Mainland High School
Lord of the Trash Rings: ISTF 09-2004
Component Three
Provide a forecast of what the workforce demand would be over a five-year period to produce and market your team's technical application or process. Include the impact such production would have on the marketplace.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics,
"In fishing, increases in imports and efforts to revive many fisheries through stringent limits on fishing activity will continue to lead to employment declines. In certain areas of the country, such as Alaska, prudent management has sustained healthy fisheries that should continue to harvest massive amounts of fish. In other areas, fisheries have been damaged by coastal pollution and depleted by years of overfishing. In these areas there will be fewer jobs for fishers.

Jobs in agriculture and fishing are expected to remain hard to find and vulnerable to being eliminated."
The plastic trash in the world's seas and oceans could further negatively impact the U.S. fishing industry through its poisoning of the marine food chain. Since data quantifying plastic's pervasive present is currently not available we are using two simlar agricultural events to emulate the possible affect that this pollution might have on the fishing industry. These scenarios are the 2006 outbreak of e.coli in spinach for the state of Texas and the 2008 outbreak of salmonella for the state of Georgia.

On September 16, 2006, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention informed the Food and Drug Association that an e.coli outbreak had occurred. The outbreak resulted in 205 illnesses, 3 deaths, and spread to 26 states. This chart, calculated by Center for North American Studies staff using IMPLAN 2004, shows the economic effect this outbreak had on the Texas spinach industry; costing it a total of $11 billion. This is relevant to our topic because plastic pollution could have the same detrimental effect on the fishing industry as the E. coli outbreak had on the spinach industry.

In 2008, the Food and Drug Association issued a nationwide warning to consumers about the Salmonella outbreak being linked to the consumption of raw tomatoes. Not only did the diminished production of tomatoes affect the tomato industry but it also affected other related industries, such as: financial, construction, transportation, and manufacturing companies. This shows how a damaged fish industry might affect other industries resulting in an economic depression.

Images courtesy of The University of Georgia - pages 5, 7

Our adviser, Michael Friend, noted in an email dated February 22nd, that
"The danger and potential for a marine ecological disaster is even greater than the examples of food-borne contamination in an agricultural system. Unlike the agricultural model, the ocean’s species are all linked in a complex tiered chain. Any disruption to a critical species can have widespread impact not only on that species, but on the entire chain. The potential for major loss of employment in fishing and related sectors increases dramatically as the impact of pollution-caused damage spreads up and down the marine food chain."

"As the world’s population increases, stress on agricultural resources continues to build. It will become increasingly difficult to sustain sufficient food production to meet total world demand. As a result, dependence on well-managed marine systems as a food resource will increase. Part of the overall strategy for responsible management must and will be pollution control in the oceans. As the balance of food production shifts from agriculture to marine systems, employment in all related sectors will grow. A well-developed pollution control initiative will help to reduce the risk of marine system collapse, with resulting loss of employment. At the same time, the initiative will produce new sources of employment in fishing, marine resource management, and waste management."

As any form of pollution increases and its environmental ramifications are regulated, industries emerge to meet world need for technical standards and cleanup. One such example is ONET technologies

The ONET group offers advanced solutions in various aspects of nuclear engineering. Their services range from nuclear and chemical cleanup to nuclear safety. Companies that form the ONET group are incorporated in Spain, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Italy. The following companies involved with Onet specialize in all aspects of nuclear engineering: Comex Nucleaire, Onectra, Sogedec, and Techman Industrie. Onet’s statistics from 2005-2007, depicted below, illustrate that their net gain is slowly increasing and that their net debt is generally decreasing. These statistics indicate that the pollution control industry is going through a period of expansion.
Images courtesy of ONET

Give two examples of undergraduate or graduate degree programs in science or engineering that directly relate to your team's NCT technical application. For each program, be sure to include the following:
     the URL address of the institution,
     the department (for example, chemical engineering, electronic engineering) where the program is offered, and
     a brief description of the program of study.

Image courtesy of the
University of Plymouth
Image courtesy of the
University of Plymouth Marine Institute

The School of Marine Science and Engineering at the University of Plymouth is one of the largest in Europe and offers teaching and research in four main subject groups:civil and coastal engineering, marine biology, marine sciences, and mechanical and marine engineering.

