eXXpedition Round the World

COVID-19 Trip update

Given the unprecedented impact of COVID-19, my trip leg will not go ahead on the planned dates. It's not yet clear what this means, as setting out a new plan for these voyage legs to take place later in the year is not as straightforward as just delaying the boat. I will update this page in the coming weeks as we learn more.

Making the unseen seen

In April 2020, I will sail 1000 nautical miles on an all-female sailing voyage and scientific research mission through the South Pacific Garbage Patch, one of the densest ocean plastic accumulation zones on our planet.

My 10-day voyage between the Cook Islands and the Kingdom of Tonga is one of 30 legs a group 300 women will complete to circumnavigate the globe via the four ocean Gyres and the Arctic. It will take two years.

Connected by a passion to protect the ocean, our crew will first-hand experience the challenges we face from single-use plastics and ocean toxins. We will conduct scientific research and solutions-based activities and partner with local communities to make an impact on their shores.

My goal is to raise $9,000.00 to support our work. This money covers the cost of the science program, onshore outreach, and my STEAM project (seen below).

It also contributes to the boat licensing, insurance, maintenance, food, fuel, boat supplies, and port services. I am covering all my own flights and accommodation costs with help from my FlyAway grant from my company, Gusto.

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The STEAMy outcome

This is an example of the type of work that Gwen has done. All art we create will be new and based on the data and digital assets I collect on my voyage.

During the voyage, I will collect data, images, video, and audio of what we find. After I return home, in collaboration with my friend and artist, Gwen Pryor, we’ll create digital and physical art.

Our work will culminate in a series of exhibits and workshops with schools and organizations. By supporting this trip and our project, you'll be a part of our team and receive a piece of work as a thank you.

The work we produce will combine scientific data and art to represent the fragile beauty of our oceans and the power of women in STEM and exploration. Thank you in advance for your support!

Everyone — A thank you postcard
$20 — A printed photograph
$50 — 1 original art print (small)
$100 — 1 original art print (large) or set of 2 small prints [your choice]
$250 — Set of 3 original art prints (large)
$500 — An original piece of artwork
$750 — A 2-hour workshop with Gwen and Caitlin where you’ll learn about ocean plastics and create your own art (up to 10 participants)
$1000 — Both an original piece of artwork (large)  + a 2-hour workshop with Gwen and Caitlin (up to 10 participants)

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Why do this?

I’ve always been passionate about the ocean. I spent my childhood knee-deep in tide pools, fell in love with scuba diving, and worked as marine biologist and PADI Divemaster after college. Drawn to the idea of helping others, I spent a few years teaching during which I discovered design.

Now as a product designer, I’m curious about how design can change the way we live and the impact we have on our planet. This voyage will push me to combine the three things I’m most passionate about: design, science, and education.

Who is eXXpedition?

eXXpedition is a non-profit organization founded in 2014 to shift the way people feel, think and act. They aim to build a global network of multidisciplinary women who can contribute to world-class scientific studies, explore solutions, and use their unique skill sets to tackle the problem from all angles.

How will we make a difference?

The eXXpedition Round the World science program will carry out research at sea and on land. The research conducted during the mission will advance our understanding of the plastics issue as a whole. During my voyage, we’ll be conducting research in coordination with labs at the University of Plymouth and the University of Georgia.

Why women?

Women are still underrepresented in STEM sectors. Globally, women occupy only 13% of the STEM workforce. We want to empower women and little girls all over the world to chase their dreams.

That’s not the only reason eXXpedition takes on an all-female crew. Historically, studies on the effects of chemicals (like the ones from microplastics in food and drinking water) on human health have largely focused on men. These chemicals have a huge impact o​n health, and have been shown to have female-specific effects. Research has suggested that such toxins may play a role in things like rising bre​ast cancer rates and early onset puberty. eXXpedition aims to engage women in discussions on the health effects of chemicals stemming from microplastics and inspire individuals to make choices that will reduce long-term health and environmental impacts.

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Want to learn more about my leg?

Check out our website or the video below.