Alumni Alumni in the News In the News

July 27, 2014 at 4:05 pm

English Alum Writes About Plastic in the Geologic Record

Kathryn Potraz ’13, an editorial intern at Sierra, writes about “Plastic Permanence: Our litter is now part of the geologic record.”

Potraz earned two degrees from Ohio University, a B.A. in English from the College of Arts & Sciences and a B.S.J. in Journalism. She is a also a graphic designer for the Athena Cinema.

“From a human perspective, the earth’s geography changes pretty slowly—it takes thousands of years for a glacier to carve out a valley, for plate tectonics to form mountains and for volcanic eruptions to layer new land masses. But a recent discovery by scientists shows a new addition to the rock record, and it’s partly man-made,” she writes.

“The new hybrid rock type is called a plastiglomerate, and the colorful stones are cropping up on shorelines in Hawaii. They’re multicolored and multitextured, a mosaic of stone veined with polymer. Plastiglomerates are formed when plastic is melted and hardens into pores of existing rocks. They’re usually between 2 and 8 inches, and rounded from erosion on the shore.”

Read her article at Sierra.

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