Alaska Groundfish and Shellfish Assessment Surveys Sample Request Instructions
Guidance for submitting collection requests
The Alaska Fisheries Science Center annually receives and accommodates numerous requests for Scientific Collections (i.e. biological, environmental & other data) during our annual bottom trawl groundfish surveys in Alaska. As a federal government research program responsible for annual offshore surveys of fish and invertebrate resources in Alaskan waters, we strive to assist internal and external investigators when possible within the resource constraints of our standard groundfish bottom trawl surveys. During each of these surveys, we maintain a prioritized list of Scientific Collection requests that are incorporated into the overall cruise priorities.
Prior to submitting a Scientific Collection request, review our program’s submission process requirements and restrictions. All Scientific Collection requests must be submitted via our electronic request which is accessible by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
After submission, you will receive an automated email reply indicating that your Scientific Collection request has been successfully submitted. Your request will be evaluated relative to other sampling priorities and you will be contacted directly with questions associated with the request if necessary. If your request is approved, every effort will be made to collect the requested samples. However, because of survey contingencies, we cannot guarantee that all requests will be fulfilled.
How the Submission Process Works
After a Scientific Collection request form is submitted, the requester will receive an automatic confirmation email indicating that the request was received. The submission of a request does not guarantee that it will be included in the sampling protocol. Requests are reviewed by the RACE Groundfish and Shellfish Assessment Programs relative to both internal sampling priorities and other sample requests. Sampling time during research cruises is limited, and while the time required to accomplish a single sample request may seem reasonable, the cumulative time required to address multiple sample requests adds up quickly and may restrict our ability to complete the request. If we have concerns about the magnitude or complexity of your request or cannot fulfill your request for other reasons, you will be notified at your email address.
A collection may be requested from more than one survey, however, we do not accept "standing requests,". Therefore, if you have a request for more than one year, you must fill out the appropriate online forms each year to do so. The RACE Groundfish and Shellfish Assessment Programs will not assume the continuation of any request unless it is submitted through the online form system by the posted deadline.
Tissues of fish for genetic analysis should be requested directly through the University of Washington Fish Collection (UWFC), with the exception of tissues required for population-level analyses (i.e., large numbers of tissues from common, easily identified species).
Scientists of our Systematic Taxonomy Laboratory work closely with the UWFC to routinely collect and archive tissues from fish in our survey area, and the UWFC may be able to provide tissues taken during earlier surveys. If tissues are not presently available, the UWFC will coordinate sample requests with our staff. A searchable database of the holdings at the UWFC is available at the Burke Museum Ichthyology Collections Database. Contact the Collections Manager, Katherine Maslenikov email@example.com, to submit a request or for more information.
For invertebrate tissues, requests should be submitted directly through the online sample request form. Generally, invertebrates routinely collected at sea for identification purposes are preserved in 95% ethanol, unless requested otherwise, and are deposited in the collections of the California Academy of Sciences, Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology. Requesters are encouraged to consult the searchable database at the Institute for Biodiversity Science & Sustainability for available material previously collected during our surveys. Contact the Collections Manager, Christina Piotrowski firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
Preservation and Chemicals
We have limited capability to freeze significant numbers of samples while at sea. In addition, vessel freezer temperatures are that of typical food freezers. Freezing is the safest method of preservation for our staff, eliminating the use of toxic chemicals whenever possible. However, we accept requests involving chemical preservatives (i.e. formalin, ethanol) on a limited basis. Requesters may need to supply their own preservatives or sampling supplies and will be contacted by a survey coordinator upon approval of their request. Chemicals must be supplied with appropriate Safety Data Sheet (SDS) forms, safety containers, and any other equipment needed to fulfill the request.
Since our laboratory freezer space is limited, it is important to pick up, ship out, or work up samples promptly. Unless special arrangements are made prior to the survey, we will not hold samples for more than 30 days after a given survey. Contact email@example.com to inquire about collected samples and the status of a particular survey.
Requesters will be responsible for shipping costs, including equipment and coolers. If the samples are frozen, coolers and gel packs will need to be sent to the following address:
ATTN: Alexandra Dowlin
NOAA/NMFS/Alaska Fisheries Science Center
7600 Sand Point Way N.E., Building 4
Seattle, Washington 98115
For samples preserved in chemicals, requesters must follow the HazMat shipping guidelines of their shipper, including supplying the proper shipping containers and labels. Because shipping chemicals is generally more problematic, we strongly recommend that samples preserved in chemicals are picked up at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center rather than shipped to your location.
When samples collected during RACE Groundfish and Shellfish Assessment Programs sponsored cruises are used to generate publications, the authors should include an acknowledgment similar to the following:
"The authors thank the RACE Groundfish and Shellfish Assessment Programs of the NOAA Fisheries Alaska Fisheries Science Center and the crew of the [name of the fishing vessel] for their assistance in securing biological samples utilized during this study."
In cases where scientific staff cooperation is significant, study authors should strongly consider including as co-authors one or more scientists of the RACE Groundfish and Shellfish Assessment Program in products resulting from their studies.
If you have questions, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you in advance for your cooperation!