Northwestern Events Calendar


PEPH Hybrid Event: Saving our Synthetic Seas

When: Thursday, October 26, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CT

Where: Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center, Studio 1 (Room 1230), 2133 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Mike McMahon  

Group: Trienens Institute

Category: Lectures & Meetings, Environment & Sustainability


Lunch provided -- registration required -- space is limited.

Join Marcus Eriksen and Anna Cummins from the 5 Gyres Institute for "Saving our Synthetic Seas" on October 26 at 12pm CT. 

Description: Sailing around the world and across the middle of the five oceanic gyres revealed one thing, all solutions begin on land. 10 years of activism, advocacy and published research has brought us now to debate a UN global treaty on plastic pollution. But it all began in 2008 with a homemade raft floating on 15,000 plastic bottles across the Pacific. The stakes are high and everyone has a role to play.

What: "Saving our Synthetic Seas" with Marcus Eriksen and Anna Cummins

When: Thursday, October 26 | 12–1pm CT

Where: Hybrid event | Ford Design Studio 1 (Room 1230) and virtual

About the Speakers: Husband and wife Marcus Eriksen and Anna Cummins co-founded 5 Gyres in 2009, with a goal of stopping the flow of plastic pollution through science, education, and advocacy. 5 Gyres uses first-hand, vetted science as the basis for upstream solutions, including banning single-use plastics, engaging corporations to reduce their plastic footprint, and working with communities to drive local change.  Following over 20 research expeditions sailing across oceans, Marcus’ work has shifted to validate corporate claims about solutions. His second book, Junk Raft, chronicles a rafting voyage from Los Angeles to Hawaii. With more than 30 years working in sustainability and organizational leadership—including marine conservation, coastal watershed management, community relations, and bilingual and sustainability education—Anna Cummins is an expert in the field. Her “Synthetic Sea, Synthetic Me” TEDx talk has been viewed and shared by thousands. Anna received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University, and a MA in Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute for International Studies. Today Marcus and Anna live together with their daughter on a 15 acre farm/science center in Ventura county, California, where they write and research about plastic in the environment.

This conversation is part of the seminar series hosted by the Program on Plastics, Ecosystems, and Public Health at the Paula M. Trienens Institute for Sustainability and Energy.

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