Urbana Campus Research Calendar

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Event Detail Information

Event Detail Information

Speaker Dr. Sherri Mason - Associate Professor of Chemistry, SUNY College at Fredonia
Date Nov 7, 2013
Time 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm  
Location Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, One E. Hazelwood Dr., Champaign, IL 61820
Cost Free
Sponsor Illinois Sustainable Technology Center
Contact Nancy Holm
Phone 217-244-3330
Registration to watch online
Event type seminar
Views 3273

Since the ‘discovery’ of an accumulation of microplastics in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre in 1999 and recent events such as the 2011 Japanese Tsunami, marine debris has received increased attention and public awareness. To date, however, research and even public media campaigns have focused upon oceanic systems. Globally, the salt-water environs of our oceans do dominate the earth’s surface, but that water cycles through freshwater systems as it makes its way from sky to sea, accumulating our trash along the way. UN reports suggest that 80% of the oceanic debris comes from land, and it is perpetually postulated that litter makes its way to the oceans by way of freshwater systems, such as rivers and lakes.

The Great Lakes represent the largest freshwater ecosystem in world and directly feed into the North Atlantic Ocean. Within the Great Lakes watershed there live 35 million people, most (if not all) of whom use and lose plastic. During the summer of 2012 we conducted the first-ever survey for plastic pollution within the Great Lakes system. We present here the results of our expedition, as well as a comparison to surveys conducted in the North Atlantic Gyre.

This seminar will be broadcast live and also archived on our website www.istc.illinois.edu for later viewing. If you cannot attend the event at ISTC, you may register to view the webinar live.