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The Science of Microplastics in the World Ocean - Program

An International Workshop to Formulate Next Steps in Understanding the Fate, Distribution, Impacts, and Technology Development Necessary to Push the Science


Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Lillie Auditorium, 7 MBL Street, Woods Hole

6:30pm Open Public Event: Microplastics in the Ocean: Emergency or Exaggeration?
This will be a public forum with keynote speaker Dr. Kara Lavender-Law (Sea Education Association) followed by a panel discussion of the global significance of microplastics with Chelsea Rochman, Hauke Kite-Powell, Gunnar Gerdts, Shige Takada and Colin Ward, all experts and global leaders in microplastic research. The panel discussion with the audience participation will be moderated by U.S. National Public Radio science reporter Dr. Heather Goldstone.
8:00pm Reception and Icebreaker (Tent next to Redfield Building)


Wednesday, October 16 - Redfield Auditorium, Woods Hole

8:00am Morning refreshments
8:30am Welcome and Introductory Remarks (Scott Gallager, WHOI, and Rick Murray, Deputy Director and Vice President for Research, WHOI)
8:45am Report out on Summary of Critical questions from questioner survey
Summaries of Recent Major Workshops (Moderator: Scott Gallager)
9:00am Richard Thompson (University of Plymouth, UK)
Marine Litter are there solutions to this global environmental problem?  (remote presentation)
9:30am Bart Koelmans (Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands)
Microplastic in Nature and Society: Science Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA)
PPT Presentation (pdf)
10:00am Break
Summaries of major academic programs (Moderator: Scott Gallager)
10:15am Gunnar Gerdts (Alfred Wegener Institute)
Defining the Baselines and Standards for Microplastics Analyses in European Waters (BASEMAN), lessons learned.
PPT Presentation (pdf)
10:45am Isabelle Schultz (JPI - Oceans Program)
Ecological aspects of microplastics: JPI Oceans aligns research across 16 countries
PPT Presentation (pdf)
The Need for Standards and Best-Practices in Sampling and Reporting Methods (Moderator: Scott Gallager)
11:15am Jennifer Lynch (National Institute of Standards and Technology, Hawaii Pacific University, Center for Marine Debris Research), Standards for Measurement Science of Microplastic Pollution
PPT Presentation (pdf)
11:35am Brett Howard (American Chemistry Council)
Microplastics Standards – Status and Future Needs
PPT Presentation (pdf)
11:55am Linda Amaral-Zettler (NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research)
Next-Generation Science for Microbial Biodegradation Standards for Biobased Plastics (remote presentation)
12:15pm Lunch
Current State-of-the-Art in Polymer Classification from Lab and Field Samples (Moderator: Anna Michel, WHOI)
1:00pm Claire Gwinnett (Staffordshire University)
The use of Forensic Fibre Examinations for Microplastic Studies
PPT Presentation (pdf)
1:20pm Scott Gallager (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
Microplastic Particle Analysis of Hudson River Surface Water Using Novel Flow-Through Imaging Raman Spectroscopy
PPT Presentation (pdf)
1:40pm Sebastian Primpke (Alfred Wegener Institute)
Harmonized Analysis of Microplastics by FTIR Spectroscopy and Imaging
PPT Presentation (pdf)
2:00pm Ashok Deshpande (NOAA Fisheries)
Plastic Polymer Quest Using Pyrolysis GC-MS
PPT Presentation (pdf)
2:20pm Break
2:30pm Plenary: Introduction to Breakout Groups
Groups 1-4: Sampling, processing, and reporting standards (water column, sediment, biota, standards for interlab calibration)
Groups 5-8: Sensing and detecting MPs in the environment. What new technologies are needed to develop a global MP budget?
3:40pm Breakout Groups Switch Topics
4:40pm Plenary report-out
5:45pm Shuttle to Clark Lab
6:00pm Poster session and Reception – Clark Lab 507, Quissett Campus


