Published: Mar 22, 2011 5:15 PM EDT
Updated: Mar 22, 2011 2:17 PM EDT

NEW ORLEANS- Federal regulators plan to scout U.S. colleges next month for students interested in environmental science in an effort to recruit more workers for the agency that oversees offshore drilling.

Michael Bromwich, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement, told researchers gathered at a conference in New Orleans on Tuesday that his agency is looking to put more focus on science in its decision-making.

He says the college recruitment initiative will run from April 4 through the end of May. A list of schools regulators plan to visit has not been finalized yet.

Bromwich says new regulations and industry changes have made offshore drilling safer since the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster nearly a year ago. He says that momentum must continue.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)