The Sciences

Understanding The Island Of Garbage

The IntersectionBy Sheril KirshenbaumAug 28, 2009 4:27 PM

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Remember the voyage to the island of garbage in the North Pacific Gyre? It's a unqiue collaboration between Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) and the nonprofit Project Kaisei. Known as SEAPLEX (Scripps Environmental Accumulation of Plastic Expedition), the marine scientists on board are attempting to quantify hundreds of miles of floating plastic debris and determine the effects it may have on marine life. I've just heard from Miriam Goldstein--intrepid chief scientist of SEAPLEX--about the huge SIO grad student-driven communication effort surrounding this cruise. They are working to involve the public in cutting-edge research through a website, mission blog, live Tweets from the ship, and the very cool set of Flickr project photos! The SEAPLEX team has been featured on Science Friday, CNN, Reuters, Yahoo News, NBC San Diego, the Irish Times, and ScienceBlogs! It's a wonderful initiative--not only because it's intended to protect the environment and increase public understanding of oceans issues, but also in that it serves to highlight the kind of 'New Scientists' we celebrate! CM and I are following along with great interest...

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