BIOL 271 students contribute microplastic samples to a global microplastic pollution data repository

Students in Fall 2016 BIOL 271 (Janine Clark, Richelle Cremo, Emily Manley, Blair O’Brien, Sydney O’Gorman, Rafael Olan, Jr., Jaime Rinaldi, and Silas Sleeper) (instructor: Kiyoko Yokota) collected beached plastic wastes on beaches on Chichijima (父島), Ogasawara Islands, Japan, during their faculty-lead study abroad in December 2016 to January 2017 as experiential and service learning activities.  The team also collected and contributed sea water samples to the Global Microplastics Initiative (http://www.adventurescience.org/microplastics.html). Our samples covered an area that was not studied by the 2014 Trans Pacific Plastic Pollution Survey by Matt Rutherford and his colleagues (http://oceanresearchproject.org/trans-pacific-plastic-survey/) and provide new insights into the fate of suspended microplastics through the complex ocean currents that travel over the ~ 10 km (~ 6.3 miles) deep Izu-Ogasawara Trench. The final lab results were recently made available by the Principal Investigator Abby Barrows at http://www.adventurescience.org/microplastic-results/lab-update-april-2017-round-1.