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Graduate thesis
Research Position for Master students - Study on “Plastic Transport in the Saigon River”
 

Research Position for “Plastic Transport in the Saigon River” Research

 

The Ocean Cleanup (TOC), Rotterdam, Netherlands

CARE, Ho Chi Minh University of Technology, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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Available to local master students undertaking graduate research at Ho Chi Minh City universities.

Benefit: Monthly allowance, Scientific paper

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To apply for this opportunity, kindly send your CV (in English) for further consideration to Ms. An Tran, an.tran@theoceancleanup.com, before December 22, 2018.

Introduction

Land-based plastics, mostly conveyed through rivers, are considered one of the main sources of marine plastics pollution [Jambeck et al., 2015; Lebreton et al., 2017]. Recent work suggested that 90% of the plastic input from rivers comes from just 10 rivers, one of which is the Mekong River [Schmidt et al., 2017]. However, these estimations of plastic emission [Lebreton et al., 2017; Schmidt et al., 2017] are highly uncertain, mainly due to a lack of field data.

Recent work has introduced a new methodology to consistently measure plastic transport in rivers [van Emmerik et al., 2018]. A combination of visual counting from bridges, plastic sampling, and measuring hydrological variables, is used to estimate of daily, monthly and annual plastic emission. Using this method, the Saigon river (estimated to be the 5th most emitting river in Viet Nam) has been measured for almost a 10-month period in 2018. This yielded new insights regarding the quantity, composition and variation of plastic transport in the Saigon River. However, several aspects, such as the vertical distribution, transport at the river mouth, variation along the river, and identification of sources, have remained unstudied. This research project will focus on these aspects.

 

Research goals

This research aims to:

1.         Develop a monitoring method for the Saigon River mouth;

2.        Quantify the vertical distribution, from floating plastics to bed transport;

3.         Study the variation on plastic transport along the river;

4.        Identify sources of river plastics in the Saigon River;


Methods

1.         Develop a monitoring method for the Saigon River mouth

2.        Quantify the vertical distribution, from floating plastics to bed transport.

3.         Study the variation on plastic transport along the river;

4.        Identify sources of river plastics in the Saigon River;

 

Human Resources

CARE and TOC will supervise the project.
It is also an option to select multiple students to work on this project simultaneously.

CARE will pre-select candidates for this research. The final selection of the student(s) will be done together with TOC.

 

Duration of the research

The time for performance of the work contents shall be as specified in the following table:

 

 

Dec ‘18

Jan ‘19

Feb ‘19

Mar ‘19

Apr ‘19

May ‘19

Jun ‘19

Jul ‘19

Deliverable

Agree on proposal

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research plan

Find student(s)

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graduate student to execute plan

Kick-off

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Start project (TOC & CTU)

Method development

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

Monitoring method selected for sampling river mouth and vertical distribution

Data collection

 

 

X

X

X

X

X

 

Data series surface plastics + samples of plastics in water column

Data analysis

 

 

 

X

X

X

X

 

Insights in plastic transport in Saigon

Identify sources and sinks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GIS map of sources and sinks of plastic in HCMC

System analysis

 

 

 

 

X

X

X

 

Quantification of sources, sinks and fluxes of plastic in HCMC

Paper writing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

Scientific paper submitted

 

Budget

TOC has research budget available to cover salary of the graduate student, equipment rental and hiring extra assistance in the field. CARE is expected to support the project through lending measurement equipment, facilitate lab measurements and coordinate field measurements. 

For more detailed Information please download this document 
Or you can contact 
Ms. An Tran, an.tran@theoceancleanup.com for further information

References

Lebreton, L., et al. "River plastic emissions to the world's oceans." Nature communications 8 (2017): 15611.

Schmidt, C., T. Krauth, and S. Wagner. "Export of Plastic Debris by Rivers into the Sea." Environmental science & technology 51.21 (2017): 12246-12253.

van Emmerik, T., et al. "A Methodology to Characterize Riverine Macroplastic Emission into the Ocean." Frontiers in Marine Science 5 (2018): 372.

   
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