Ocean Sampling Day

Introduction to Ocean Sampling Day (OSD)

The Ocean Sampling Day (OSD) is a simultaneous sampling campaign of the world’s oceans which took place (for the first time) on the summer solstice (June 21st) in the year 2014 and was repeated in 2015. These cumulative samples, related in time, space and environmental parameters, provide insights into fundamental rules describing microbial diversity and function and contribute to the blue economy through the identification of novel, ocean-derived biotechnologies. We see OSD data as a reference data set for generations of experiments to follow in the coming decade.

The OSD Citizen Science project (MyOSD)

We would also like to engage the public by joining our OSD Citizen Science campaign (MyOSD). Collecting important environmental data like latitude, longitude, temperature, wind speed and others will help the scientist to get a better understanding of the world’s oceans. Click here for more information how to join MyOSD.

OSD pilot studies and current status of OSD

As part of ramping up the first official Ocean Sampling Day (OSD) in 2014 several pilot-OSD studies were conducted to help establish the co-ordination (creation of the OSD sites network), logistics (sampling, shipping and processing), bioinformatics (metadata capture, standards, storage, analysis and data exchange) and policies (data policy for OSD, ABS/MTA/DTA). The standardized procedure ensures a high level of consistency between data points across Europe and beyond. The first pilot studies took place on Wednesday June 20th, 2012 (summer solstice) and Friday December 21st (winter solstice). Due to the very positive reaction of all parties, we have decided to continue to sample.

191 sampling sites have finally confirmed their participation in OSD on June 21st, 2014, with most of them joined again in 2015. Click here for a full list of participants and a dynamic map.

Call for participation in Ocean Sampling Day

The Micro B3 project is leading an open call to participate in Ocean Sampling Day to invite more external participants to join the future OSD events on June 21st. If you are associated with a marine research site, research cruise or a sailor/skipper and would like to participate in OSD we would kindly ask you to express your interest by contacting us.

How to contact us:

OSD Mail

  Don’t hesitate to contact the OSD team by sending an email to osd-contact@microb3.eu if you have any question or need more information or  assistance.

Social Media:

Micro B3 is also available on social networks. Stay updated about the whole project including OSD while interacting with the community:

Twitter  Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Micro_B3

The official Hashtags are #osd2016, #oceansamplingday and #myosd

  Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/microb3osd

Ocean Sampling Day Handbook 3.1 (released April 2016)

Can be downloaded here (PDF, 2.0 Mb)


The OSD project builds on past efforts including the Global Ocean Survey (GOS), the International Census of Marine Microbes (ICoMM), and Tara Oceans. In addition OSD is being put together in collaboration with the Genomic Observatories Network (GOs Network), the Earth Microbiome Project (EMP), and the Global Genome Initiative (GGI).


Kopf A et al. (2015) The ocean sampling day consortium. GigaScience 4:27 (open access)

Press Material for OSD 2015