Sarah is a graduate student studying microplastics and is funded by NOAA and the USGS.
Why did you choose to study / research marine science?
The ocean is a life-sustaining resource for humankind, and as the sink for most anthropogenic waste, it is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of pollution. I’m interested in learning more about the sources, movement, and fate of plastic pollution within our planet’s marine areas and helping protect those habitats most at risk. As a former professional science educator, I’m passionate about engaging local communities in hands-on science research and facilitating environmental literacy in coastal areas.
What is your research project about?
My research focuses on building robust assessments of microplastics in Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island’s freshwater resources, including conducting extensive field work and managing laboratory processing. My field methods include seasonal manta trawl surveys, pump filter system sampling, and event-responsive grab sampling. In addition, I am undertaking experimental trophic transfer work to better understand the movement of plastics through coastal food webs.
Interesting fact about yourself?
I won a betta fish at a carnival in 2nd grade and it lived for 8 years. R.I.P. Sushi – gone but never forgotten.