Curtis Ebbesmeyer

Here’s the guy to find your severed feet. As featured in our December cover story (“Where the Feet Have No Name”), retired former UW oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer is the go-to man for tracking body parts and other flotsam. And now, with former SW stalwart Eric Scigliano, he’s written a guide to drifting debris, Flotsametrics and the Floating World (Collins, $26.99). In addition to the mysterious floating feet found off Vancouver Island, Ebbesmeyer is immersed in the sea, specializing in its movements. He tracks surface currents and such watery curiosities as floating garbage patches and container spills to determine flow patterns. His unique research has helped such institutions as oil companies and the City of Seattle’s sewage treatment division chart the fateful drift of their products. He’s an environmentalist who says of the ocean’s floating clumps of plastic, “The patches are twice the size of Texas. We dump this garbage, and it ends up in the sea. Basically, we’re poisoning ourselves.” But go ahead and ask him about the feet. RICK ANDERSON

Thu., April 23, 7:30 p.m., 2009

 
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