Saturday, August 11, 2007

Tracking trash: flotsam, jetsam, and the science of ocean motion, by Loree Griffin Burns

Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer is a scientist and an expert on flotsam and jetsam. He tracks loads of sneakers and plastic bathtub toys that have fallen from cargo ships and washed up on beaches around the world in order to understand the ocean's currents. Aided by amateur beachcombers and computer simulations, Ebbesmeyer's work is fascinating to read about. The discovery that there are "garbage patches" where currents have distributed loads of our trash is a cautionary reminder of our impact on the health of our oceans and our earth.

Connect: Flotsam, by David Wiesner (2006)

Grades 4-8

1 comment:

Brucie said...

This is yet another wonderful entry in the "Scientists in the Field" series. Written in a lively and entertaining style, the book is sure to inspire young readers to care about the ocean environment. It documents the appalling amount of plastic and old nets afloaat in patches of ocean. Through the study of ocean currents and use of computer models, scientists are able to predict where the trash will go. Satellite technology helps as well. I'm not sure of the curriculum connection in middle school science. Can someone else chime in here?