Graduate student seeking Master's Degree
My name is Tyler O'Brien and I was raised in Danvers, MA which is about 20 minutes outside of Boston. My passion is educating others on environmental problems and would love to one day become a science teacher. I became interested in plastic pollution after completing an internship with Blue Ocean Society of Portsmouth, NH. Part of my work was tracking and classifying macro-debris of all categories. I found it shocking how plastic dominated the categories compared to wood, paper, metal, etc. Microplastics became an interest when I started reading articles on this global environmental issue. The reason I found this topic interesting, is unlike many other materials, plastics do not go away they just break down into smaller and smaller pieces. I feel its important to study this issue at the smallest level, meaning how it is affecting the zooplankton. Zooplankton is the basis of the food web in our World's ocean, even the largest of organisms feed directly on them. By looking at plastics within the zooplankton, I want to understand how it may get passed along from organism to organism. I also was shocked that there was little known about microplastics in Boston. This is how this project was created, just out of simple curiosity and will become a baseline project to get Boston's microplastic research going in the future.