eXXpedition Round the World—Making the unseen seen

Update: Follow along with me! I’ll be journaling whenever I can, so sign up for my mailing list if you want to read along the way. I’d estimate based on lack of WIFI in the ocean this will be 7 – 10 emails.

In April 2020, I will sail 1000 nautical miles on an all-female sailing voyage and scientific research mission through the South Pacific Garbage Patch, one of the densest ocean plastic accumulation zones on our planet.

My 10-day voyage between the Cook Islands and the Kingdom of Tonga is one of 30 legs a group 300 women will complete to circumnavigate the globe via the four ocean Gyres and the Arctic. It will take two years.

Connected by a passion to protect the ocean, our crew will first-hand experience the challenges we face from single-use plastics and ocean toxins. We will conduct scientific research and solutions-based activities and partner with local communities to make an impact on their shores.

My goal is to raise $9,000.00 to support this trip. This money covers the cost of the science program, onshore outreach, and my STEAM project (seen below). It also contributes to the boat licensing, insurance, maintenance, food, fuel, boat supplies, and port services. I am covering all my own flights and accommodation costs with help from my FlyAway grant from my company, Gusto.

During the voyage, I will collect images, video, and audio of what we find. After I return home, in collaboration with my friend and artist, Gwen Pryor, we’ll create digital and physical art.

Our work will culminate in a series of exhibits and workshops with schools or organizations. By supporting this trip and our project, you'll be a part of our team and receive a piece of our project as a thank you. The work we produce will combine scientific data and art to represent the fragile beauty of our oceans and the power of women and exploration.

Thank you in advance for your support!

Thank-yous for your support
Everyone — A thank you postcard
$20 — A printed photograph
$50 — 1 original art print (small) 
$100 — 1 original art print (large) or set of 2 small prints [your choice]
$250 — Set of 3 original art prints (large) 
$500 — An original piece of artwork
$750 — A 2-hour workshop with Gwen and Caitlin where you’ll learn about ocean plastics and create your own art (up to 10 participants)
$1000 — Both an original piece of artwork (large)  + a 2-hour workshop with Gwen and Caitlin (up to 10 participants)

(This is an example of the type of work that Gwen has done. All art we create will be new and based on the data and digital assets I collect on my voyage)

Why do this? I’ve always been passionate about the ocean. I spent my childhood knee-deep in tide pools, fell in love with scuba diving, and worked as marine biologist and PADI Divemaster after college. Drawn to the idea of helping others, I spent a few years teaching during which I discovered design.

Now as a product designer, I’m curious about how design can change the way we live and the impact we have on our planet. This voyage will push me to combine the three things I’m most passionate about: design, science, and education.

Who is eXXpedition? eXXpedition is a non-profit organization founded in 2014 to shift the way people feel, think and act. They aim to build a global network of multidisciplinary women who can contribute to world-class scientific studies, explore solutions, and use their unique skill sets to tackle the problem from all angles.

How will we make a difference? The eXXpedition Round the World science program will carry out research at sea and on land. The research conducted during the mission will advance our understanding of the plastics issue as a whole. During my voyage, we’ll be conducting research in coordination with labs at the University of Plymouth and the University of Georgia.

Why women? Women are still underrepresented in STEM sectors. Globally, women occupy only 13% of the STEM workforce. We want to empower women and little girls all over the world to chase their dreams.

That’s not the only reason eXXpedition takes on an all-female crew. Historically, studies on the effects of chemicals on human health have largely focused on men. This imbalance in research is becoming increasingly important as the incidences of non-communicable diseases, such as cancers, are increasing.

Want to learn more about my leg? Check out our website or the video below.


Caitlin Brisson
San Francisco, CA

Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help

  • Easy

    Donate quickly and easily.

  • Powerful

    Send help right to the people and causes you care about.

  • Trusted

    Your donation is protected by the  GoFundMe Giving Guarantee.