Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary

Gray's Reef has put its stamp
on the global map

June 21, 2015


2015 Ocean Sampling Day.

World Ocean Sampling Day Sites, 2015.
Photo: microb3

In addition to the well-known events of Father's Day and the Summer Solstice; Sunday, July 21, 2015 also was world Ocean Sampling Day.

Ocean Sampling Day (OSD) is a scientific campaign to analyze marine microbial biodiversity and function across the globe. Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary participated in this world-wide event by taking researchers from the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography and the University of Georgia out to Gray's Reef for sampling near its NOAA data buoy.

UGA summer students Dylan Ward (l), Taylor Faulk (c) and  UGA/SkIO professor Dr. Marc Frischer (r) prepare niskin bottle for water sample deployment in Gray's Reef.

UGA summer students Dylan Ward (l), Taylor Faulk (c) and UGA/SkIO professor Dr. Marc Frischer (r) prepare niskin bottle for water sample deployment in Gray's Reef.
Photo: NOAA Gray's Reef NMS

Microorganisms play an essential role in the marine environment and influence all life on Earth. It is important for us, as a global community, to better understand these microbes, however, sampling the ocean and analyzing them at this scale is challenging and required international scientific cooperation. Based on this, the United States, Canada and the European Union have joined forces to advance knowledge on marine microbial ecology under the framework of the Trans-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance.

UGA summer students Taylor Faulk (l) and Dylan Ward (r) deploy niskin bottle for water sample in Gray's Reef.

UGA summer students Taylor Faulk (l) and Dylan Ward (r) deploy niskin bottle for water sample in Gray's Reef.
Photo: NOAA Gray's Reef NMS

It is more than just a massive synchronized sampling that makes the OSD so valuable. This annual study will help us to understand many different problems plaguing our oceans, such as climate change and ocean acidification. For the first time marine researchers and citizen scientists are working together for a better understanding of our oceans. In only its second year, this year's event included more than 200 registered scientists and citizen scientist volunteers all taking water samples from the ocean in order to identify the microbes they contain.

Nisken bottle water collection.

Nisken bottle water collection.
Photo: NOAA Gray's Reef NMS

Click here to view highlights of the UGA Skidaway Institute and Gray's Reef Ocean Sampling Day 2015 activities.


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