Guidelines: designing equitable scientific tools

When we design scientific instruments, we think of about users that are scientists with degrees in well-funded institutions, but also rural Newfoundlanders, who also have research questions and a right to answer them. To this end, we have several guidelines for how we design and build our tools.

LADI Trawl

The LADI trawl is an open source, scientific surface trawl for monitoring marine plastics. You can build your own for $500 or less.

Ice Cream Scoop

To address the problems of marine plastics and public science, we created an educational tool geared towards children: the Ice Cream Scoop Trawl.

Plastic Entanglement Trap (P.E.T.)

The P.E.T. is a do-it-yourself ocean plastic monitoring device based on filtering plastics through a mesh bag containing textured balls constructed out of materials easily found in household settings.

Marine Debris Tracker

Your can use beach clean ups to create data about local marine macroplastics. This protocol uses the Marine Debris Tracker so data goes into a public data set that scientists can use.

Sandy Beach Surveys

Beach surveys give valuable information as to the types, quantities, and even sources of marine plastics floating at sea.


Created with baby’s tights, soda pop bottles, and other inexpensive and easy to find materials, #Babylegs can be used to trawl for floating marine plastics by hand or from a vessel.

P.E.D. R.O.C.

The P.E.D. R.O.C. is a shoreline microplastic sampling instrument specifically designed to be used on rocky coastlines, a terrain which is very prevalent in Newfoundland.