Today the National Science Foundation (NSF) released a video profiling the work of University of New Orleans research professor Matthew Tarr on the impact of sunlight and dispersants on oil spill cleanup. Tarr and his team of researchers are using samples from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill to improve computer modeling as part of a three-year $450,000 project funded by NSF.
The video, which can be viewed here, is part of a weekly online series entitled “Science Nation.” The series is hosted by longtime independent journalist Miles O’Brien and examines breakthroughs in scientific research.
Tarr was the recipient of UNO’s 2015 Research Excellence Prize, which is given to faculty members who have achieved the rank of associate professor or professor and who have an outstanding and sustained record of creative and scholarly activities. Tarr, who joined the UNO faculty in 1995, researches several different areas: nanostructure materials for energy conversion, environmental chemistry and photochemistry, and the use of nanomaterials for biomarker detection or site-directed drug delivery. A member of the American Chemical Society, he has served as the principal investigator for $4 million in external funding and worked as key personnel on more than $11 million in sponsored programs. From 2011-14, Tarr ran a high school summer research program at UNO for 131 high school students and 52 high school teachers.
The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to, among other things, promote the progress of science and advance national health, prosperity, and welfare. With an annual budget of approximately $7.5 billion, NSF is the funding source for approximately 24 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America's colleges and universities.