Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Abdullah Rahman

Second Advisor

Dr. Md. Saydur Rahman

Third Advisor

Dr. Richard Kline


Marine debris is any persistent solid material that is manmade and then disposed of into the world’s oceans. Outreach and education was used in combination with biological research using an indicator fish species to raise awareness about the impacts of marine debris and encourage change in behavior to reduce marine debris. Pre and post surveys were administered during marine debris education tours for K-12 students at the Coastal Studies Lab on South Padre Island, Texas to determine change in knowledge and behavior regarding marine debris. Pinfish were collected from Laguna Madre and stomachs and livers removed for microplastics content and CYP1A expression of contaminant stress. Students learned that their actions can impact the marine environment as they reduce marine debris. Discovering pollutant contamination in local fish has further informed the public to make responsible decisions to care for their local bay.


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