Interns Spearhead Their Own Abyss of The Unknown on Marine Debris

If an adjective had to be chosen to describe the aura of this year's Richmond ET interns, bets would be placed on mettlesome - fiery and full of spirt.

Fiery in the sense of the burning sensation that is their conscious, as can be seen through their excitement. Full of spirit from how they refuse to not understand the issues their community faces. In this meeting’s case, it’s how long marine debris lasts in the ocean.

Continuing with ocean waste education, it was unanimous that an interactive activity was in order to learn about how long marine debris truly lasts in the environment.

They were given a short list of items most commonly found in marine debris sites (glass bottle, plastics, rope/fishing nets, etc.), and a list of durations (3 months, 50 years, 200 years, etc.). The goal was simple: match each marine debris item with their corresponding timeframe. Interns wasted no time in figuring out the timeline.


Team work was extremely prevalent;  interns Allison, Daphne, Bryant, and Guadalupe delegated tasks for a quicker turnaround time. The pressure was building as each team were inching nearer to completion, but that did not mean the timeline presented itself with some curveballs! Make no mistake; without any prior knowledge of marine debris, it would be an extremely difficult task to complete.


They had to discuss, critically think, use their deduction skills (and not to mention their gut), to crack the timeline. Interns Linda and Mariana were constantly in debate while Dzalia ferociously contemplated the duration of a monofilament fishing line.

Once all was said and done, they were excited to see the fruit of their labor come to fruition. The highest scoring team got 5 correct; but it wasn’t the amount right that mattered. Interns were shocked to find out that no expert knows how long a glass bottle lasts as marine debris! Interns were in disarray, to say the least.


From this experience, their sense of agency overpowered the sense of despair, for now they felt equipped with the knowledge they accumulated from this meeting to take action! Great job to all interns!

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