Monday 25 June 2012

Ocean sampling day 20th of June 2012 at Helgoland Roads, Germany.

Helgoland is Germany’s only deep-sea island approximately 60 km off the German coast. This island is located in the middle of the German Bight (North Sea) and offers, in terms of its biodiversity, one of the richest habitats along the German coast. The Biological Institute on Helgoland, which undertook sampling on the summer solstice for the Ocean Sampling Day 2012 pilot was founded in 1892. The institute is part of the Alfred-Wegner-Institute for polar and marine research ( providing one of the longest marine data sets worldwide with environmental and biological data collected since 1873 (temperature and salinity). Given its long history of marine research, it is indeed perfect for this institute to take part in the OSD pilot in collaboration with the Micro B3 community (

In the morning of the 20th of June we were blessed with beautiful sunny weather and a very calm sea. Two bottles of surface water were collected at 8 am at the Kabeltonne, which is located between the dune and the main island Helgoland, and brought into the lab. Here we started the filtration procedure. With a pressure pump we managed to filter 1L of water trough all 4 Sterivex filters in about one hour. We were lucky though. From a local scientist we heard that usually there are so many particles in the water that these filters would clog easily after 200 ml. So this might be a problem we could face in the future OSD sampling. In the afternoon we were heading back to the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen ( to store the samples there, as shipping from an island can sometimes cause difficulties.

Julia Schnetzer, Michael Schneider, Hilke Döpke, Antje Wichels und Gunnar Gerdts 

Helgoland, Germany, North Sea

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Ocean Sampling Day 2012 Pilot Study took place on the summer solstice, June 20th 2012

The pilot OSD study took place on the summer solstice June 20th, 2012.  We continue to get updates from the participating sites and will post details as they come in.  Many, many thanks to everyone who participated from around the world.

Monday 18 June 2012

Smart phone application for Ocean Sampling Day - collaboration with Epicollect

Micro B3 is working with the developers of the widely used EpiCollect software ( An OSD specific project has been built using the software. For the OSD 2012 pilot, we will trial this version to capture photos, GPS co-ordinates, date and time and a small amount of additional contextual information (part of the GSC's MixS standard). By the next sampling event we will employ features of a forthcoming new version of EpiCollect.

Data can be collected in the field and uploaded to the pre-set OSD database once in range of an internet connection. Data (photos and metadata) can be browsed, downloaded and viewed on a google map or loaded into google earth. As we collect information charts, graphs and the ability to view samples by time will also be available.
An OSD administrator we will have access to all the data in case updates/edits need to be made (or test entries deleted).
If you would like to help us trial the software please install and use the app on the summer solstice.

The OSD 2012 Pilot homepage is here:

A page of OSD specific instructions is there on the Epicollect website:

the walk-through is for Android, but David mentioned that for iPhone etc the instructions should be read and then the iPhone Instructions viewed also. There is one sample data point that was used by David to develop some instructions.

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Launch of OSD 2012 Pilot Study - Transit of Venus June, 5 2012, French Polynesia

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

Monday 11 June 2012

OSD 2012 Pilot Study

As part of the run up to the official Ocean Sampling Day (OSD) on June 21, 2014 solstice) we are running pilot OSD studies to help establish the co-ordination (creation of the OSD Network), logistics (sampling, shipping, data access), bioinformatics (metadata capture, analysis, data exchange and storage) and policies (data policy for OSD, ABS/MTA) required to run the 2014 main event. These pilot studies will take place on the solstices prior to 2014.

The first pilot study will take place on Wednesday June 20th, 2012 (solstice).

This Micro B3 pilot OSD study is being put together in collaboration with the Genomic Observatories Network (GOs Network,, the Earth Microbiome Project (EMP, (, and the Global Genome Initiative (GGI,

Ocean Sampling Day Blog Launched

We have launched an Ocean Sampling Day Blog.  Initial description of OSD is available here.  More details to follow.