Flotsametrics and the Floating World: How One Man's Obsession with Runaway Sneakers and Rubber Ducks Revolutionized Ocean Science

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Harper Collins, Oct 6, 2009 - Science - 304 pages

“Ebbesmeyer’s goal is noble and fresh: to show how the flow of ocean debris around the world reveals ‘the music’ of the world’s oceans.”

—New York Times Book Review


Through the fascinating stories of flotsam, one of the Earth’s greatest secrets is revealed. In Flotsametrics and the Floating World, maverick scientist Curtis Ebbesmeyer details how his obsession with floating garbage—from rubber ducks to discarded Nike sneakers—helped to revolutionize ocean science. Scientist and environmentalist David Suzuki, host of CBC TV’s “The Nature of Things,” calls Flotsametrics and the Floating World  “Science and storytelling at its very best.” “A very enjoyable, if at times dark, book” (Nature), it is must reading for anyone interested in Oceanography, Environmental Science, and the way our world works.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - satyridae - LibraryThing

I always enjoy books written by passionate, obsessed science geeks. This is not a particularly linear book, but wow, it's interesting. It does point out in depressing detail just how badly we've ... Read full review

FLOTSAMETRICS AND THE FLOATING WORLD: How One Man's Obsession with Runaway Sneakers and Rubber Ducks Revolutionized Ocean Science

User Review  - Kirkus

Lively as-told-to autobiography of a scientist who studied flotsam—floating trash—and revolutionized the study of the world's oceans.Ebbesmeyer graduated college as a mechanical engineer in the mid ... Read full review


Oil and Icebergs
Messages in Bottles
Eureka a Sneaker
Coffins Castaways and Cadavers
The Admiral of the Floating World
Asian infusions in America Castaways from the hermit shogunate Ranald
The forgotten gyres rediscovered and renamed Amos Wood follows the fishing
Junk Beach and Garbage Patch
The Synthetic Sea
substitute Plasticpacked albatrosses Molecular mimicry Endocrine
Melting the Arctic and speeding the gyres Farewell fundamental tone Finding
A Million Drifting Messages

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About the author (2009)

Curtis Ebbesmeyer holds a Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Washington. Media worldwide have turned to his expertise on ocean currents and floating objects. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

Eric Scigliano, winner of Livingston and AAAS prizes for reporting, has written for Harper's, New Scientist, the New York Times, and many other publications. His books include Puget Sound, Michelangelo's Mountain, and Love, War, and Circuses.

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