Virginia Hanusik, “The Mississippi River from the Port Eads Lighthouse,” 2020.

On the Front Lines of Change: Reporting From the Gulf of Mexico

In many respects, the Gulf is on the front lines. Massive disruptions brought by climate change, the need to transition to a new energy economy, and the potential collapse of vital ecosystems are on the horizon for the nation as a whole, not just the Gulf region. The smart application of scientific, engineering, and medical knowledge is vitally necessary and provides the best hope for the future. If we can get it right in this unique and challenging setting, we can use that experience to inform the path forward for the nation and the world.

Lauren Alexander Augustine

Supporting the Gulf Region

A skiff cleans up oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

Ten Years Into the Gulf Research Program

The Gulf of Mexico is on the front lines of change. But massive disruptions brought by climate change, the need to transition to a new energy economy, and the potential collapse of vital ecosystems are on the horizon for the nation as a whole.Read More

Emergency Management

photograph of bulrushes for the roots that ward off disaster

The Roots That Ward Off Disaster

Recent disasters have strained the Gulf’s ability to respond. Building capacity for local emergency management agencies and disaster research could help the region cope—and thrive.Read More

Landscape and Change

An Elusive and Indefinable Boundary

In her work, the photographer Virginia Hanusik engages with the ongoing environmental crisis on the Gulf Coast by looking at the ways architecture and infrastructure symbolize society’s beliefs about inhabiting space. She photographs certain structures repeatedly to capture a perspective of change and time that’s larger than the frame itself.Read More

An Endangered Refuge

In the Heart of the Yakni Chitto

Monique Verdin’s work seeks to understand the profound ways that climate, the fossil fuel industry, and the shifting waters of the Gulf of Mexico are changing a place that has been a refuge for her Houma ancestors.Read More

The Ongoing Transformation

Building Community in the Bayou 

A citizen of the United Houma Nation, Monique Verdin uses art and activism to give voice to indigenous and marginalized communities on the Gulf Coast—a region climate, industry, and more.Read More

“A lot of my work has been to sound the alarm and to recognize that yes, we may be on the front lines, but none of us will be able to hide from the consequences of a changing climate.”

—Monique Verdin

The Loop Current

Gewin on the loop current

A Scientific “Forced Marriage” Takes on the Mysteries of the Loop Current

Decisionmakers need insights on how this powerful current shapes hurricanes, fisheries, energy supplies, and life in the Gulf of Mexico. An ambitious project to collect data and predict the current’s erratic behavior is compelling scientists to cross disciplines as well as borders.Read More

The Energy Transition

Tristan Baurick on the energy transition in Port Arthur, Texas

How Will Carbon Capture Transform Port Arthur, Texas?

Advances in engineering and financial incentives are putting a Gulf Coast city at the forefront of the energy transition. Can policies make good on promises to clean the environment and create jobs?Read More

Ghosts of the Gulf

Brandon Ballengée, "MIA Deepwater Florida Dreamer Anglerfish" (2020–2021)

Environmental Apparitions

“Since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill,” writes artist and biologist Brandon Ballengée, “much of my art and research as a biologist has focused on the Gulf of Mexico. The spill’s long-term impact on fishes, along with other biota and Gulf ecosystems, is still not well understood. Additionally, there have been thousands of smaller spills, including the Taylor Energy oil spill—the longest running in US history—which began in 2004 and continues to leak today. Through my art, I want to give visual form to these environmental insults and inspire individual actions toward positive socioecological change.”Read More

Header photograph: Virginia Hanusik, The Mississippi River from the Port Eads Lighthouse, 2020.
This series is made possible by funding from the Gulf Research Program to mark the tenth anniversary of its founding.