Plastics pollution is an enormous environmental problem. Approximately 8 million tonnes of plastic find their way to the ocean each year. Global movements are working together to create a future without plastic pollution! Why? Because the chemicals found in plastics have been linked to disease and are found to be contaminating our bodies through food and plastic consumer products. Plastic debris also threatens marine and terrestrial wildlife through entanglement or by clogging their digestive tracts.
I am joining with the global women’s organization, eXXpedition, to conduct research on ocean plastics and toxins and to raise awareness and promote citizen science to develop solutions to this problem.
Raised in Las Vegas and Bermuda and currently an environmental science education professor at the University at Buffalo, I’m excited to represent my communities as a part of the all women eXXpedition research crew in the Pacific ocean. Our crew includes scientists, photographers, educators, storytellers from around the world. As one leg in the round the world journey, our crew will sail from Panama to the Galapagos Islands from January to February 2020 and conduct research on toxins in the ocean and in our bodies. Our crew will also work with the local community in the Galapagos to support solutions to the problem of plastics.
As a committed lover and advocate for healthy oceans and freshwater, I am excited to contribute my time to this significant research and educational effort. My work as a professor focuses on citizen science and increasing STEM participation with underrepresented youth. One of my current projects works with a nonprofit that educates youth on the health and advocacy of our watershed. I am also a kitesurfer and spend windy days kitesurfing on the Great Lakes and in the ocean.
I feel inspired to participate in the eXXpedition journey as an educator and mother. I want to work towards solutions to the environmental problems humans are creating for current and future generations of humans and other species.