Science Café College of Science and Mathematics
North Dakota State University

Our Next Science Café:

Sept 25, 2018, 7pm at Stoker’s Basement, Hotel Donaldson

Presenter: Chad A. Ulven, PhD

Professor / Associate Chair, Mechanical Engineering Department, North Dakota State University

Impact of Plastics on Our Environment: What's Next?

Abstract: Over the past couple decades, a severe growing concern over the amount of plastic waste pilling up in our oceans, landfills, and scattered across our landscape has emerged. Over 380 million tons of plastic is produced per year worldwide. At our current rate of disposal, it is predicted that by 2050 there will be a greater amount of plastic mass in our oceans than sea life. Evidence of numerous environmental consequences to wildlife, wildlife habitat, and humans have been documented and various organizations have begun to focus specially on addressing ocean plastic, plastic bags, plastic straws, etc. to help remediate these problems. However, is this enough? What else do we need to do? When you finish your leftovers from last night's restaurant, what do you do (along with all your neighbors) with the polystyrene foam container? Local and regional recyclers of plastics cannot keep up nor handle all of the different types of plastics that can be recycled because of a gross lack of infrastructure and post recycling distribution. This presentation will explore these issues more deeply as well as others related to plastic waste, talk about some potential solutions, but most of all start an important conversation about what we should do next?

General Information

Our Science Cafés feature

  • A presentation by a scientist
  • Discussion
    • have a conversation with the scientist
    • talk among yourselves

Free and open to the public.

Attendees must be 21 or older, or accompanied by a parent or guardian.

For more information, contact Diane Goede at or (701) 231-7411.

Science Café presentations are about one hour long; there is some extra time for discussions. The location is:

Stoker’s Basement
Hotel Donaldson
101 N Broadway
North Dakota