Spill Response Trade offs: Modules for Teaching Risk Based Decision Making in Oil Spill ResponseCristal Hibbard, SLR International Corporation
Scope of Work:
The objective of SLR’s project “Spill Response Tradeoffs: Modules for teaching risk-based decision making in oil spill response” is to communicate oil spill response terminology, technologies, and their associated risks to Alaskans. The outreach project will be designed to inform participants, allow them to share their perspectives with others, and view oil spill responses from a different perspective.
The perceived and real risks associated with oil spill response can overwhelm decision-makers. SLR’s project will organize the information and give participants a chance to practice making spill response decisions, providing valuable experience and a basic understanding of the methods and risks associated with oil spill response technologies.
SLR’s project improves understanding of oil spill responses in Arctic and sub-Arctic marine environments. It is consistent with the Oil Spill Recovery Institute’s(OSRI’s) mission:
Understand: Provide the audience with an understanding of the difficult decisions associated with responding to an oil spill by clearly identifying the response technologies and associated pros and cons of each technology, including the potential impacts from oil spills and the selected response method on the economy, life-style, and well-being of communities and resource users.
Respond: Enhance the ability of the audience to consider impacts of spills and response methods, including mechanical recovery, in-situ burning, and dispersant use. Fill knowledge gaps regarding responder safety, the safety of the public, and the implications of oil in different environments (air, water surface, water column, and shoreline).
Inform: Facilitate the exchange of information and ideas to Alaskans. SLR’s project will be designed such that the end-user can be of a variety of ages and backgrounds ranging from school-age children through adults.
Partner: Provide end users with the knowledge and perspective to participate in community outreach and make decisions during simulated spill responses.
SLR’s project will teach oil spill response terms, methods, tactics and the considerations involved with each response option. The modules are intended to provide the end-user the opportunity to learn the decision-making process involved with the “real world” aspect of spill response tradeoffs and decision making, as the methods applied in these modules are used in actual spill response and included in oil spill response plans.
Alaska is a unique and special environment. Our state has one-of-a-kind natural resources which we use for food and for enjoyment. Alaskans who are knowledgeable about oil spill response methods and risks are better equipped to assist in protecting our valuable Arctic and sub-Arctic environments.