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Film & Discussion – “Exxpedition – Making the Unseen Seen”

Film and Discussion led by Diana Papoulias, PhD

Diana Papoulias was part of an all-women crew that sailed the Atlantic Ocean sampling for distribution and environmental impacts of plastic on our oceans. She will be screening a film about her expedition, followed with an update on the science and a discussion with the audience.

Exxpedition Crew

The crew for the Exxpedition trip. This all women crew sailed across the Atlantic Ocean measuring plastic pollution. photo courtesy Exxpedition.

Time and Place

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
7:00 pm

Westport CoffeeHouse Theater
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Presentation by Diana Papoulias, PhD, Fish Biologist

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Where – Westport Coffeehouse Theater – 4010 Pennsylvania Ave. Kansas City, MO

6 p.m. – Social Hour
7 p.m. – Presentation. Presentation will be filmed – After 7 PM, Please enter through Green Room Burgers

PLUS – This presentation audio will be streaming live on KCDV.tv!
(See past videos here)

Presentation is FREE and open to the public!

This is a very special Big Muddy Speaker Series.


These is an example of some of the larger pieces of microplastics sampled during their ocean trawl.
photo courtesy of Exxpedition

In 2014, Callaway County resident Diana Papoulias joined a unique expedition. An all-woman crew of scientists, artists, visionaries and sailors boarded a sailboat for a trip across the Atlantic Ocean. The goal of the project, called Exxpedition, was to sample the entire ocean voyage for microplastics suspended in the water column and quantify the impact our plastic lifestyle is having on the most remote regions of the planet – our vast oceans.

Diana was the expedition scientist on the trip, helping to design sampling protocols. As a fish biologist for the US Geological Survey Columbia Environmental Research Center (a position she recently retired from), she had studies the effects of environmental toxins on fish  in the Missouri River and other locations. She discovered a disturbing trend of intersex features in sturgeon in the Big Muddy and studied the causes of this (Find out more on this topic by checking out her Big Muddy Speaker Series talk on this topic). In other words, she was the perfect crew member for this expedition.

Diana will show a 45 minute film on the Exxpedition. She’ll then describe the results of the data they recovered from the trip, a brief review of other science being done on the effects of plastic on our environment and open up the floor for discussion.

Diana Papoulias

Diana Papoulias, PhD

Diana Papoulias, PhD, is a retired fish biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey at the Columbia Environmental Research Center. She is now involved in non-profit work in Peru and Ecuador and is a board member for Missouri River Relief.


Westport CoffeeHouse – 4010 Pennsylvania Kansas City, Mo – www.westportcoffeehouse.com

The Westport CoffeeHouse is in the Westport entertainment area, midtown KC, south of downtown and north of the Plaza.  The main intersection is Westport Rd and Broadway.  From this intersection, go west on Westport Rd one block to Pennsylvania. Turn north (right).

OR you can get there from the intersection of Southwest Trafficway and Westport Rd.  Go east on Westport Rd to Pennsylvania. Turn north (left).

Westport Coffee House is approximately one block down on the west side of Pennsylvania.  Parking can be had either south of the coffee house in the large parking lot or just north of the coffee house alongside the building.  Enter through Green Room Burgers or Westport CoffeeHouse.

The Big Muddy Speakers Series in Kansas City

is hosted by these wonderful partners!

Thanks to all of our venue hosts for making this possible! Click here for a list of upcoming presentations» The Big Muddy Speaker Series is also held monthly in Rocheport and St. Charles.

Recordings of Presentations

Kansas City Digital Video has been recording Big Muddy Speaker Series presentations. These are available on their website at this link. Some contain synchronized powerpoint presentations. We will be posting these to the archived presentation pages on bigmuddyspeakers.org. Thanks Micheal Morgan and crew for putting this important archive online!