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Rocklin – One of our planet’s least-observed and most-mysterious environmental hotspots is the topic of the next Sierra College Natural History Museum illustrated lecture, as Dr. Margy Gassel presents “Journey to the Plastic Vortex” on Fri., November 18, 2011 at 7:30pm in Sewell Hall, room 111, on Sierra College’s Rocklin campus.

Dr. Gassel, a biologist with the California Environmental Protection Agency (CEPA), will share her experiences and describe her research in the North Pacific gyre – the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – a remote stretch of ocean where tons of plastic trash floats and slowly degrades. Gassel will discuss the potential effects of the debris on ecological and human health and on our society’s connection with and contributions to this global issue.

A scientist with a passion for the ocean and marine life, Dr. Gassel received her Ph.D. in biology from the University of California at Berkeley. She currently works as a research scientist evaluating chemical contamination of fish and potential consumer health risks at the CEPA’s office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment in Oakland. Gassel also worked with Project Kaisei, a non-profit which focused on marine debris issues, and has sailed the oceans researching, among other things, invertebrate and fish populations and humpback whale behavior.

This presentation is part of the Sierra College Natural History Museum’s 2011-2012 lecture series. Tickets, which are available at the door, are $5 for general admission and $2 for students and seniors. Admission is free to museum members. All proceeds benefit the Sierra College Natural History Museum.

The Sierra College Rocklin campus is located at 5000 Rocklin Rd. $2 parking permits, which are required, are available at dispensers located in the parking lots. For more information, call the Sierra College Natural History Museum at 916-660-7926.

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