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The Plastic Ocean Project

  • Broadcast in Environment
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Bonnie Monteleone and The Plastic Ocean Project

Bonnie Monteleone received her GLS Masters in the Spring of 2011.  Her thesis title "The Plastic Ocean Project" looked at the compromised environment for the convenience of plastics.  A major thrust of this study addressed the question "If the North American Pacific gyre is inundated with plastics, are the other gyres?"

Monteleone completed her first field study exploration in the North American gyre in July 2009 in collaboration with Bermuda Institute of Oceaninc Science (BIOS) and results from that study provides an estimate of 3,440 metric tons of micro plastic floating on the surface in the North American gyre.

Currently, Monteleone works in the Chemistry Department at UNC Wilmington both as an administrator and a lab assistant working with undergraduate students studying plastic marine debris.  Her team focuses specifically on the plastic marine debris collected from the North American gyre. 

These samples are measured by weight, typed using IR, and are tested for persistent organic pollutants (POPS) using Mass Spectrometry.

As an outreach component, Bonnie created a conceptual art exhibit titled "What Goes Around, Comes Around" using some of the plastic debris that she collected from the open-ocean and from remote mid-ocean islands.

For more information visit: www.PlasticOceanProject.org

Follow her blog at: http://theplasticocean.blogspot.com/

or email Bonnie at: monteleoneb@uncw.edu