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Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion (Scientists in the Field)

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really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  286 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
Aided by an army of beachcombers, oceanographer Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer tracks trash in the name of science. From sneakers to hockey gloves, Curt monitors the watery fate of human-made cargo that has spilled into the ocean. The information he collects is much more than casual news; it is important scientific data. And with careful analysis, Curt, along with a community of sc ...more
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published March 26th 2007 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Laura
May 08, 2008 Laura rated it really liked it
A fascinating story that follows the work of oceanographer Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer, who studies ocean currents and the patterns of floating debris in the ocean. The science behind the book is explained clearly and made accessible, and is punctuated with photographs and informational insets. Each chapter begins with an engaging anecdote or case study which the author then connects to the scientific experiments and principles that relate to it. Without being preachy, it will inspire readers to be mo ...more
Kate
Nov 14, 2008 Kate rated it it was amazing
TRACKING TRASH by Loree Griffin Burns is a trip to a different world -- our oceans. The author won a well-earned Boston Globe - Horn Book Award for this work of non-fiction that's as transporting as any novel. My kids - 5 and 10 - were entranced as I read out loud about huge cargo spills of sneakers and bath toys, where the items washed up on beaches all over the world, and what it taught scientists about ocean currents. They were horrified -- and so was I -- by stories of "ghost nets" that are ...more
Heather Land
Apr 28, 2016 Heather Land rated it it was ok
Tracking Trash – Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion by Loree Griffin Burns is about an oceanographer named Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer and his quest to track the patterns of ocean movement by tracking drifting trash in the ocean all around the world. He calls these drift experiments. Curt began with trash from cargo boats and estimated that between 2,000-10,000 cargo containers fall from cargo ships every year. If not sealed properly or punctured in the fall, the container would sink and ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
You can't go wrong with the Scientists in the Field series by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. This book described how scientists discovered new information about ocean currents by studying the movements of sneakers, rubber bath toys, and other items that fall into the ocean from cargo vessels. I was surprised to learn how many cargo containers--2,000 to 10,000--wash off into the sea every year. Some stuff sinks, but the rest floats around until it's washed ashore somewhere. One scientist said, with r ...more
Erin
Oct 02, 2012 Erin rated it it was amazing
Tracking Trash follows oceanographer Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer as he tracks how trash and other debris, some of which is known as flotsam and jetsam can be used to study how the ocean moves. By tracking trash in the ocean scientists can learn about ocean currents and what drives them. Ocean currents are important because they result in weather changes that effect climate, and these climate changes then effect the environment, and that effects the people and animals that live in that environment. Dr. ...more
Kayla Buchan
Jul 23, 2013 Kayla Buchan rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Audience: Intermediate
Genre: Non-fiction

Bloom's Questions:
1. Name 2 things/objects Curt Eddesmeyer tracked?
2. Describe what the OSCURS does.
3. Tell me where you would find what the term windage means. What pages can that term be found on?
4. What is the relationship between the currents and the trash in the ocean?
5. What part of the book or which piece of information impacted you the most?
6. What changes can you make to your daily life to help improve the trash and pollution problems we are facin
...more
Jess
Aug 14, 2014 Jess rated it really liked it
Shelves: eco-friendly
Very informative on how trash is tracked through the world's ocean. What hit me the most was how much plastic waste is in the world and makes me wonder how as a civilization of earth how we would ever combat it. Makes a person wonder.
Chris Lutz
Apr 26, 2016 Chris Lutz rated it liked it
Title: Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion
Author: Loree Griffin Burns
Illustrator:
Genre: Photographic Essay
Theme(s): Pollution, ocean movement, marine life
Opening line/sentence: Benjamin Franklin, the famous inventor and patriot, was one of America’s earliest ocean scientists.
Brief Book Summary: This book details the work of an oceanographer to share his discoveries with a younger age range to show the effects that sea pollution is having. It tracks the oceanographe
...more
Lauren Smeltzer
Nov 19, 2015 Lauren Smeltzer rated it it was amazing
Tracking trash by Loree Burns is an excellent book for ages 12 and up. This book portrays the work of Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer, beachcombers, and oceanographers in tracking trash in the name of science. The book exposes readers to the ramifications of trash circulating through the Pacific Ocean and introduces readers to the science of ocean motion. Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer is on a hunt to track trash in the name of science. He takes the readers on a seafaring adventure to encounter and see the unbelie ...more
Ashley
May 07, 2015 Ashley rated it liked it
Shelves: libs-642
Burns, L.G. (2007). Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

IRA Children’s & Young Adult’s Book Award for Intermediate- Nonfiction 2008
Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book for Nonfiction.

