ERG Seminar - Plastic Waste in the Watershed

Thursday, April 20, 2023 2:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

ERG seminatr

Seminar Series Presents

Dr. Jason Davison

Assistant Professor

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

The Catholic University of America

Washington, D.C.

Dr. Jason Davison is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The Catholic University of America. Jason's work focuses on microplastics, numerical modeling, environmental policy, and STEM education. He is the director of the AnthroHydro research group and the RAISE: Research and Innovative STEM Education program. Previously, he was a Post-Doctoral Scientist at Aquanty Inc., where he researched Canada's water resources and the impact of global climate change. Jason received his PhD in Earth and Environmental Sciences from the University of Waterloo in 2017, and his research focused on integrated atmosphere, surface, and subsurface water flow models. He received his M.S. in Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology from Stanford University and his B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Plastic Waste in the Watershed

Microplastics are found persisting in systems throughout the world resulting in prohibitive environmental remediation costs. Attempts to clean up marine plastic waste at sea are seemingly futile and as such, there has been a recent shift in research to address the issue at its land-based source. This work demonstrates the viability of using a particle tracking model coupled to parameter estimation software to predict the sources of plastic waste within the Anacostia watershed. The software was tested on both a slab slope model and a more complex test watershed to calculate numerical accuracy and precision. This increase in complexity should decrease the relative error of model predictions, bolstering the overall usage of the software package. Additionally, this work will present a cloud-based object detection algorithm software package that calculates the quantity of floating plastics on a larger scale. This software is paired with our source location identification program as a novel predictor for plastic waste origins. The resulting source location predictions can be used to inform proper plastic waste management, and prioritize waste remediation in favor of mitigation efforts. This presentation will also include a deep discussion on STEM education with the development of a campus makerspace, self-efficacy in first-year programs, and the impacts of project based learning on students. 

Everyone welcome

Coffee provided