The Earthcube iSamples Network engagement and training: Helping teach sample management and stewardship to a broad audience of new geoscientists

Tuesday 4:30pm-5:30pm Red Gym
Poster Session


Benjamin Hallett, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Ashlee Dere, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Amanda J. Waite, University of Florida
Kerstin A. Lehnert, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Megan Carter, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Most geoscientists collect and study physical samples (soil, rock, fossils, drill core, thin sections, water, gas, etc.). However, systems with the ability to link physical samples with digital information, such as publications or searchable data archives, are underutilized and undiscovered by many researchers. Sample registration at provides a virtual representation for a physical object and a persistent unique identifier for it called the International Geo Sample Number (IGSN). Use of unique identifiers is now making it possible to discover physical objects and the analytical data associated with them across publications and databases. A digital "internet of samples" is beginning to emerge, helping researchers discover and share sample collections. Use of such systems fulfills Data Management Plans mandated by the NSF while making strides toward reproducibility of scientific research and improved sample information retention in student-centered research labs with relatively high turnover. The EarthCube iSamples Research Coordination Network members are developing online training modules for educators/research supervisors to train student scientists in physical sample collection, documentation, and management workflows. Student training materials are made available online and ultimately modularized for supervisors to customize a research workflow. The initial goal of this project is to enable a system that can be modified by any educator/research supervisor to add his/her own workflow information and build upon existing modules. This study details the design and development of a modularized sample management/registration scheme for one author's field-based metamorphic petrology research. This training was documented in collaboration with undergraduate research students in field and lab settings. We invite educators to share their own sample management/registration workflows and to develop their own training modules to help build a system whereby students can learn sample and data stewardship.