photo of a whale tail above the surface of the water near shoreNancy Steinberg writes about a new scientific partnership to investigate connections between human-made debris, zooplankton and gray whales. In the cover story in Oregon Stater, the magazine of the Oregon State University Alumni Association, she describes researchers’ discovery that zooplankton are consistently ingesting plastic or other human debris, often pieces that are huge in comparison to the size of their bodies. The scientists are now investigating how this relates to changes in the caloric value of local nonmigratory whales’ diets and overall health. Photo: Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife