Ocean Sampling Day and Summer Sailstice Participants Team Up For 2014

September 16, 2013 by jarndt
Ocean Sampling Day and Summer Sailstice Participants Team Up For 2014

Ever had an ocean microbe in your eye?  Of course, since that faceful you received over the bow is full of them. Ever wondered about those ocean microbes or thought about what you can do from the deck of your sailboat to help scientists and all of us understand what's going on below the surface of the ocean?  A team of global marine microbiologists has a couple of years of planning into creating the very first ocean sampling day.  As it turns out they chose June 21st, 2014, Summer Sailstice, which also happens to fall on a Saturday.  This creates another great opportunity for sailors to support the sea.  

Here's where you can help: on Saturday, June 21st 2014 you can collect data from the deck of your sailboat and supply it to OSD2014 via a smartphone app which will help supply the world with a global data set creating a baseline and knowledge base available to ocean scientists worldwide.  You can also help with crowdfunding for this important study.  

Unraveling the mysteries of our oceans: Marine scientists worldwide will sample the World’s oceans on the summer solstice 2014 (June 21st). Public crowd-funding will raise awareness for the huge impact the tiniest organisms on our planet have.  If you've ever got a good dose of salt water in the eye and wondered what's in it you'll have a chance to learn more with OSD2014.  Of course, there's salt and water but there's also thousands of microbes that help keep the planet alive.  

Marine microorganisms shape Earth’s climate. They are essential to the health of our environment, and hence the survival of humankind. Yet, our knowledge of this hidden majority is only fragmentary. What is relatively simple for zoologists and botanists - identifying species and finding out what they are capable of, is exceedingly complex for microbiologists who study life that is invisible to the human eye.

OSD wants to collect data from all over planet and sailors can help supply it.

The OSD aims to add understanding on how microorganisms drive processes of Earth’s biosphere, and their effects on global climate change. Despite its importance, environmental marine research receives rather little funding. To give the OSD project a boost, people from all over the World can actively participate and donate money (http://www.my-osd.org). This unique crowd-funding campaign starts on October 1st 2013 and closes on world science day November 10th 2013. Don’t miss it!
What exactly will happen on OSD and what are the aspired results? On OSD scientists at more than 60 marine sampling sites will filter ocean water with the microorganism’s DNA, and read it with DNA sequencing machines. The resulting DNA sequences, the blueprints of life, will be stored and processed electronically on computers. Analyzing these blueprints sheds light into the functions microbes provide for the oceans and how they interact with each other. With this approach scientists will be able to address many interesting questions such as “Who is out there?” and “What are they doing?”. Ultimately scientists hope to better understand the effects of global climate change on our biggest habitat on Earth – the oceans. The sampling procedures are standardized. This assures that the results are globally comparable. The resulting data set will be the biggest marine data set collected on one day and freely accessible. The unrestricted use will help to get the most out of this effort.

OSD2014 is another great reason to get off the dock and hoist the sails for Summer Sailstice 2014.  Sail on the solstice and help save the seven seas on Summer Sailstice!

New is the way scientists and the public collaborates in this project. Interested citizen can join the project and support the scientists with water parameters such as temperature and phosphate and send their results directly to a central database with a mobile phone app. Furthermore, citizens can donate money to the project via the OSD crowd-funding campaign. As a reward they will get a documentary about the OSD, which will be made by filmmakers from the science media company mediomix (www.mediomix.de). This way all supporters help financing the event and raise awareness for this important issue at once. More information about the event and how to participate can be found under (http://www.my-osd.org). Photos can be downloaded under: (http://www.my-osd.org/photos.zip).

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