Informational

I loved this book, partly because I love science, but also because of how this world issue can be relevant to our children and students today. This wonderful piece of nonfiction follows oceanographer Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer. Dr. Curtis foll
...more
Angie
Have you ever seen a log or trash floating in a river or the ocean? Where do you think it ends up? In our story Here Comes the Garbage Barge, what would have happened if Cap’m Duffy St. Pierre would have dumped his garbage barge of trash into the ocean? Would it all sink to the bottom? Would it float around forever? This is the book we are going to read today (hold up so everyone can see the cover). Based on the title, Tracking Trash, what do you think this is going to be about? Does it look lik ...more
Haley
Dec 09, 2014 Haley rated it really liked it
Tracking Trash was very interesting in one word. This book was a non-fiction book about the currents in the oceans and how oceanographers track these currents using trash. Basically the oceanographers make “trash” and “toys” to purposefully put into the ocean to track water currents and the way the ocean moves. One very successful oceanographer’s studies started with a leak of Nike shoes into the ocean.
Tracking Trash was probably the most interesting book I have ever read. I definitely do not
...more
Ashley R.
Apr 26, 2014 Ashley R. rated it did not like it
This book was an informational chapter book about what kinds of damages garbage can cause on our oceans and sea animals. Author Loree Griffin Burns gives plenty of information on how the ocean actually works (waves, tides, gyres, and currents) within the beginning of the book. She then goes on to describe what types of debris is being dumped in the ocean, and how some of it is being tracked for experiments. Burns works with the researching team to better describe how our trash is affecting the o ...more
Akaul002odu.edu
May 04, 2014 Akaul002odu.edu rated it really liked it
Shelves: libs-642
Genre and age: Informational, grades 5+

Summary: The book follows scientist Curt Ebbesmeyer in his research of ocean motion, or the ocean’s currents. He uses an unconventional research method of following and tracking floating trash over long periods of time. The book also covers the environmental implications surrounding the pollution of the earth’s oceans.

Curriculum: There are strong scientific connections between this book and topics covered in science classrooms. Students may find this book a
...more
Kathy Erskine
Jul 14, 2008 Kathy Erskine rated it it was amazing
A fascinating look at what happens to items that fall out of ship containers, where they travel and where they end up. An important book to show kids and all of us how important it is to protect our ocean, wildlife and ourselves from non-recyclable trash. Well researched, great photos, educational AND captivating!
Melissa McMaster
This book was an informational chapter book about what kinds of damages garbage can cause on our oceans and sea animals. Author Loree Griffin Burns gives plenty of information on how the ocean actually works (waves, tides, gyres, and currents) within the beginning of the book. She then goes on to describe what types of debris is being dumped in the ocean, and how some of it is being tracked for experiments. Burns works with the researching team to better describe how our trash is affecting the o ...more
Julie Suzanne
Jul 24, 2015 Julie Suzanne rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Kids: grades 4-8? Although this adult loved it.
Excellent Juvenile informational text! I read this just because it looked so interesting, and now I'll make sure my middle school library has a copy. I don't usually enjoy science topics, Oceanography presented with a focus on tracking trash in the ocean is fascinating. I leave this book with a renewed appreciation for oceanography and an understanding of what some oceanographers do, horror at what we're doing to our oceans, a reinforced loathing for plastic and new commitment to change my own b ...more
Savannah Bryant
Jan 26, 2014 Savannah Bryant rated it really liked it
Tracking Trash helps develop the reader's understanding of ocean pollution, and the many ways people are using trash as a means for comprehending oceanography and ocean motion. While the primary focus of the book focuses on the story of oceanographer Curt Ebbesmeyer and his work in tracking ocean trash, the book also discusses ocean currents, tides, gyres, and waves in order explain the phenomena which circulate trash in our oceans and seas. This book brings the reader to a greater awareness of ...more
Becky B
Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer has spent many years studying ocean currents, but many of his tools for these studies are a bit unconventional. Because Dr. Ebbesmeyer tracks things that have been lost to the ocean. In fact, his interest in ocean currents was really sparked when 100s of Nike shoes started popping up on beaches in one region and beachcombers reported them. Using the help of beachcombers, he tracked the shoes back to a shipping container that was lost at sea in a storm and from there, figure ...more
Samantha Lazar
Nov 23, 2008 Samantha Lazar rated it really liked it
Shelves: informational
CIP:Aided by an army of beachcombers, oceanographer Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer tracks trash in the name of science. From sneakers to hockey gloves, Curt monitors the watery fate of human-made cargo that has spilled into the ocean. The information he collects is much more than casual news; it is important scientific data. And with careful analysis, Curt, along with a community of scientists, friends, and beachcombers alike, is using his data to understand and protect our ocean. In engaging text and un ...more
Becca Noelle
Personally, I did not really like Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion. Judging by the cover and title, I thought it was going to be a lot more about going green, recycling, pollution, and trash, rather than ocean currents and understanding patterns of the ocean. The book begins with an Oceanographer, Dr. Ebbesmeyer tracking the patterns of man made items through the ocean. Ebbesmeyer follows things that have fallen off of cargo ships that are traveling through the oc ...more
Johnny
Dec 09, 2011 Johnny rated it liked it
Title: Tracking Trash, Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion
Author: Loree Griffin Burns
Genre: Informational

Summary: Provides an awareness of amount of plastic garbage in our oceans, its origins, effects and possible solutions.

