Alek B. at SeaAlek is, he writes, “really concerned about an oil spill happening in the Salish Sea.” He wants to investigate the likely trajectory of oil in the event that it was accidentally released by oil tankers traveling through the Strait of Juan de Fuca, noting “the water along the oil tanker routes is habitat for more than 100 endangered or threatened species, including the orca whale.” As Lead Scientist of the project, Alek plans to release – this month – 400 biodegradable and non-toxic drift cards at a point between Peapod Rocks and Buckeye Shoals in Rosario Strait next to the San Juan Archipelago. He manufactured the cards himself with help from his father and grandfather. As drift cards come in, Alek plans to map their locations and calculate trajectories and speeds to simulate movement of an oil spill.
Alek B. paints his cards in his garage at home.Alek created a website for his project where he summarizes his research questions and hypotheses, and where people finding drift cards may go to report them (http://oilspillscience.org). The GISR group is impressed and inspired by Alek’s hard work and dedication to scientific discovery; we wish him success and look forward to his research results. We encourage you to visit his project website.