On Wednesday, a train derailed several miles from Randolph College, sending three cars carrying crude oil into the James River. When local media began reporting on the environmental impacts of the resulting oil spill, they asked Sarah Lawson, a Randolph environmental studies and physics professor, to explain what could happen.
On Thursday, Lawson appeared on a live WSET noon newscast to talk about how the spilled oil could affect the waterways and wildlife. Later, she helped reporters at the News & Advance explain the potential long-lasting consequences of the oil spill. Her comments are included in the sidebar on this article.