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As a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Hollings Scholar, I interned at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Sandy Hook, NJ. I worked with Dr. Ashok Deshpande on the chemical characterization of microplastic polymers. For my project, I collected plastic samples from various littoral environments along the shores of Cape Cod, MA. I then ran these samples in a pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry instrument, and analyzed the resulting spectra to determine their polymer composition. This research is important because plastics can absorb toxic chemical contaminants, so it is necessary to raise awareness about the dangers of plastic consumption and pollution.


The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.