The University of Plymouth's Marine Institute was formed to consolidate efforts to create innovative solutions to challenging problems regarding the ocean and coasts. Their aim is to create an environment where students can learn and research marine sciences, foster an atmosphere for innovative ocean-related problem solving, and to enhance and create more connections with partners who share their same ideals.
  • C160 — BSc (Hons) Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology
  • CF17 — BSc (Hons) Marine Biology and Oceanography
  • F700 — BSc (Hons) Ocean Science
  • F710 — BSc (Hons) Environmental Science (Marine Conservation)
  • J600 — BSc (Hons) Marine and Composites Technology
  • J610 — BEng (Hons) Marine Technology

Image courtesy of the MIT Image courtesy of the MIT Open Courseware

MIT's School of Mechanical Engineering has a wide variety of applications in the real world. This program provides students with the quantitative, problem-solving, design, and communication skills necessary to excel in this field.1 Currently students enrolled in Mechanical Engineering can participate in such projects as nanoengineering, creating miniature robots, and designing 3-D nanostructures.2

  • 2.25 — Advanced Fluid Mechanics
  • 2.011 — Introduction of Ocean Science and Engineering
  • 13.012 — Hydrodynamics
  • 13.021 — Marine Hydrodynamics
  • 13.022 — Ocean Wave Interaction with Ships and Offshore Energy Systems
  • 13.42 — Design Principles for Ocean Vehicles

Due to the critical importance of plastic and its properties to our project, we have included a third undergraduate program specializing in the science of polymers.

Image courtesy of the Ferris State University

The Ferris State University states that its plastics program is the largest and most respected undergraduate program in the United States. Started in 1982, it strives to fill the plastics industry's need technically trained personnel. According to SPI, in America, about 1.1 million people work in plastics, making it our 3rd-largest manufacturing industry. Classes include topics in "processing, material testing and properties, and mold and product design" and emphasize hands-on learning with industry-standard equipment.
  • MECH 340 — Statics-Strength of Materials
  • PLTS 100 — Survey Plastics-Elastomer Tech
  • PLTS 223 — Testing-Physical Property
  • PLTS 321 — Advanced Injection Molding
  • PLTS 342 — Plastic Material
  • PLTS 361 — Plastics Composites

Develop an idea for a new science and/or engineering degree program that might emerge given the advancements in scientific knowledge that the team has identified. Provide a title and 100-word description of this new degree program.

Our graduate program, Mechanical Engineering Solutions for Ocean Environments (MESOE), will prepare students to design equipment and structures for the use in an ocean environment; focusing on developing new techniques for research and devising new solutions to for our future and current problems in using and maintaining our oceans. Students entering into this program should have a strong background in Engineering and/or Oceanography.

During student's second year they will participate in a full-time internship in order to fulfill their graduate program requirements. The internship will culminate in a thesis report representing orignal research in an area of their choice. Students will participate along side their professors developing improvements in data collection, mitigation of pollution, or analysis of collected data.

Engineering Students Oceanography Students

Fundamental Chemistry of the Ocean Environment
Corrosive agents in Ocean Environments
Fundamentals of Ocean Ecology
Analysis of Global Currents and Wind Systems
Differential Analysis of Centralized Current Systems
Impacts of Geological Events on the Ocean Environment
Analysis of Periodic Variations on Ocean Conditions
Fundamentals of Long term Trends in an Ocean Environment

Statistical Modeling of Discrete Data
Impact Modeling of Multi-Variable Systems
Analysis of Structural Design
Basic Understanding of Statics & Dynamics
Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics
Fundamentals in Hydrodynamics
Advanced Studies Hydrodynamics across Control Surfaces
Material Science in the Ocean Environment

Fundamentals of Sonar
Advanced Studies of Plastic Composition

Fundamentals of Marine Biology
Advanced Naval Architecture

Year Two
  • Study the movement, distribution and collection of plastic and other pollution in ocean gyres
  • Study the transportation of pollution and contamination by local tributary to the oceans
  • Study the contamination of lakes and their tributaries by toxins and other pollutants along with their impact on the ecosystems
  • Study the eviromental impact of offshore oil platforms along with the development and use of new technologies to reduce there environmental foot print
In an email dated February 28, 2010, Miriam Goldstein stated
"If I were building a structure like you are designing, I would want engineers and physical oceanographers. If I were assessing the impact of this structure on ocean life, I would want biological oceanographers and/or marine ecologists."


Career Guide to Industries, 2010-11 Edition

Comex Nucleaire

Economic Impact of Georgia Tomato Production Value Loss Due to the U.S. Salmonella Outbreak

European Strategy

Ferris State University

Ferris State University Plastics Engineering Degree

Marine Institute University of Plymouth

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT OCW Mechanical Engineering

MIT Open Courseware

MIT Mechanical Engineering


ONET Key Figures and Ratios

ONET Technologies


Techman Industrie

University of Plymouth

University of Plymouth Innovation

U.S. Plastics Industry

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