Earth Day: Garbage Bin to Ocean Gyre: Journey of Mismanaged Plastics in Oceans Full of Life

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April 22, 2020 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Orhun Aydin, Ph.D.
Lecturer of Spatial Sciences
University of Southern California

Wednesday, April 22, 2020
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm PT

Click Here to Access Recording


“Garbage Bin to Ocean Gyre: Journey of Mismanaged Plastics in Oceans Full of Life”

We use plastics directly or indirectly every day. Since their invention back in the 1950s, 8.3 billion tons of plastics were produced and 99.9% of plastics ever produced still exist in their original shape. Currently, 1.15 – 2.41 million tonnes of plastic waste currently enters the world’s oceans every year putting 100s of marine species and ecosystems are at risk. One of the problems with marine plastic debris is plastic islands, massive amounts of plastic debris accumulating in ocean gyres, areas where currents circle. Throughout their voyage, plastics degrade and form micro-plastics that are detrimental to marine life in a multitude of ways. In this talk, spatiotemporal analysis of plastic pollution within a G.I.S. will be presented. Plastic debris paths in the Pacific Ocean will be delineated with transport simulations and the impact of plastic debris will be quantified with the use of animal tracking G.P.S. data. A spatial hidden Markov model that models significant changes to expected animal movements around plastic Gyres will be demonstrated as a quantitative tool for designing risk regions. Throughout the talk, G.I.S. will be used to unify space and space-time data from a variety of data sources to assess the risk to marine habitats due to our growing footprint on our planet.

This year’s Earth Day event is co-sponsored with USC Sea Grant.

April 22, 2020 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

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