The Center for the Integrated Modeling and Analysis of the Gulf Ecosystem

A tale of two Gulf spills: A research consortium of 17 institutions from 5 countries studying the impacts of oil spills on the Gulf of Mexico.

Shaojie Sun, C-IMAGE Student of the Month, August 2015

Shaojie Sun, C-IMAGE Student of the Month, August 2015

Shaojie Sun is a graduate student at the USF-College of Marine Science. Originally from China, he is working towards his PhD in Dr. Chuanmin Hu’s optical oceanography lab.

Sun research “is focused on using satellite images to detect and quantify oil distributions during the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill.” In other words, he looks at satellite images to see where the DWH surface oil went. He also has collaborated on a project deriving the surface oil trajectory of the IXTOC-I oil spill.


C-IMAGE II is using information gathered about the IXTOC-I spill, a nine month spill in the southern Gulf of Mexico in 1979, to predict the future impacts of the DWH spill. Sun’s investigation is a critical component of that research.

We asked Shaojie some questions about his research and activities, here are Sun’s responses:

What are you doing today?

I went to say goodbye to one of my best friend in the early morning. He is leaving for Seattle to begin a postdoc position. And I prepared for a presentation on our lab’s monthly group meeting. The presentation is mainly about statistics of sunglint strength threshold to detect natural slicks in GoM by using optical remote sensing imagery. It was proved before that optical remote sensing images under sun-glint effect can be used to detect oil slicks in the ocean. But in deriving the threshold, we know that even if there are oil slicks existing, we can’t detect those slicks if the sun-glint strength below the threshold. 

What are you aspirations (for your research and/or after you graduate, life goals, etc.)?

My life goal, I never know. Maybe just follow my heart.

R/V Justo Sierra Log-Nicola Zenzola
Boryoung Shin, C-IMAGE Student of the Month, July ...

Podcasts from The Loop

The Loop is a series of podcasts which take an in depth look at C-IMAGE research. Partnering with Mind Open Media reporters Ari Daniel Shapiro and David Levin, our researchers share the importance of their studies and how they help our understanding of oil spills. David and Ari have produced eight podcasts and have more in the queue. The podcasts are linked below. Plug in and learn about our research!

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