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Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara_OfficialImagePhoto Courtesy of: Ryan Rockabrand

The Challenge

Santa Barbara County, a coastal community north of Los Angeles, is known for its natural beauty and resources, but these resources can present some challenges. Just offshore is the second largest, natural oil seepage area in the world with six to seven thousand gallons of oil being released daily. This also has created demand for offshore drilling, making this coastline the largest offshore drilling area in the US. Because of the coastal attraction for tourism and recreation balanced with the economic engine that is the eight drilling platforms, when drilling stops, there is concern about the amount of seep and the impact to the ocean and beaches. Studies have been done funded by oil companies, but an independent, updated statement on the relationship between drilling (or not) and seep in this area is needed.


A Scientific Partner

The Director of Emergency Management for Santa Barbara County, CA, Ryan Rockabrand, is looking for one or more independent scientific partners to work with the county in understanding and presenting information about the relationship between drilling and natural oil seepage. More specifically, remote scientists with expertise pertaining to the relationship between active, natural oil seeps and drilling. This work will include making statements on this relationship and engaging the local community so they can crowd-fund further study as needed. A successful project will, over the course of 6 months, improve understanding and help decision-makers understand the relationship between the drilling and seep.


What Skills?

• A broad understanding of oil seep and drilling is important
• The county is also looking for a down to earth scientific partner with independent credibility
• The ability to explain things clearly and in every-day language is important
• Willingness to connect science to local concerns
• The scientific partner would be focused on working with the county staff to define the challenge and present useful information in the short-term with potential opportunity for longer collaboration


Apply to be a City-Science Partner

TEX will do an internal review of all candidates and facilitate an initial meeting (usually via phone) between selected candidates and city leaders. After that meeting, the city can decide to move forward with one or more willing candidates.

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