How to Participate


If you are, or know, a Principal Investigator (PI) of a national marine station that you think should be a part of an ICOS observing network, please follow the checklist below. You are also advised to contact the Ocean Thematic Centre (OTC) and discuss the station in terms of network design and station characteristics. The OTC will support the PI in the preparation of the best possible submission.


Step-by-step description:

  1. Check if your country is a member of ICOS European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC). If your country is not a member, contact your institution and make formal request to your national stakeholder(s) to become an observing country in ICOS Research Infrastructure (RI). For assistance contact the OTC.
  2. Contact your national Focal Point and provide information about your station and its infrastructure, the experience of your staff, current station funding, and approval from your host institution.
  3. Your national Focal Point will bring your request to the national ICOS committee, which makes a decision based on your station information. If approved, the national ICOS committee will then recommend your station to your national stakeholder(s).
  4. The stakeholder(s) and/or the national ICOS committee will forward the station recommendation to the ICOS Head Office (HO). The recommendation will include statement of long-term commitment (preferably 5 years) of the necessary station resources (manpower, equipment, consumables, ICOS station contributions) and the consistency of the station with national RI strategy. The HO will seek advice from the OTC and present the request for the ICOS General Assembly (GA).
  5. The GA will make a decision about your station.
  6. Each ICOS station must accept the ICOS RI data policy and be compliant with the station specifications, protocols, and data quality criteria used for marine stations under the authority of the OTC. A list of the marine criteria will be provided by OTC. 
  7. Stations wishing to become part of ICOS RI need to go through the station labelling process which can take several months, including a testing period and training to become familiar with ICOS methodology. Station labeling starts with a formal application that also needs approval by the national government.


Why participate 

Participation in ICOS RI is beneficial for each country’s scientific greenhouse gas (GHG) community. Members will:

  • be a part of the latest developments of cutting-edge GHG measurement techniques and data processing routines,
  • attain high quality data with ensured credibility,
  • have data published in a large, globally visible, open database of world class GHG data,
  • enhance their cooperation with oceanic, atmospheric, and ecosystem research throughout Europe,
  • benefit from ICOS RI training events, and
  • secure long-term funding for their national measurement network.

ICOS RI will also provide higher level products (e.g. maps on sources and sinks of greenhouse gases). This synthesised information will be useful for policy makers to support their decisions on mitigation of climate change.