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“Science of the Spill” Seminar Series to Be Presented In Conjunction with Swine Palace World Premiere of “SPILL”

03/06/2014 02:22 PM

BATON ROUGE – In conjunction with the world premiere of Leigh Fondakowski's play, “SPILL,” Swine Palace and the LSU Colleges of Science and Music & Dramatic Arts present the “Science of the Spill” seminar series.


This speaker presentation series runs for four weeks, starting before and running throughout the performance run of “SPILL,” and features four different LSU faculty members who have conducted research on the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The first seminar in the series is scheduled for Thursday, March 6.


All of the presentations will highlight scientific research into different aspects of the BP Spill – from the psychological to the biological, and from the chemical effects on the air to the mapping of the spill from satellite images. All talks are open to the public, and all interested members of the Baton Rouge and LSU communities are encouraged to attend and to join in the discussion. Each talk will be followed by a question and answer session.


All talks will be at 3:30 p.m. on the date indicated, and will be onstage on the set of “SPILL” at the Reilly Theater, located on Tower Drive near its intersection with Highland Road.


The schedule for speakers and topics in the “Science of the Spill Seminar Series” includes:

• Thursday, March 6 – Mary Lou Kelley, LSU Department of Psychology, “Psychological Impact of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill”

• Thursday, March 13 – Nan D. Walker, LSU Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, “The Where and Why of Oil Motion: A Satellite Perspective”

• Wednesday, March 19 – Fern Galvez, LSU Department of Biological Sciences, “Integrated Biological Assessment of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Coastal Marsh Fish”

• Wednesday, March 26 – K.T. Valsaraj, LSU Department of Chemical Engineering, “Do Dispersants Affect Atmospheric Transport of Oil Spills?”


“SPILL” is a collaborative, multimedia play and visual art installation inspired by the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill, widely perceived as the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history. The project is the co-creation of playwright Leigh Fondakowski and visual artist Reeva Wortel and is based on court documents and interviews with people living along the Louisiana Gulf Coast in the wake of the spill. The art installation is a series of life-sized portraits of those interviewed and is intended to extend the life of this story past the final scene in the theatre. The artists began interviewing in March 2011, speaking with a broad array of Louisiana citizens including Gulf fishermen, political figures, clean-up workers and the friends and families of those lost in the Deepwater Horizon tragedy.


For further information on “SPILL” and on “The Science of the Spill” seminar series, contact Karli Henderson at 225-578-9277 or





Contact Karli Henderson
LSU Department of Theatre


Contact Aaron Looney
LSU Media Relations