Curators of Marine & Lacustrine Geological Samples Meeting
October 8-10, 2002
Washington, DC (JOI) Arlington, VA (NSF)
Minutes compiled by Rusty Lotti Bond, Lamont
Oct. 8, 2002 - JOI Conference Room, Washington, DC
Doug Schnurrenberger - opened the meeting by welcoming the attendees.
STATUS OF PAST ACTION ITEMS
Geotimes was not interested in report on meetings.
Guy Rothwell and core images - he'll put images on web.
Archives of Ridge Program rocks will go wherever P.I. wants them.
Sediment Class - we'll revisit the issue this meeting.
NSF support for sea-going curatorial assistant to be revisited.
Dave Gunn and calibration of Core Logger - no report.
All core repositories linked to NGDC.
NGDC submission status unknown.
Carla redid Search pages. Oracle still not working on Macs.
John Firth for ODP TAMU
Walter Hale for ODP Bremen
Walter Hale: SPECIAL REPORT ON XRF
The XRF corescanner is a non-destructive logging instrument applying energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (EDXRF) for the determination of major element concentrations in split sediment core samples (and u-channels). It can be used shipboard. The system is most appropriate for fine-grained sediments, preferably with a smooth surface. Maximum resolution is 2 mm; 1.5 m core scanned at 2 mm resolution in about 15 hours, 1 cm in 3 hrs, 5 cm in 35 min. Detects 7 elements per pass; presently capabilities analyze Potassium through Aluminum. Group showed interest in the XRF scanner as a possible minimum common service of repositories.
Bobbi Conard, URI
Cathy Frazee, USGS, Menlo Park
Rusty Lotti Bond, Lamont
Dick Norris, Scripps
Doug Schnurrenberger, LAC Repository
October 9, 2002 - NSF Stratford II Building, Arlington, VA
Steve Carey, URI
NGDC report (not presented at meeting): Status of the Curators' Database, the Index to Marine and Lacustrine Geological Samples (PDF).
OVERVIEW OF PAST 25 YEARS OF CURATOR'S MEETINGS
OSU'S METHOD OF CORE CURATION,
A SYSTEM INFLUENCED BY YEARS OF CURATORS' MEETINGS
Bobbi Conard gave a PowerPoint presentation on curation at OSU
FUTURE OF CORE CURATION
New analyses require different handling of samples
How to deal with all the non-invasive measurements.
Level of support from NSF: can we get support to add analyses
Old core information to NGDC?
Can our funding cycle be increased beyond three years?
Space - our repositories are filling up or already full; our universities also have limited budgets and do not see building new repository space as a high priority
Lost or undocumented materials
Curators on coring cruises
GUEST DAVE VERARDO, NSF/OCE
Discussed moratorium on lake cores. Any NSF materials are subject to Freedom of Information Act except Geophysical Logs. NSF policy on moratorium is two years from date of acquisition of cores. Collecting PI cannot give permission for PI not involved with the project to sample within the priority period. A group discussion ensued regarding various interpretations of the moritorium.
Dave Requested information on NSF support to facilities. Dick Norris addressed the problem of the mandate to offer educational outreach without supportive funds. Dave suggested options for funding. He also reminded attendees of the "broader impact statement" required in proposals. Suggested Lamont have an NSF booth at Open House.
Dick Norris brought up high cost instrumentation for Core Repositories. Dave believes labs should have equipment and suggested we develop a group of analyses that we would consider standard and approach our Program Director with a cost plan. Group discussion with Dave regarding issues in curating. Alan Mix suggested publishing news item in EOS regarding the issues and to find out what the public would like to see. Since Rita Colwell is interested in longer terms of funding, suggested we try for five-year grants next go-around.
GUEST ORRIN SHANE, NSF/ISE
(Oshane@nsf.gov; ph: 703-292-5106)
Orrin Shane, Informal Science Education (ISE) - ESIE/EHR (Division of Elementary, Secondary and Informal Education / Directorate for Education and Human Resources), informed on opportunities for outreach funding. His programs are responsible for NOVA, Zoom, Dragonfly, Science Guy, etc. Criteria for funding by NSF is impact on the field, i.e. number of people who get to see the project. Onsite displays for public, museum exhibits, and travelling displays high impact.
Suggested sources: "Communicative Research to Public Audiences" (CRPA) formerly submitted as a "Supplements to Active Research Awards (SARA)". Allows P.I. to develop a display, video, film or exhibit allowing public an understanding of their research. Average award $75,000. "General ISE Project Proposals" supporting informal activities including films, television, radio program, large-scale museum exhibits and after-school programs. Require "evaluation" process that costs $50-70,000. Awards run $2-3 million.
