For every marine sediment sample from the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) that C-IMAGE PI David Hastings processes with his students, he generates four (4) plastic disposable test tubes. He prefers not to re-use them since the trace element analysis is sensitive to very low levels of contamination.
That Dr. Hastings’ lab is generating substantial plastic waste in an effort to understand the eventual fate of the oil that was spilled trying to provide us with petroleum resources, like the plastic test tubes, was an interesting contradiction. He put out a call for Eckerd students to make a piece of art with the used test tubes. Without any additional information, one art student found a modelling simulation of the subsurface plume transport from Dr. Claire Paris, a researcher out of the University of Miami, RSMAS and, ironically, a fellow C-IMAGE Researcher. The art student, Robin Rowland, replicated the subsurface intrusion using the test tubes suspended by waste monofilament fishing line recovered by Tampa Bay Watch. This art installation was part of her senior art project.
The full exhibit description can be found here: