Ecosystems Surveys Branch
Electronic Sample Request Form
For Groundfish and Shellfish Surveys


Sample Request and Distribution Procedures

How the submission process works:
After a sample request is submitted via the online form, the requestor will be sent an automatic confirmation email indicating that the request was received. The request will then be reviewed by Ecosystems Surveys Branch staff relative to both internal sampling priorities and other sampling requests. Sampling time during research cruises is limited, and while the time required to accomplish a single sampling request may appear reasonable, the cumulative time required to address multiple sampling requests adds up quickly. If we have concerns about the magnitude or complexity of your request or cannot attempt to fulfill your request for other reasons, you will be notified at the email address that you provide with your request. The submission of a request does not guarantee that it will be included in the sampling protocol. Our acceptance of your request and inclusion within our sampling protocol also does not guarantee that we will successfully fulfill your request.

Requestors can submit requests for more than one survey by filling out the online form for each survey. We no longer accept "standing requests," so if you have a request that you would like to submit for more than one year, you must fill out the appropriate online forms each year to do so. This ensures that unnecessary requests do not remain in our sampling protocol. The Ecosystems Surveys Branch will not assume the continuation of any request unless it is submitted through the online forms by the posted deadline.

Preservation and Chemicals:
We have the capability to freeze significant numbers of samples on most of our research vessels. Freezing is the safest form of preservation for our staff. We do accept requests involving other forms of preservation (alcohol, formalin etc.) on a very limited basis. Anyone requesting samples from a survey requiring chemicals will need to supply the chemicals, appropriate MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) forms, appropriate safety containers, or any other supplies needed to fulfill the request.

Sample Storage:
Since our laboratory freezer space continues to be limited, it is important to pick up, ship out, or work up samples promptly. Please contact Jakub Kircun (contact information below) to inquire about collected samples and the status of a particular survey. Unless special arrangements are made prior to the survey, we will not hold samples for more than 30 days after a given survey.

Requestors will be responsible for shipping supplies and shipping costs, if shipping is necessary. If the samples are frozen, a cooler and a prepared Federal Express or United Parcel Service (UPS) slip (with your account number) for the return of the samples will need to be sent to the address shown below. If the samples were preserved in chemicals, requestors must be aware of the HazMat shipping guidelines for Federal Express and UPS, and send the proper shipping container and labels for the shipping of the samples. Shipping chemicals has become very problematic for us so we strongly recommend that samples preserved in chemicals are picked up in Woods Hole rather than shipped.

Cruise Participation:
In cases where significant time is required to fulfill a sampling request, it is preferable to have at least one representative of the requesting organization participate in one or more legs of the survey. This both ensures that the request is fulfilled in the manner intended by the requestor and allows for training of Northeast Fisheries Science Center staff who may be participating in subsequent legs of a survey. Please note that even if a scientist is going to participate and fill the request him or herself, the request must be submitted through the online forms prior to the deadline for the intended survey. To sign up to participate on a cruise please review the information on Ecosystems Surveys Branch cruise participation at:

Research Acknowledgment:
When samples collected during Ecosystems Surveys Branch sponsored cruises are used to generate publications, the authors should include the following acknowledgment:

The authors thank the Ecosystems Surveys Branch of the NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center and the officers and crew of the NOAA research vessel <Research Vessel Name> for their assistance in securing biological samples utilized during this study.

In cases where scientific staff cooperation is significant, study authors should consider including one or more Ecosystems Surveys Branch staff as co-authors in products resulting from their studies.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation!

If you have questions, please contact:

Shipping Address:

ATTN: Jakub Kircun
NOAA/NMFS/Northeast Fisheries Science Center
166 Water Street
Woods Hole, MA

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