May 4, 2010

Dear Colleagues:

In the last week we have watched with horror the impending danger our region faces as a result of the BP oil leak. This is another tragedy that has resulted in lost lives and likely extensive damage to our ecosystem, culture and economy.

As government, industry and individuals unite to combat the encroaching oil slick, the Tulane community continues to lend its expertise. Teams from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are using Tulane's high-performance computing resources to upload data, via the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative, directly to federal response coordinators in Washington, D.C.

Tulane's Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy has developed a timeline of the disaster and response to enable responders to track day-to-day activities and provide a clear picture of who is doing what, when and why.

The Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research (CBR) is coordinating the efforts of numerous university departments to test water, soil and air for pollutants; recommend ways to mitigate the impact on fish, birds and wildlife; and research the long-term effect of this disaster. The CBR is also working with the governor's Office of Coastal Affairs to devise responses to the oil leak.

Our faculty also continue to provide around-the-clock commentary on this disaster to local and national media. Students, staff and faculty are eager to help in the clean up and the Tulane Center for Public Service is working with the Louisiana Serve Commission to register volunteers.

While the leaking oil threatens the environment, economy and culture of the Gulf Coast states and, indeed, the nation as a whole, it is important to remember that officials do not see any health or safety issues for New Orleans. Still, we stand shoulder to shoulder with our neighbors, to face this disaster as we have faced others in the past.


Office of the President Emeritus, 1555 Poydras St, Suite 700, New Orleans, LA 70112 504-274-3638