SURFING: A unique opportunity for improving ocean literacy and conducting coastal based microplastic citizen science
Status: Available to partner with
Dissertation: SURFING: A unique opportunity for improving ocean literacy and conducting coastal based microplastic citizen science
Dissertation category: Any
Short summary: 2020 is a set to be a seminal year for ocean conservation as well as surfing; what opportunities for ocean health does this hold? This study draws on surfing as a Social and Ecological System; and questions whether the surf community could be ideal candidates for monitoring and conducting citizen sciences programmes investigating microplastic contamination of coastal habitats.
Detailed summary: This multi-disciplinary research will be carried out within surf breaks on the Coast of Portugal, featuring a variety of coastal habitats which includes National Parks, World Surfing Reserves as well as highly urbanised and industrialised areas.
Using a select group of surfers, we will collect ocean samples using a bongo net and grab bottle, analysing the presence of microplastics in surf breaks; comparing the data in a mobile lab. Social research will also obtain feedback from surfers.
The project explores:
*How to retrieve microplastic samples using different methods including from a surfboard; considering potential to scale up studies
*How feasible it is to use surfers within a citizen science programme and why they might be an untapped source of knowledge
*A synthesis of where microplastic accumulation is most rife, comparing surf breaks during different seasons, conditions and tides
*What is the relationship between surfers and microplastic contamination of surf breaks
University: Anglia Ruskin University
Course: MSc Sustainability