Published: April 19, 2011

Karl Linden, professor of environmental engineering and a water treatment expert, has been leading a yearlong study of the environmental fate of the oil dispersants used in the Gulf of Mexico cleanup. His research team has traveled to the Gulf area to collect samples and is investigating the chemical constituents in the dispersant, as well as its sunlight-based decay in the laboratory. Linden can be reached at 303-492-4798 or

Mark Hernandez, professor of environmental engineering, and postdoctoral fellows Alina Handorean and Kevin McCabe have been leading a group of graduate and undergraduate students on a multi-season survey to assess biological air quality factors stemming from oil released during the Gulf of Mexico spill. The research team traveled to affected areas to collect air and water samples, and is determining the extent to which hydrocarbons released during the spill have become aerosolized. Hernandez can be reached at 303-492-5991 or

Liesel Ritchie, assistant director for research at the CU-Boulder Natural Hazards Center, today released her findings from a study examining the social and psychological impacts of the Gulf oil spill on residents of south Mobile County, Ala., and comparing their situation to the residents of Cordova, Alaska, following the 1989 oil spill of the Exxon Valdez. Ritchie studied the aftermath of both spills. Ritchie can be reached at 303-492-4181 or

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 at 303-492-8956 or