“When I started doing this research, I was amazed that no one had ever done it before,” she said one morning earlier this week as we drove to her favorite dive site. Iceland has a lot of research questions related to biology and geology that have never been answered, let alone even asked. “Iceland is a really great place for a scientist with an explorer’s heart,” she says…
Ecologists are often asked why they might study one particular animal, especially a small one that has little impact on humans. Jónína’s answer goes like this: humanity might never be dependent on microscopic arthropods but understanding how animals work together, how they depend on each other holds lots more clues about an area’s environmental history—and its future. At the top of the world, seeing how species change and adapt may indicate what happens as the climate changes around the world.
What is a gyre? And how does this natural phenomenon demonstrate the impact of our plastic trash? Anna Cummins and Marcus Eriksen of 5 Gyres Institute explain how we can understand the international issue while acting locally:
"It is impractical to try and scoop out trash out of the ocean. What we can do is wait for it to wash ashore. So to clean a gyre, clean your beach, clean your watershed, clean your street. As close as you can get to the source, is a better way we can solve the problem of plastics in the ocean"
The New York Times’ video profile of Max Mulhern’s “Aqua Dice” shows how the artist’s love for the sea and his interest in unknown outcomes came together into one project.
Fate adrift, these two giant sea dice were constructed out of plywood, pine, PVC and epoxy. Technically illegal — “you’re not allowed to put an object on the water that’s unattended, and you’re not allowed to go to sea if there’s not a constant watch on-board,” explains Mulhern, — they are designed to collapse on impact so as not to be a danger to any other vessels, and are brightly painted. They also have GPS in both of them, customized by technology students, to track where ocean currents are taking the dice and how far apart they are from each other.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of ocean scientists and they’re thinking that the dice will separate quickly,” he said. “What I like about that is the dual possibilities: there’s one throw and two outcomes, two possible destinations — and destinies.”
Whether you love art, love sailing or love the unknown, you can track the dice (and even bet as to where they’ll eventually land) on Mulhern’s site, on this map, or follow the journey on Facebook.