Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Day 8

Our noon position: Latitude: 3209.17 N, Longitude: 16528.47 West

Aloha to all of the students, teachers, and friends following our progress!

Following our plan to sample at each degree of latitude, we began trawling at 31 degrees this morning, and pulled out our most impacted samples yet. This photo shows the contents of our educational trawl – a bottle cap, surrounded by colorful plastic fragments. The calm winds we experienced appear to allow the smaller particles of plastic to reach the surface where they can be captured by our manta trawl.

Today, we have a special assignment from crewmember Dr. Marcus Eriksen. Marcus devised a real world question for you all, based on our experiences here in the gyre. As you’ll note, whoever answers first will receive a gyre sample, straight from the source!

“As you know, one of our research questions is to see if a sea surface temperature of 18 degrees Celsius, and the convergence of phytoplankton (seen as chlorophyll a from sattelite), which often go together, can also be a predictor for where plastic marine debris might converge. Other scientists, like Dave Foley of NOAA, have suggested this possibility. We’re here to test this hypothesis with our surface trawls. Last night Dave sent us a sattelite image of phytoplankton blooming in the ocean. He reports that most of the action east of the International Dateline is around 170 degrees West Longitude, between 28-32 W Latitude.

So here’s a real math problem for you, and the first right answer gets a gyre sample mailed to them when we return!

Question: Our current position is 32 degrees North Latitude and 165 degrees West Longitude. If we want to maintain the same latitude, but move 5 degrees to 170 degrees West Longitude, which direction do we go and how many nautical miles do we travel?

Break out your maps and calculators, and go for it!


Christian said...

Animo Leadership Charter High School
12th Grade
Inglewood, California

Christian said...

Now that you have observed the effects the trash has on the North Pacific Gyre organisms, how will you use this data to pressure government to pass legislation to reduce the amount of human pollution? What are the challenges you or other scientists face when trying to pressure government to pass legislation?

bremar said...

Animo Leadership Charter High School.
12th Grade
Inglewood, CA
Hello crew.
We just wanted to ask you guys a little question. Do you know if the US government is doing anything or working on any new regulations that have to do with plastic and the way we dispose of it?

AnimoLeadershipCHS said...

Hello we are students from the Honors Marine Biology Class at Animo Leadership Charter High SChool in Inglewood, California, we wanted to know what is being done with all the samples after you study them ?

los mas atrevidos said...

How do you guys feel about this whole dumping trash in the ocean? what could people like us do to help stop that from happening?