Recent News

  • New EarthChem Portal Service-oriented architecture

    Feb 2013. A service-oriented architecture was recently completed for the EarthChem Search Portal as part of the EarthCube Web Services Concept Award. The architecture is composed of both REST and SOAP search services which will allow the geoinformatics community to leverage the complete functionality of the EarthChem Search Portal from within outside projects. A large number of output formats are supported, including XML, JSON, CSV, etc... Also supported is JSONP, which should make cross-domain, client-side approaches much more manageable.


    A complete explanation of the search services can be found at:


    SOAP Service:


    REST Service:

  • Release of new PetDB version (v.2.4.0)

    Jan 2013. PetDB released a new version of its database and user interface on 14 January, 2013. With this new version (PetDB 2.4.0) PetDB extended its scope and nowcontains the entire Deep Lithopshere Dataset of mantle and lower crustal xenoliths. In the new version, we also reactivated the melt inclusion search, added an analysis comment to the database that is displayed in the search results if provided, updated the look and feel of the data availability page, and fixed several bugs related to search and station display pages. 


    For more information see the PetDB Release Notes on the Development History page


    In addition, PetDB has expanded its scope to include the Deep Lithosphere xenolith dataset. Over 230,000 chemical values from the Deep Lithosphere dataset have been recently merged with PetDB, bringing new data such as model age and model temperature data into PetDB. The merger simplifies access to the EarthChem data holdings. 


    Let us know what other types of datasets you would like included in the PetDB database by emailing

  • EarthCube Domain End-User Workshop: Petrology & Geochemistry

    "Developing a Cyberinfrastructure Vision for Petrology & Geochemistry"


    When: March 6/7, 2013

    Where: National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC


    This workshop will bring together research scientists, data managers, sample curators, and information technology specialists to develop a vision for an advanced knowledge management system that will transform the way petrological and geochemical data and samples are acquired and used.


    The workshop will provide guidance to the NSF EarthCube initiative to design and develop the architecture of an Earth Science cyberinfrastructure that is aligned with the end-users’ needs for data and sample access, software tools, computing capabilities, and policies and procedures that not only support, but transform the conduct of science while addressing scientists' concerns regarding data quality, data sharing, data citation, intellectual property, and career advancement.



    Registration is now closed. Please contact Kerstin Lehnert.


    Virtual Participation

    For information how to participate online: Click here


    Science Scenarios






    Wednesday, March 6, 2013

    • 08:00 am Continental breakfast
    • 08:30 am Introduction
      • Welcome (E. Cottrell & NMNH Director Kirk Johnson)
      • EarthCube: Vision & Goals (NSF
      • Workshop Goals and Background (K. Lehnert) [pdf]
    • 09:00 – 10:00 am Invited presentations:  Major scientific challenges, present data & cyber constraints, and future opportunities.
      • Robert Hazen (Carnegie Institution of Washington) [pdf]
      • Charlie Langmuir (Harvard University) [pdf]
      • Mark Ghiorso (OFM-Research) [pdf]
      • Discussion (15 min)
    • 10:00 – 10:30 am EarthCube Survey Results (J. Gutcher-Gershenfeld) [pdf]
    • 10:30 – 10:40 am Introduction to breakout sessions, establish breakout groups
    • 10:40 -11:00 am Coffee break and move to breakout rooms
    • 11:00 – 12:30 pm Breakout session I: Identify science challenges and the gaps in cyberinfrastructure that are necessary to address them.
    • 12:30 – 01:40 pm  Lunch in the ECR (w/ introduction of participants). Box lunch provided.
    • 01:40 – 02:15 pm Reports from Breakout session I & discussion
    • 02:15 – 03:15 pm Breakout Session II: Review and append draft lists of existing Data Systems, Components, and Models; identify needs
    • 03:15 – 03:45 pm Coffee Break and move back to plenary room
    • 03:45 – 04:45 pm Reports from Breakout session II & discussion/synthesis
    • 05:00 – 07:00 pm Reception. Behind-the-scenes tours of NMNH Collections and after-hours access to Geology Gems and Minerals Hall. (Department of Mineral Sciences, 4th Floor of the East Wing, and GGM Hall, second level, off the Rotunda). Tours of the National Gems and Minerals Collection will be a timed, ticketed event.
    • 07:00 pm Dinner, on your own.


    Thursday, March 7, 2013

    • 08:00 am Continental breakfast (ECR)
    • 08:30 – 09:15 am Invited Presentations: Cyberinfrastructure Vision.
      • Peter Fox (RPI)
      • Ilya Zaslavsky (San Diego Supercomputing Center, UCSD)
      • Discussion
    • 09:15 – 10:00 am Invited Presentation: Science Scenario.
      • Leah Cortland (University of South Florida)
      • Tim  McCoy (Smithsonian Institution) [pdf]
      • Discussion
    • 10:00 – 10:10 am  Establish breakout groups for session III
    • 10:10 -10:30 am Coffee break and move to breakout rooms
    • 10:30 – 12:00 pm Breakout Session III: Science Scenarios
    • 12:00 – 01:00 pm  Lunch (ECR). Box lunch provided.
    • 01:00 – 01:30 pm Reports from Breakout Session III
    • 01:30 – 03:00 pm Synthesis, Next Steps
    • 03:00 pm.  Adjourn plenary session. Organizing committee and breakout session leaders gather to draft initial report.


    Click here for more Transportation and Accommodation information.


    Organizing Committee:

    Chuck Connor (University of South Florida)

    Elizabeth Cottrell (National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution)

    Rajdeep Dasgupta (Rice University)

    Kerstin Lehnert (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University)

    Abani Patra (SUNY Buffalo)



    For more information, please contact Kerstin Lehnert.

  • New EarthChem Projects & Collaborations

    Nov 2012. EarthChem has established new collaborations with various geoinformatics and science partners to build new data collections, software tools, and interoperable data exchange that will support a wide range of Earth Science disciplines and major science programs in the future. They will broaden EarthChem's data holdings, and contribute to the advancement of a sustainable cyberinfrastructure, particularly for the petrology and geochemistry domains.


    • CZOData: EarthChem will contribute to the development of a data infrastructure for the Critical Zone Observatories (CZO), named CZOData, building a web-based version of the CZchemDB database of soil geochemistry that was developed and maintained at Pennsylvania State University by S. Brantley and her team. This will enable geochemical data from studies of the Critical Zone to be integrated with the diverse data types acquired by CZOs in the CZOData system, and with other geochemical data at the EarthChem Portal. Read more.
    • ODM2.0: EarthChem is part of a project funded by the Earth Sciences Division of the US NSF to develop a community information model and related software to enable web based interoperability of earth observations derived from sensors and samples that span now discrete data and informatics initiatives for multiple communities. Read more.