Investigating the effect of oil spills
on the environment and public health.
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Funding Source: Year One Block Grant - Louisiana State University

Project Overview

An Interdisciplinary Topic Map for Understanding the Impact of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Incident

Principal Investigator
Louisiana State University
School of Library and Information Science


The goal of this project is to develop an interdisciplinary topic map to facilitate understanding and research of the impact of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Incident.  Two sub- topic maps are to be developed, a generic, basic-level one for the general public, journalists, and government officials; and a specific, interdisciplinary one for oil spill researchers.  The specific, interdisciplinary topic map is expected to not only facilitate understanding of the specific impacts, but will also facilitate knowledge discovery through interdisciplinary knowledge fusion.

The objective of this research is to create knowledge organization tools to support the information access of the oil spill literature and to facilitate understanding of the impact of the incident.

The initiative will include:

  1. Consulting a group of domain experts at LSU to collect a set of topics, relationships between topics, and relevant information resources.  The topics will focus on the fate and transport of oil and/or dispersants; biological, ecological or societal impacts of oil and/or dispersants; spill remediation and recovery.
  2. Collecting information resources relevant to the above topics from various sources.
  3. Through text-mining the information resources, constructing a topic map for organizing the information, and for facilitating the understanding of the impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill incident and similar incidents elsewhere.
  4. Developing a small-scale ontology related to various oil spill incidents along the way.

This research was made possible by a grant from BP/The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative.