This project investigates the production and sharing of knowledge about plastic pollution in the Pacific Ocean. It traces how the material practices of science, activism, and education constitute the Great Pacific Garbage Patch--the massive accumulation of waste floating between California and Japan--as an environmental problem and public concern. The methods of participant observation, interviews, and textual analysis will be used to follow the transformation of plastic samples, and with them knowledge about plastic pollution, as they move from expeditions at sea through laboratories, offices, presentations and publications around the Pacific. Particular attention is given to the impact of the March 2011 tsunami on plastic pollution research and education, as debris from the event continues to test existing scientific models, shift public concerns and contribute physically to waste already at sea. The research will present findings so as to foster cooperation between sceintists, activists and policy makers.