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Environmental Science Professor Available to Discuss California Oil Spill

WHAT: American University Prof. Steve MacAvoy available for comment on California Oil Spill via phone, in-studio or email

WHO: Stephen MacAvoy, assistant professor of environmental science, researches in the areas of biogeochemistry and ecology. MacAvoy has researched the petroleum geochemistry of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. He has conducted deep-water surveys using surface and submersible vehicles, and has commented extensively on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill. 

MacAvoy says: "In a way, we should consider ourselves lucky. First, the pipeline leak was on land, in a populated area, and was spotted relatively quickly. Second, it seems that only about 25 percent of the spilled oil made it into the ocean. Third, this relatively minor event is sparking debate regarding the risks inherent in burning toxic chemicals for energy."


American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.