Great Lakes Passive Sampling is a research project being conducted by the Lohmann Lab at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. Polyethylene passive samplers are essentially just pieces of plastic that can absorb hydrophobic contaminants from the air or water. To obtain data in many different areas, we depend on a network of volunteers to deploy, recover, and return these samplers to us.
Participating is simple: we can send samplers and other supplies necessary to set up the samplers. You record the date and location where you set up your sampler, and then leave it for 8 weeks. After 8 weeks, you take down the sampler and send it back to us, and we analyze it to see what's present in the air or water at your site.
By deploying polyethylene passive samplers in the water and air throughout the Lake Ontario and Lake Erie region, we can measure levels of persistent hydrophobic organic pollutants and analyze how the amounts of these chemicals change in different locations.