Ocean Sampling Day (OSD) takes place on the longest day in the northern hemisphere, during the summer solstice on June 21. Started in 2014, on this day, up to 100 science teams all around the world take water samples from the ocean in order to identify the microbes in it.
The outcome of this global effort was expected to be the biggest data set in marine research that has ever been taken on one single day. This vast open-access data set has been incredibly valuable for the marine scientists.
In cohesion with the OSD, there’s also another key component to this process; River Sampling Day (RSD). River microbes are at the heart of many essential ecosystem services, playing important roles in the cycling of nutrients and carbon, maintaining water quality and the clean-up of pollution in our waterways. Despite the importance of microbial diversity in rivers, these microscopic bacterial communities are greatly under-researched. The lack of comprehensive data prevents us from fully understanding even basic processes.
To help address this gap in knowledge, RSD launched in 2013 as a simultaneous sampling campaign of the world’s rivers, which often happens on the same day as OSD. We sent some of our teammates at Matis to collect these samples. You can see our adventures here: