Bass Connections Team Meets with Federal Bureau to Examine History, Future of Ocean Energy

November 4, 2015

Bass Connections in Energy team in BeaufortBass Connections in Energy’s History and Future of Ocean Energy project team traveled to the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort, NC, for a meeting with high-level representatives of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

BOEM governs energy production operations on the Outer Continental Shelf. Director Abigail Hopper and chief environmental officer William Brown took part in the meeting, joined by leaders from the Environmental Sciences Division and the Office of Strategic Resources, Dr. Rodney Cluck and Renee Orr.

Bass Connection in Energy project team in BeaufortStudent members of the team took the lead in a discussion about current issues, including offshore oil and gas drilling and renewable energy development from wind and tidal resources. The conversation turned to ways that the students could orient their research to contribute to the Bureau’s mission of promoting energy independence, environmental protection and economic development. Hopper and her colleagues suggested a number of projects that would be mutually beneficial.

The Bass Connections team, which is led by Douglas Nowacek along with Lori Bennear, Jay Golden, Tim Bϋthe, John Virdin and Jonas Monast, is examining questions of regulation, corporate policies and environmental stewardship for the management and governance of ocean energy resources, and will produce research assessing the consequences of human decisions on current ocean energy issues.

“We’ve got an incredibly diverse group—undergraduates in engineering and economics; professional students in environmental management; doctoral candidates in history, law and earth and ocean science,” Nowacek said. “These students will look at ocean energy issues from many angles, and working with BOEM is a tremendous opportunity. I’m grateful for their time and investment, and I look forward to seeing how that discussion and the Bass Connections projects evolve.”