Weick said the project sharpened her camera skills

and increased her confidence in interviewing

experts and telling a compelling and accessible story

about science to reach broad audiences.

Plastics Told Through a Student’s Lens

written by CHRIS BARRETT ’08

Skepticism overcame Jael “Zippy” White ’21 when her journalism professor announced that the class project assignment was to persuade people that microplastics posed a big danger to the environment. White thought environmentalists “over-hyped” such problems, and the idea of interviewing people during a pandemic made her heart sink. Four months, four expert interviews, and one

ports and fisheries,” White said. “Plastics research is so important.” White, a communication studies and journalism major, worked with fellow journalism major Laura Weick ’20 to produce a six-minute video that highlights the danger of plastics pollution leveraging interviews mostly with URI researchers and capturing scenes of Rhode Island. They hope the video inspires viewers to take even little steps, such as reducing their number of laundry loads, to cut back on the shedding of microfibers that are released into wastewater, or to take the time to bring plastic shopping bags to a recycling center.

video later, White is sounding alarm bells. “I’m physically scared about where our

environment is going, especially Little Rhody, where some of our main industries are using the beaches,

Page 50 | The University of Rhode Island { MOMENTUM: RESEARCH & INNOVATION }

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