Scientists in coastal Georgia are joining researchers Saturday in more than 160 locations around the world to take simultaneous samples from the world’s oceans – the first ever Ocean Sampling Day.
Marc Frischer is a professor of marine microbiology at the University of Georgia’s Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. He says researchers aren’t yet sure what they’ll learn, but they want to collect the simultaneous data and look for patterns.
“The attempt to synoptically, at the same time, sample the world’s aquatic systems – it’s not just oceans. There’s some freshwater systems as well – that’s unique. It’s an unprecedented effort.”
Researchers from the University of Georgia’s Skidaway Institute of Oceanography will take water samples at two locations Saturday afternoon at 1:30 and 5:30.
The project focuses on ocean life, but it also will include some freshwater samples.
Frischer says the results will help scientists know more about the health of the world’s waterways.
“These are everything you can’t see with your naked eye: viruses, bacteria, fungi, algae, many types of small animals. Most of life on our planet is microbial.”
Ocean Sampling Day is being coordinated by universities in Germany and the United Kingdom.