Two BARA Members to Receive Prestigious National Award

March 2010 - Diane Austin and Thomas McGuire are part of the "History of the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry in Southern Louisiana" partnership team which is the 2010 winner of the U.S. Department of the Interior's Cooperative Conservation Award. This award recognizes cooperative conservation achievements that involve collaborative activities among a diverse range of groups - Federal, State, local, and tribal governments, private for profit and not for profit institutions, other non-governmental entities, and individuals. The History Project was nominated in the category, External: Conservation that Furthers the Mission of the Department of the Interior, Criterion B: Managing or influencing resource use to enhance public benefit, promote, responsible use, and ensure optimal value. The award will be handed out by the Secretary of the Interior at ceremony on an as yet specified date, usually in May or June.

This project was conducted from 2001 to 2007. The purpose of the project was to study, document and explain the history and evolution of the offshore petroleum industry in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico in an objective and comprehensive way. The University of Arizona principal investigators were Diane Austin and Tom McGuire. Additional project team members included: graduate research assistants: Ari Arand, Emily Bernier, Andrew Gardner, Mary Good, Rylan Higgins, Christina Leza, Lauren Penney, Jessica Piekelek, and Joanna Stone; undergraduate assistants: Justin Gaines, Scott Kennedy, and Jeremy Slack and research specialists: Dr. Karen Morrison, Dr. James Sell.

The project also involved community researchers from Houma, Raceland, and New Iberia, Louisiana and academic researchers from the University of Houston, Nicholls State University, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

The team’s reports (6 volumes) can be found on the webpage for Minerals Management Service, Gulf of Mexico Region. The poster Ben McMahan made for the kickoff event [hanging outside the BARA office] lists the students’ names who participated in this and related projects.

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