Pioneering oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer seized the world's imagination when he and his worldwide network of beachcomber volunteers traced ocean currents using thousands of sneakers and plastic bath toys spilled from storm-tossed freighters. Now, for the first time, Ebbesmeyer tells the story of his lifelong quest to solve the sea's mysteries. He recounts how flotsam has changed the course of history. He reveals the rhythmic and harmonic order in the vast oceanic currents and uncovers the astonishing story of flotsam, altering the world's view of trash, the ocean, and our global environment.
“As much genial personal memoir as pop-oceanography exposition…When science goes right, we discover how mid-ocean spills of hockey gloves or rubber ducks enhance oceanographic understanding;
“Light and lively...Shoes, messages in bottles, and floating rubber ducks have kept Ebbesmeyer’s eye on the big picture. Besides, as readers will readily agree, they’ve been a lot of fun to study.”
“Part oceanography lesson, part memoir, this cheerful book examines Ebbesmeyer’s life and work as a pioneering oceanographer (the first to work for Mobil/Standard Oil, in 1969) and connoisseur of beach-combed artifacts.”
“With a whimsical mood overlaying serious science, Ebbesmeyer’s work will appeal to the environmentally minded.”
Whether you want to learn more about how the oceans tick or how we are affecting our environment, or to reminisce about science not being what it used to be, this is a very enjoyable, if at times dark, book.
“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.