Field Notes: Volume 1, Issue 3

Dear Friends,

This summer, my family and I were citizen scientist crew members of 5 Gyres' 18th expedition to study marine plastic pollution and explore solutions to this expanding international problem. 5 Gyres, co-founded by WINGS WorldQuest Fellow Anna Cummins and her husband Marcus Erikson, has been at the forefront of marine plastic research, education, and activism for the past 10 years.

We spent 9 days sailing along the Indonesian archipelago in the Coral Triangle. We trawled for microplastics in coastal waters, cleaned up 8,738 pieces of plastic debris weighing a total of 500 pounds from 5 beaches, and recorded brands and types of debris to contribute to the BAN (Better Alternatives Now) List 3.0.

5 Gyres’ small and powerful team practices "science to solutions" methodology - collecting and compiling data, training and empowering citizen scientists to participation and action, publishing results, and contributing to positive public practices and policy. This vision and application of education, citizen science, and community involvement embodies what WINGS Fellows represent. They practice their scientific passions and explore to contribute to world knowledge, inspire others to action, advance scientific inquiry, and promote environmental conservation.

The action items I promise to take:

  • Carry my water bottle with me and stop buying plastic water bottles on the go.

  • Carry a bamboo utensil pouch with me and keep one in my desk.

  • Talk to my workplace about replacing plastic water cups with reusable.

  • Stop using plastic baggies. Use washable containers instead.

  • Remember to say “no straw” whenever I order a cold drink.

Please read on to see other inspiration from the WINGS international community of explorers and scientists.

Yael Jekogian
Managing Director

In this issue:

  • Enter to win a copy of Lands of Lost Borders by Kate Harris

  • Updates from Gaelin Rosenwaks, Susan R. Eaton, Stephanie Dolrenry, Becca Peixotto, Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka

  • WINGS will partner with the New York Academy of Sciences for a webinar with Meg Lowman and Becca Peixotto

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