Thursday, October 17 - Redfield Auditorium, Woods Hole

8:00am Morning refreshments
Summaries of Government and NGO program overviews (Moderator: Carlie Herring, NOAA)
8:30am Carlie Herring (NOAA Marine Debris Program)
Summary of the NOAA Marine Debris Program and Research Priorities
PPT Presentation (pdf)
8:50am Kay Ho (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
Microplastic Research and Preventative Measures at the US Environmental Protection Agency
PPT Presentation (pdf)
9:10am Kim Warner (Chief Scientist for
Marine Plastic Pollution- An NGO perspective
PPT Presentation (pdf)
9:30am Rachael Miller (Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean)
Microplastic field science, supporting innovations and developing curriculum
PPT Presentation (pdf)
Assessing the Fate of Plastics- Mechanisms of Fragmentation and Colonization (Moderator: Collin Ward, WHOI)
9:50am Anthony Andrady (North Carolina State University)
Degradation and Fragmentation of LDPE in Sea Water
PPT Presentation (pdf)
10:10am Collin Ward (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
How long does plastic last in the environment?
PPT Presentation
10:30am Coffee Break
10:45am Matthew MacLeod (Stockholm University)
Chemical and toxicological characterization of chemicals released from plastic polymers under ultraviolet light
PPT Presentation
11:05am Won Joon Shim (Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology)
Producing secondary nano- and microplastics by photooxidation and (or) mechanical abrasion
PPT Presentation
11:25am Erik Zettler (Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research)
Assessing the Fate of Plastics: Colonization and density changes
PPT Presentation
11:45am Lunch
Impacts on Ocean Ecosystems (Moderator: Mark Hahn, WHOI)
12:30pm Evan Ward (University of Connecticut)
Examining the use of marine bivalves as indicators of microplastic pollution in the environment
PPT Presentation (pdf)
12:50pm Chelsea Rochman (University of Toronto)
What is known and unknown about the effects of plastic pollution on wildlife
PPT Presentation (pdf)
1:10pm Bart Koelmans (Wageningen University)
Thought experiments to understand the impacts of microplastic on the (marine) environment
PPT Presentation (pdf)
1:30pm Tracy Mincer (Florida Atlantic University)
Microplastics in the Ocean’s Interior
PPT Presentation (pdf)
1:50pm Dror Angel (University of Haifa, Israel)
Microplastics in the Levant – a snapshot from an ocean desert
PPT Presentation (pdf)
2:10pm Hideshige Takada (Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology)
Hazardous chemicals in marine plastics and their threat to marine organisms
PPT Presentation (pdf)
2:30pm Break
2:40pm Plenary
2:45pm Breakout Groups
Groups 1-4: Degradation pathways of particles, fibers, and nanoplastics
Groups 5-8: Impacts on organisms in the water column, epifauna and infauna
3:45pm Breakout Groups Switch Topics
4:45pm Plenary report-out
5:45pm Walk to Swope Building
6:00pm Poster Session, Reception and Workshop Dinner – Swope Building, Woods Hole

Guest Speaker: Rachel Meidl (Rice University, Baker Institute for Public Policy)
Plastics, sustainability, and the circular economy


Friday, October 18 - Redfield Auditorium, Woods Hole

8:00am Morning refreshments
Industry and Foundation Overviews
The role of industry in research, technology development and clean-up (Moderator: Brett Howard, ACC)
8:30am Brett Howard (American Chemical Council)
The American Chemistry Council and industry efforts to understand microplastics
PPT Presentation (pdf)
8:50am Ron Abbott (Chevron Phillips)
An Industrial View of the Global Plastics Problem
PPT Presentation (pdf)
9:10am Todd Gouin (Researcher and Consultant )
Towards the development and application of an environmental risk assessment framework for microplastic particles
PPT Presentation (pdf)
The Roles Modeling Can Play to Describe Distribution and fate of MP (Moderator: Jake Gebbie, WHOI)
9:30am Jake Gebbie, and Carol Anne Clayson (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
The search for the missing microplastics: how and where do microplastics get transported below the sea surface?
PPT Presentation
9:50am Mikael Kaandorp, (Utrecht University, Netherlands)
How can we use Lagrangian models to explore microplastic particle behavior and properties?
PPT Presentation (pdf)
10:10am Kara Lavender Law (Sea Education Association)
Plastics as tracers to understand physical ocean processes
PPT Presentation (pdf)
10:30am Coffee Break
Nanoplastics as a Particular Threat in the Food Chain and in Human Health (Moderator: Mark Hahn, WHOI)
10:45am Michaela Meyns (Alfred Wegener Institute)
Nanoplastics – from basics to analysis
PPT Presentation (pdf)
11:05am Tanja Kogel (Institute of Marine Research, Norway)
Reviewing physiological effects of micro- and nanoplastic particles on water biota, the lack of quantitative data on them, and our efforts to provide them
PPT Presentation (pdf)
11:25am Dror Angel (University of Haifa, Israel)
Micro and Nanoplastics – can we reduce their flux into the environment?
PPT Presentation (pdf)
11:45am Stephanie Wright (King’s College London)
Microplastics as a novel air pollutant: challenges, implications and the future 
PPT Presentation (pdf)
12:05pm Lunch
12:45pm Breakout Groups
Groups 1-4: How can industry help, what should we be doing?
What drives the perception of microplastic impacts with the public, policymakers and scientists?
Groups 5-8: The fast track to modeling fate and transport
Understanding mechanisms of NP impacts--Do they exist?
2:00pm Plenary report out
2:30pm Final Plenary Wrap-up
What have we learned and where do we go from here? What is the 5-10 year plan?
Develop major sections of the workshop report for manuscript
3:30 pm Workshop closes