Launch of OSD 2012 Pilot study in Moorea, French Polynesia – Transit of Venus 2012
The first samples of the Ocean Sampling Day marine microbial diversity sampling campaign (OSD 2012 Pilot Study) were collected as part of the ongoing Moorea Biocode Project on the Transit of Venus, 2012 off the coast of Moorea (and Tahiti) in French Polynesia. This date and place was selected by the OSD organizers because of the location of Moorea (Moorea is an EU outlying territory in the Pacific Ocean situated in the southern hemisphere and has both French and US research stations), the research mission of the Moorea Ecostation (leading the Moorea Biocode Project and a founding member of the Genomic Observatories Network) and the role of the Transit of Venus in the history of science (one of the first global, large-scale science projects in history). Four sites were sampled on the Transit of Venus: the CRIOBE long-term monitoring station Tiahura, an NSF-funded LTER site, Point Venus where Cook observed the 1769 Transit of Venus in a bid to help astronomers calculate the absolute distance from the Earth to the Sun (the astronomical unit), and the inner reef of Moorea near a motu where Banks, the gentleman naturalist aboard Cook's ship, is thought to have observed the Transit of Venus.
The OSD 2012 Pilot Study will take place June 20, 2012, the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. The full OSD event will take place on the June solstice 2014. More details at http://www.oceansamplingday.org.