Alvin dives for early-career scientists, join me in the Marianas Islands, stump a scientist, embraces MPAs, and more! Tuesday (?) Morning Salvage: April 17, 2018

We’re late because Andrew doesn’t understand time zones.

Foghorn (A Call to Action!)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

The Okeanos Marianas. Our research vessel for the day.

The Levee (A featured project that emerged from Oceandotcomm)

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Make for the Planet with Conservation X Labs and the Earth Optimism Summit!

Invasive species, overfishing, ocean plastics, wildlife tracking, and measuring ecosystem services, are some of the most daunting challenges in conservation.While these challenges require a combination of social, commercial, and regulatory cooperation to address, they can also be tackled through technological innovation, which can bypass some of the largest hurdles to implementing practical, timely solutions.

On April 21, 2017, 18 teams of conservationists, technologists, makers, and hardware hackers will gather in Washington DC and tackle five conservation challenges selected by a panel of experts at the Make for the Planet, part of the Smithsonian’s Earth Optimism Summit. Over three days, teams will work to develop prototypes, strategic frameworks, and model systems that address specific issues within the broader challenge prompt of terrestrial species invasion, overfishing, ocean plastics, wildlife tracking, and ecosystem services. Read More

Chemistry of the Great Big Blue: Plastics


From the microscopic to the gigantic, plastic debris has plagued our oceans since its invention. Much of the problem originated initially because we didn’t realize that plastics don’t degrade until after we had dumped tons into the ocean, largely off of ships as trash. WHOI offers a good summary of the history of plastic pollution. Many things changed since that first realization and the nature of plastics in the marine environment has a very different face nowadays.

The plastic is smaller and more widely distributed. There are fairly well-known areas that collect the plastics such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  There are also other areas affected that are closer to shore and where people use marine resources. Plastic often settles in seagrass beds that serve as important nursery habitat and on beaches where turtles and shorebirds mistake them for food and nesting material. Need more details on plastic?

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