Professor and Director of Policy Studies Dr. David A. Denslow was one of 29 faculty members named to a University of Florida oil spill task force to coordinate research and response efforts related to the April 20 spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tom Frazer, chairman of the task force, said many faculty are already doing research and outreach activities, and UF saw a need to coordinate efforts. “A coordination of activities within UF also is essential to our being able to efficiently partner with other Florida and regional universities and agencies that are addressing oil spill-related issues,” he said.

Some UF faculty are already on the Oil Spill Academic Task Force, which is composed of scientists and scholars from the State University System and four of Florida’s private universities. The statewide task force was created to quickly provide the Florida Department of Environmental Protection with a list of key faculty across Florida with relevant expertise, Frazer said.

“With the recognition that the oil spill is likely to have long lasting impacts on the ecological, social and economic fabric of the state, the UF Task Force will bring a tremendous amount of talent and expertise to bear on a broad suite of issues such as ecological restoration and remediation, economic recovery and human health concerns,” Frazer said.

Frazer and co-chairman Karl Havens were appointed by Jack Payne, senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources, at the request of UF President Bernie Machen. Frazer and Havens identified a core group of self-nominated faculty already engaged in related activities, and that core group subsequently identified other members of the task force while trying to provide a balanced representation of disciplinary interest and expertise.