The research area review we began last month on microplastics is wrapping up!
- Community stories
- Resources on ways to research microplastics pollution, for a variety of watery environments and investments in cost and time
- Information on relevant regulations and policies
- Some thoughts on next step challenges
With the review, we aimed to refresh Public Lab content with resources that would help anyone find ways to monitor microplastics pollution in their community. We already had several existing comprehensive posts on tools and methods to research microplastics (many authored by @maxliboiron), so we mainly turned to sources beyond Public Lab to see what other materials might help our community.
By far, the most fruitful parts of the review process were the conversations. An international crew of people shared their time, perspectives, and knowledge of microplastics research with us, and they deserve a hearty thank you for their contributions:
- Jace Tunnell, leader of Nurdle Patrol and Director of the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve, University of Texas Marine Science Institute.
- Dr. Winnie Courtene-Jones, Lead Scientist for the Round the World research missions at eXXpedition and Research Fellow at the University of Plymouth, UK.
- David Boudinot and Daniel Brendle-Moczuk of the University of Victoria and Surfrider Foundation of Vancouver Island.
- Win Cowger, PhD student researching plastic pollution at the University of California Riverside
- Lucas Harris, formerly of CLEAR and the Surfrider Foundation, and now Senior Policy Analyst with the British Columbia Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
- Eleanor Hines, Lead Scientist and North Sound Baykeeper with RE Sources for Sustainable Communities in Bellingham, WA.
- Scott Eustis and other members of Healthy Gulf, who authored several Public Lab posts about a recent plastic pellet spill in New Orleans. See their posts here: https://publiclab.org/n/24462; https://publiclab.org/n/24528; https://publiclab.org/n/24634
- Barent Roth of the community science project Testing Our Waters.
In these conversations, people shared their tips, tools, and resources for community scientists interested in microplastics, related stories and experiences, gave insight into what's currently developing in microplastics research and policy, and unearthed questions that might direct where we can go next on this topic.
We also had an event! We wrapped up the research area review with a virtual, open call where we connected with each other to tell stories, uncover more questions, and give highlights of the review. Check out the summary notes here and a recording of the event here.
Stay tuned for information about our next research area review and how to get involved! We'll be looking for input on what topics to review next soon. And please comment below if you have any ideas, questions, or feedback!