Recommended Hyman Field, Senior Advisor For Public Understanding of Research, for support and advice (Hfield@nsf.gov). Geology has "Geosciences Education" and NOAA and NASA have major educational programs. All have different guidelines and accessibility. Further valuable discussion regarding possible applications for the proposals, and the review process.
After guest Orrin Shane left the meeting, a lively discussion revolved around development of a large-scale curatorial public outreach program. At present we serve the scientific community but have within our collections the material and information to service the general public. We will inquire regarding public outreach grants for a large-scale public display as well as Curator's Group web site. Some materials have extraordinary appeal such as cores with tektite/extraterrestrials, volcanic eruptions dated within known archaeological times, and many more. A CD/DVD featuring "hit" cores and their "stories" with photos, descriptions with images of microfossils or mineralogical content of the material would be of great interest. Possible themes: "Stories from beneath the ocean floor", "Deep Stories". We should develop a "glossy" flyer or handout featuring curating facilities. The suggestion to have a curatorial booth focusing on informal education at AGU and GSA was supported.
The curatorial article in EOS would be an excellent vehicle to begin our endeavor. It should be oriented towards the group's 25-year's-of-collaboration anniversary and feature: the repositories as a valuable resource; the database; and our challenges for the future. Address the issue of the irreplaceable natural history collections held by companies or other entities that are in jeopardy of being discarded. John Firth will circulate AGI/NRC National Geosciences at Risk report to the group regarding these collections.
October 10, 2002 - NSF Stratford II Building,
NSF-FUNDED GROUP MEETING WITH DICK POORE, NSF/OCE
Dick Poore is supportive of 5-year funding period for Core Repositories. Funding for data management (all forms) is about 15% of whatever MG&G gets. Repositories are in competition with each other by the fact that they are rated according to efficiency of repositories, i.e "cost per sample going out the door". At this time funded labs are par; dissimilar number of distribution but costs to do so similar. Regarding issue of shipboard curator/archivist, he would consider on same basis as coring crew, which are funded, separate from Repositories. Concensus was approximately one shipboard curator needed for a year of cruises.
New policy soon to be distributed and in effect saying that samples are to be archived and curated within two years of collection. Probably most of the samples will end up at NSF-supported facility but can also be placed at a facility with approved Sample Distribution Policy. Discussion ensued regarding PI's being held to their obligations.
Poore sees wisdom in providing services that could be considered "basic" for all repositories, for instance MST/GRAPE and Spectrophotometery (John Firth can provide information on costs). There needs to be a consensus from the curating and scientific community as to what they should be. This issue should be discussed with Dick Poore's successor. Could possibly be implemented in a "phase in" plan. Dick Norris will gather information and costs from the group to develop a minimum/standard common services plan to submit to NSF.
NSF does not fund "bricks and mortar" while universities seem unanimous in their resistance to funding repository space. Dick suggested the possibility of tossing out old cores that have lost scientific value. Response: that could be a difficult consideration for most repositories.
Problems with acquiring dredge samples is frequently mentioned in reviews. Group response is that there are frequent problems with obtaining reliable data for cataloging the material, and subsequent problems for PI's obtaining samples from the repositories. Consensus that it would be helpful if there could be dialogue regarding these problems.
RESUME MEETING WITH CURATORS' GROUP
HIGH-PRESSURE, INERT STORAGE
New emphasis on biological research will have an impact on some repositories. Material requires -80° temperatures, pressurized storage. Even sampling and processing equipment will require refitting to accommodate new standards.
PROPOSED SEDIMENT CLASSIFICATION SCHEME FOR
CURATORS' DATABASE AT NGDC
Discussion on choice of 4-class scheme versus current ternary diagram. No agreement on naming scheme, but agreed that there should be a four-component scheme, and to keep as simple as possible, maximum of 20 data inputs with pop-ups. Concern arose as to how the database with entries to-date will transfer into a new scheme. Steve Carey will work with NGDC to develop input parameters.
LAC Repository has moved totally to digital images using line-scan camera. The system is DMP (Deutsche Montan Technologie) costing $70,000. The images are produced using a 24-bit, three-color (red, green, and blue) CCD line-scan camera with a resolution of 5184 pixels/m (131 pixels/in). Acknowledged problem with digital is loss of quality if migration not updated. Discussion of use of polarizers to reduce moisture glare.
NEXT CURATORS' MEETING
Next Curators' Meeting will be hosted by Rusty Lotti Bond at the Lamont Repository, September 2004. Approved recommendation that Group alternate meeting location between host repositories, and NSF.
Action Items for December 2003 AGU/GSA Curator's Outreach
Other Action Items