Microplastics Mapping Project

"Blue" by Joel ShapiroTwo weeks ago, I was asked by my supervisor to attend a microplastic project team meeting, and I knew nothing about microplastics (even the term itself) until I joined that virtual zoom call. Microplastics-related issue is not new but is always a hot topic these years. Tons of scholars from different countries and regions have worked on the subject. ACC aims to create a global point-of-contact database, including instituions that actively study microplastics. This mapping project helps ACC to efficiently do advocacy on such matters if ACC’s international partners can develop a relationship with the prestigious scholars or institutions in those countries and regions.

Initially, I thought that all I needed to do for this meeting was take meeting minutes and assist with some administrative work. Surprisingly, I was asked to lead the microplastic mapping project for the China division. I was a bit panicked when I heard about this new assignment because I had never led a team project before. Besides individual research, showing two internal meetings and sharing the progress with group members were also on the to-do list.

The work product of this assignment is a spreadsheet containing Chinese scholars in prestigious institutions. The factors I considered for whether to include them based on their international reputation, news media impact, quantities of journals publications, and their institutions’ reputations. Although it took me almost two weeks to finish the project, the process was fun. It was another valuable experience.