Julie E. Masura
Faculty and Research Scientist, Environmental Science, Center for Urban Water, University of Washington Tacoma
I have been on the environmental science faculty at the University of Washington Tacoma for several years. Courses I teach focus on physical sciences to include geology, meteorology, and oceanography with an emphasis on pollution and sustainability. My research includes understanding the distribution of Alexandrium catenella, an organism known to produce paralytic toxins, throughout Puget Sound and neighboring waters. While doing this research, I noticed plastic in some of my samples. This sparked an interest in exploring the presence of plastics in the environment. I teamed up with a group of researchers from the Center for Urban Waters, to create a method to collect and analyze microplastics in the ocean environment. I presently lead a group of undergraduates to tackle these issues and participate in public outreach.