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WHOI researchers transfer Deepwater Horizon oil samples to Coast Guard officer

Keeping Track

In February 2011, research assistant Catherine Carmichael and research specialist Robert Nelson transferred possession of critical oil samples and chain-of-custody records to U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer John Agapito (right) and Dr. Wayne Gronlund, manager of the U.S.C.G. Marine Safety Laboratory (not shown). Researchers Chris Reddy, Rich Camilli, and Sean Sylva together with a team of WHOI engineers used a device developed by Jeff Seewald to collect the samples directly from the stream of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico. The Coast Guard escorted the samples to Woods Hole and observed as scientists withdrew samples of the oil and gas mixture in order to determine their chemical “fingerprint.” With the analysis complete, the remaining samples were returned to USCG custody. (Photo by Jayne Doucette, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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