February 24, 2018  

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NBC Film Crew Documents Work by Southern Miss Polymer Science Professors

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NBC Learn Producer Norman Cohen, left, interviews Southern Miss polymer science professor Daniel Savin about a grant-funded oil dispersant project. (Office of University Communications photo by Van Arnold)

Members of an NBC film crew got to see exactly how a new oil dispersant created by University of Southern Mississippi polymer science professors works while videotaping an addition to the NBC Learn library.

Producer Norman Cohen and his crew spent most of Tuesday, June 28 conducting interviews and filming laboratory demonstrations with Southern Miss polymer science professor Daniel Savin.

“We work closely with the National Science Foundation on a variety of projects and through them we heard about the grant being used here for research on oil dispersants,” said Cohen. “The idea of showing how materials science helps with disasters like the Gulf oil spill was very appealing to us.”

Savin has joined forces with Dr. Robert Lochhead, chair of the Department of Polymers and High Performance Materials, and polymer science professor Sarah Morgan to develop an oil dispersant that can be easily produced in mass quantity and is also biodegradable. Thanks to a $150,000 National Science Foundation rapid grant, the team has found the right combination of materials for such a dispersant and hopes to have a functioning prototype ready soon.

NBC Learn has digitized more than 12,000 stories from the NBC News archives, dating back to the 1920s. NBC Learn is dedicated to making these historic stories, images and primary source documents available on-demand to teachers, students and parents.

To learn more about Southern Miss Department of Polymers and High Performance Materials call 601.266.4868 or visit http://www.usm.edu/polymer/. For more information about NBC Learn visit http://www.nbclearn.com/_portal/site/learn