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The Trash Team

This is us! A growing team of TRASH, DATA, and TRAIL enthusiasts. 


Tori & Macy

Tori and Macy are the "boots on the ground" for the project.  On March 28, 2023, they began their hike Pacific Crest Trail at the US border with Mexico and completed their hike of the entire 2,650 mile trail over the next six months. Throughout this journey they categorized  

 trash on >150 miles of trail. They additionally collected over 100 soil samples for microplastics analysis.

Tori McGruer has her Ph.D., in toxicology studying environmental pollution, and Macy Gustavus has her M.S. in watershed sciences studying microplastic transport.

Win Cowger

Win is a Research Scientist at the Moore Institute for Plastic Pollution Research where he focuses on understanding and finding solutions to the plastic pollution problem.  Win is supporting data management and analysis for the project.





Rubbish has partnered with the No Trace Trails project since the very beginning! They bring years of knowledge collecting data on trash and are helping the project develop a trail-friendly method using their trash tracking mobile app.

Trash AI

Trash AI is an open-source project that will help us to analyze our trail trash data! On the trail, we will photograph the trash we find.  The program will use artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze the image and give us data about the trash, including the classification information about the trash.



Materevolve is a sustainable textiles consultancy driven to lead the evolution of our materials world. Their mission is to develop and scale innovative regenerative textile systems through the lens of soil, sea and circularity. They design nature-forward experiential learning programs, provide technical consulting to leaders cross sector, and foster trail-blazing collaborations between science, industry, government, and non-profit.

GE3 Research Group

The Gonzalez-Estrella Environmental Engineering (GE3) research group located at Oklahoma State University is focused on fate and effect of emergent and persistent contaminants on engineered and natural water systems and terrestrial ecosystems. The GE3 laboratory has developed a robust method for analyzing microplastics in soil samples which will be applied to analyze plastic in our trail soil samples. 



A HUGE thank you to our funders and gear sponsors! Without their support, this project would not be possible!


The RLF is a charitable organization whose mission is to strengthen science and technology internationally by sponsoring novel research. Their long-standing commitment to new ideas has been the catalyst for changes in policy and creating global connections between researchers and other communities. 


McPZ is dedicated to providing philanthropic support to projects and groups focused on improving the quality of life of individuals through environmental projects, health care, and education on a global scale.


Gossamer Gear produces ultralight backpacking equipment. We love their packs and will also be using their tents on our PCT thru-hike! 

Marmot produces apparel, tents, sleeping bags, and backpacks that get us all outside. They are supporting our project with gear and have a mission to explore environmentally sustainable textiles. 

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