SEA Currents: plastics
May 10, 2018
Out on the Reef
Yet another beautiful day in Bermuda! Today we got to go to the Aquarium and learn more about Bermuda’s unique marine ecosystem! They had a few radical exhibits, including one about the Sargasso Sea! Alex, Kendra, and I geeked out at the hydroid section of the poster because that is what our experiments are on- check out that Clytia species (surprisingly not noloformis) and that Aglaophenia latecarinata!
November 27, 2017
Plastics in Our Oceans: We’re All in the Same Boat
Hello, dear reader!
Up until now, daily blog posts have covered life onboard our floating home/lab and the cultural research, science deployments, and sail handling—with the occasional relay race or poetic interlude thrown in to boot—that comprise our day-to-day on the Seamans. Today, however, S-276’s Conservation & Management class have the privilege of sharing some of the research we’ve been conducting in both Woods Hole and here in New Zealand (well, several hundred miles offshore, currently).
July 12, 2017
Beach Cleanup & Seaweed Snacks
After a lovely cereal breakfast, we headed over to the Madden Center for Oceans & Society class with Kate. Today we learned about container ships and their effect on the oceans and the economy. Next was Oceanography class with Jess where we talked about the many major issues that face our oceans as well as possible solutions.
June 08, 2017
8 Things You Can Do for World Oceans Day!
This World Oceans Day, the focus is on encouraging solutions to plastic pollution, and preventing marine litter.
At SEA, we’ve been studying plastic pollution for a long time. The plastic we study is collected in our neuston nets floating at the surface of the open ocean. Mostly, we find microplastics (pieces less than 5mm in diameter, usually broken down from larger objects).
It’s a serious problem, impacting marine life and degrading marine environments.
May 11, 2017
Science, Policy, & Trash…Oh my!
Although we have only been here for about 5 days now, our routine morning stroll to the courtyard in St. George’s already feels instinctive to me. This morning we started off with a special treat from our amazing steward, Sabrina, …homemade bagels! She never fails to keep us full and happy, which is definitely a priority when your daily schedules are as packed as ours are.
July 27, 2016
Today we had Jeffrey Brodeur come and speak to us about Marine Debris source and solution: It’s everyone’s problem. This talk shared some quite interesting facts, such as 80% of Marine debris is onshore, whilst the other 20% is offshore, 60-80% of that being plastic. The debris gets into our ocean by directly (intentionally) or indirectly (winds, storms, etc).
April 28, 2016
Big Science Push!!!!!!!
Hey Everyone!!! We have made it to the North Sargasso Sea. It has been science all day today for me. A-Watch (my watch team) started our day of with a presentation on the coral reefs that are present in Bermuda from our visiting professor, Dr. Robbie Smith. I also got to work in the lab this morning during my watch, we completed a 100 count of the midnight Neuston net tow, and I got to do my first morning deployment of our CTD and Neuston net.
April 27, 2016
Marine Plastics Study Gets Noticed by Environmental Journal
It’s been well reported in this blog and elsewhere: vast quantities of plastic and microplastic debris (pieces smaller than 5 mm) have been observed and sampled in oceans around the world. But accurately measuring it, on a global scale, is still a major challenge.
SEA’s Dr. Kara Lavender Law, Research Professor of Oceanography, is doing just that. Working with colleagues at other institutions, she’s employing a rigorous statistical approach to standardize a global dataset and thus better estimate the size and scope of the problem – and gauge the danger it poses to marine life.
March 03, 2016
Whales are cool.
But Colonial Phytoplankton are cooler. On the Cramer (and in life in general) science is always happening! Today just south of Silver Bank, in the lovely Greater Antilles area, we did so much science. From late in the night to late in the afternoon we had a few whale sightings: there were some blows, some fin slaps, some whale songs, and, of course, just a few beautiful breaches.
February 10, 2016
SEA Plastics Expedition Yields Insight on Marine Species Migration
Floating plastic debris in the ocean may be more hospitable to some marine animals than originally thought, according to a new study co-authored by a SEA Semester alumnus who gathered samples aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans during the 2012 Plastics at SEA: North Pacific Expedition.
The researchers found that the presence of barnacles on large plastic debris creates a more sustainable long-term habitat for rafting species to take hold and thrive on otherwise slippery surfaces, such as spherical fishing buoys commonly found drifting in the oceans.