A.The content of this story is addressed in this critique

B.The issue of the pollution of the ocean with plastic and other trash is presented in an understandable story-like manner that will not overwhelm young readers. Oceanographic terminology is effectively int
...more
Lauren
Nov 16, 2010 Lauren rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion. I have personally always been interested in learning about our environment and what we can do to help save it, and am currently taking environmental ethics here at St. Ambrose. Throughout this class we have discussed ocean pollution, but mainly as it relates to oil spills. I really like how Loree Griffin Burns wrote this book on a different type of ocean pollution; things we have lost at sea, such as bath toys and ...more
Sara Lynn
Dec 08, 2011 Sara Lynn rated it really liked it
1. Genre: Junior Book/Informational

2. Summary: Follow scientist Curt Ebbesmeyer along on his exciting adventures tracking bath toys, sneakers, and other trash as it travels across the globe thanks to the movement of the ocean currents.

3. Critique:
a. One of the greatest strengths of this book is the use of graphics, photographs, and captions to further explain and demonstrate the content of the book.

b. Of these, the most effective aspect of the book is the photographs. Burns provides her readers
...more
Laurie
Oct 15, 2012 Laurie rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Citation: Tracking Trash; Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion, by Loree Griffin Burns. (Houghton Mifflin, 2007). 58p. Informational Text.

Summary: Through maps, photographs, and narrative text; this book examines the work of Curtis Ebbesmeyer and other scientists who document the path of trash in the earth’s waters. Sections that offer background knowledge and additional information are interspersed throughout.

Critique: (a.)The organization of this book is very clear. Concepts are de
...more
Rosalee Korte
The book I read was Tracking trash by Loree Griffin Burns. It is about a scientist who finds out about a cargo spill… the first Nike sneaker washed up on the coast of Washington, no one really seemed to mind it at all but then when tens of hundreds more started making their way to shore Curt Ebbesmeyer found they were all coming from a giant cargo spill in the Pacific Ocean. There were some really interesting things like rubber ducks that came some thousands of miles from the Pacific Ocean acros ...more
Amy
Dec 09, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it
1) Genre: Information
2) Summary: This book takes the reader on scientist, Curt Ebbesmeyer’s journey as he observes various pollution (i.e. shoes, trash) in oceans.
3) Critique:
a) Without a doubt, the actual photographs are the strongest aspect of the book.
b) It is easy enough to tell a child that scientists conduct research, in science labs but this book shows a scientist actually out in the field finding research. These photographs make science appear more real and exciting.
c) Throughout the b
...more
Sarah Alexander
Nov 24, 2013 Sarah Alexander rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libs-642
This book is one of the Scientists in the Field books. It is about the science of the ocean and the pollution of it. Flotsam is the stuff floating in the ocean naturally like tree limbs and dead fish, jetsam is the things floating in the ocean that humans have put there like plastic bottles. Scientist Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer is an oceanographer that found the opportunity to study ocean currents through tracking trash. The first time he tried to do this was through the spill of a shipping container ...more
Abby Johnson
Apr 02, 2008 Abby Johnson rated it it was amazing
Tracking Trash is about ocean currents, yes. But the cool thing is how these particular oceanographers study ocean currents. For Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer, his studies started with a sneaker. Well, a case of sneakers. A case of sneakers that fell off a ship during a storm and began washing up on beaches from Alaska to northern California. What currents brought those shoes to rest on shore? What paths did they take? Why did some of them go north and some go south?

By studying the effects of accidents
...more
Dolly
Oct 09, 2013 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fascinating, although fairly long book about the trash that floats in the ocean, and the currents that carry it around the world. There are many color photographs, illustrations and diagrams accompanying the text to illustrate the material as well as interviews with different scientists.

We discovered why there are large seas of trash that accumulate in the Pacific, based on the vagaries of the currents. We were shocked to learn that the eastern 'Garbage Patch' located between Californ
...more
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Loree is a scientist-turned-writer specializing in books about science and nature for young readers. You can learn more about her adventures and her books by visiting her website (www.loreeburns.com) or by following her blog (http://loreeburns.com/category/blog/).
More about Loree Griffin Burns...

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