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Posted at 3:53 PM ET, 06/24/2010

Gulf oil spill spawns new college course

By Valerie Strauss

It didn’t take long for the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to become the focus of academics: The University of Minnesota has created a new course called “Oil and Water: The Gulf Oil Spill of 2010” that will be offered this fall.

Says the course description: “In the wake of the largest environmental disaster in United States history, this course explores the many problems and paradoxes associated with the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.”

Researchers from a number of other schools are on site in the gulf, helping with the cleanup and investigating the impact. For example, academics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are looking into how microbes present in the sea and on the ocean bottom may be able to help clean up the oil.

Students taking the Minnesota course, which was created by the university’s Institute for Advanced Studies, will explore the history and ecology of oil drilling in the gulf as well as the economic, environmental and social impact of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on communities throughout the region.

It will be taught by graduate student Robert Gilmer and is open to any student as an elective. Readings for the course will be a mix of academic book excerpts and journal articles, as well as a heavy emphasis on accounts from news media.

The class is similar to those created at Minnesota after the 2007 Interstate 35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed hundreds of thousands of people.

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By Valerie Strauss  | June 24, 2010; 3:53 PM ET
Categories:  Higher Education  | Tags:  Oil and Water: The Gulf Oil Spill, college course on ol spill, consequences of oil spill, deepwater horizon oil spill, effects of oil spill, environment and oil spill, gulf oil spill, researching oil spill, studying the oil spill, university of minnesota, university of minnesota and new course  
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Sounds like a good course. Interesting.

Posted by: celestun100 | June 24, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Haha! This is an awesome way to get back at BP!

Posted by: preston2190 | June 25, 2010 3:46 AM | Report abuse

How are you going to have a class on the 2010 oil spill when it is still going on?Sounds like it will be full of tree hugging chicks with hairy armpits anyways. Next.

Posted by: peterg73 | June 25, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

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