Marine microorganisms form the basis of the entire food web and are crucial to the health of our ocean but despite their importance, much about microbes is still unknown. Ocean Sampling Day (OSD) aims to change that.
OSD is a “simultaneous sampling campaign” of the oceans that will take place on the longest day in the northern hemisphere, the summer solstice on June 21, 2014. On OSD, more than 60 science teams will collect water samples from sites around the world. The samples will be analyzed in order to determine all microbes in the sample. After analyzing the microbial DNA, researchers will learn more about the roles that microorganisms play, how they interact with each other, and their effects on global climate change.
This will be the biggest data set in marine research collected on a single day. It is all happening on one day because that will give researchers a true ‘snapshot’ of the oceans. The sampling techniques are standardized so the results will be globally comparable and the data collected will set a baseline to be used as a reference point for future experiments. Hopefully, it will also be a starting point for annual OSDs.
OSD is still months away but they need your help now!
Marine scientists and filmmakers Dennis Fink and Wolfgang Hankeln are planning on documenting this monumental experiment. In addition to following one team from start to finish, they are trying to raise enough money to give every scientists a small camera that will record the entire process. The more cameras, the better the documentation!
If you’re interested in participating in the biggest crowdfunding project in marine science history, you can do so on Indiegogo here.There are also other ways to participate! Find out how you can help here.
To learn more about OSD, watch out the following video:
Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.