PART A: Waste and the Environment
- Does trash always make it to a landfill? Why or why not?
- How does trash get into the ocean?
- Where does it go?
- How does it travel?
- What impact does trash have on the ocean and organisms in the ocean?
Next watch the following video:
- Good Morning America. (2019). The great Pacific garbage patch [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/WtewmJ78hzw
Stop the video at 3 minutes, 30 seconds.
- Note in your word document the types, shapes, and sizes of marine debris you see.
- Discuss your observations. Were there any interesting things you learned from this video?
PART B: Albatross Dissection
An albatross is a very large oceanic bird related to the shearwaters, with long narrow wings. Most mistake this bird as a seagull; however, albatrosses can have wingspans greater than 10 feet, are found mainly in the southern oceans, and rarely stay on land. A bolus is formed from undigested materials that the bird regurgitates as part of its normal feeding process. Many birds create boluses. Most albatross boluses should be composed of animal parts that the albatross cannot digest, like squid beaks. However, there are other materials they eat accidentally, such as rocks and wood, and even trash and plastics that accumulate as marine debris.
- Before viewing the dissection, formulate a hypothesis about the types of items that you think you will find in this bolus. Why might these items be here? Record this in your lab report.
Now observe the dissection and note what you observe as the scientist dissects this bolus;
U.S. Fish and Wildlife. (2020). What’s the deal with albatross vomit? [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7ks1yLV96o
- List the items that are typically found in a bolus.
- List items that are in and on the bolus at first glance.
- What is your guess of the percentage of plastic items in the bolus?
- List any other observations you find interesting.
- Compare this bolus with the bolus that has the toothbrush.
- Why would plastics be a problem if ingested by the albatross?
- Do you think that the bird that regurgitated this bolus felt full?
- What about the bird that regurgitated the bolus with the toothbrush?
- What are the health implications of a bird “feeling full” after eating the materials that were extracted from the bolus?
- Could this debris and the substances in the bolus create health problems for other ocean animals? Which ones? What about humans?
PART C: Global Environment
- What is being done to combat the global problem of marine debris?
- How do humans directly impact organisms, based on this exercise?
- What can you do to combat the global problem of marine debris? (Answer this question by creating a hypothetical experiment as if you were a marine biologist.)
- List a few experimental methods for how a scientist would conduct a mini-experiment to monitor human impacts on albatross populations within a research project scenario.
- Elaborate on why monitoring populations in research is important to understanding the human impact on organisms within a given environment.
Basic Writing Expectations:
- Your lab report has no word count minimum, but make sure all questions are answered entirely.
- Include a title page and reference page in APA format.
- Double-space your paper, and use a font size of 10 or 12.
- Include a highly developed viewpoint and exceptional content.
- Demonstrate superior organization — use logic.
- Make certain that your paper is free of grammar and spelling errors.
- Avoid plagiarism.
- Use APA style for all in-text citations and references.
- Include an introduction and conclusion.