Published: April 30, 2010

Jeff Mitton, professor and chair of CU-Boulder's ecology and evolutionary biology department, is available to talk about the repercussions of oil spills. Mitton was on sabbatical in 1979-1980 at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., where he studied a 1969 oil spill that seeped into the Sippewissett Marsh. Mitton can be reached by calling 303-492-8956 or by e-mailing

Sarah Krakoff, law professor at the CU-Boulder Law School, can address how the disastrous effects of the oil spill will most likely force the federal government to review and possibly change environmental policies for granting offshore oil leases and drilling permits and will most likely force President Obama to take a hard look at current plans to open up more offshore oil drilling along the Atlantic Seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico. She can be reached at 303-492-2641 or

Liesel Ritchie, assistant director for research at the CU-Boulder Natural Hazards Center, studied the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska and will be studying the social impacts of the Gulf oil spill, likely focusing on its impact on the way of life of people who do commercial fishing in the area. She can be reached at 303-492-6818 or

Kathleen Tierney, director of the CU-Boulder Natural Hazards Center, is a nationally recognized expert on disasters and author of "Facing the Unexpected: Disaster Preparedness and Response in the United States." She is working with Liesel Ritchie and colleagues in New Orleans to plan research on the spill's impact on Gulf fishing communities. To reach Tierney contact the Natural Hazards Center at 303-492-6818 (during business hours) or Peter Caughey in the Office of Media Relations and News Services at 303-818-7493.

Gary Horvath, managing director of the Business Research Division in the Leeds School of Business, is an expert on the Colorado and national economies. He can talk about specific sectors of the economy, such as tourism, and how the aftermath of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may affect Colorado's economy and the national economy. Contact him at 303-492-8395 or

Brian Lewandowski, research analyst for the Business Research Division in the Leeds School of Business, studies local economic issues and can discuss the spill's impact on the local economies affected by the oil spill. Contact him at 303-492-3307 or

The Natural Hazards Center, part of CU-Boulder's Institute of Behavioral Science, is the nation's leading repository of knowledge on human behavior in disasters. For more information visit