Proceedings: Eighteenth Annual Gulf of Mexico Information Transfer Meeting, December 1998
McKay, melanie, and Judith Nides
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The primary purposes of the ITM are (1) to provide a forum for interchange on topics of current interest relative to environmental assessments in support of offshore oil and gas activities in the Gulf of Mexico OCS Region; (2) to present the accomplishments of the MMS Environmental Studies Program for the Gulf of Mexico and of other research programs or study projects; and (3) to foster an exchange of information of regional interest among scientists, staff members, and decision-makers from MMS, other Federal or State governmental agencies, regionally important industries, and academia and to encourage opportunities for these attendees to meet and nurture professional acquaintances and peer contacts. The ITM agenda is planned and coordinated by the MMS staff of the Gulf of Mexico OCS Regional Office around the three theses mentioned above - issues of current interest to the Region or MMS oil and gas program; accomplishments of the agency; and regional information exchange. Presentations are by invitation through personal contacts between session chairpersons and speakers who have demonstrated knowledge or expertise on the subject. The ITM is considered a meeting of regional importance and is one of the Region's primary outreach efforts. Attendance in recent years has been 300-400 people, including scientist, managers, and laypersons from government, academia, industry, environmental groups, and the general public. Support funding is provided through the MMS Environmental Studies Program. Logistical support for the ITM is provided by a contractor and subcontractors selected through the Federal procurement process. A proceedings volume is prepared for each ITM based on summaries of brief technical papers submitted by each speaker and on each session chair's added comments.