Recent News

  • IEDA Invites Applications for Data Rescue Mini-Awards

    Mar 2013. IEDA (Integrated Earth Data Applications), the NSF data facility that operates EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System, is looking to grant four Data Rescue Mini-awards as part of a Data Rescue Initiative. This initiative is intended to ensure that valuable legacy data sets that are in danger of being lost in the near future due to impending retirement or degradation of the original data source are preserved and made accessible to the community for re-use by inclusion in the IEDA data collections (EarthChem, Marine Geoscience Data System, SESAR). Priority will be given to datasets that are deemed to have the highest impact on future research by virtue of one or another unique characteristics such as quality, size, rarity, unique location or data type. The mini-grants will provide funds to investigators at the level of $7,000 (maximum) for each project to support proper compilation, documentation, and transfer of data sets to IEDA. We specifically encourage applications from late-career and near-retirement investigators, who are in possession of unpublished data that they cannot otherwise share and preserve.


    Data sets must be consistent with the IEDA mission "to support access and preservation of solid earth data from the earth, ocean, and polar sciences". Preferred data sets are geochemical analyses of igneous rocks and marine sediments, and marine geology and geophysics data. Depending on interest and success of this pilot project, IEDA hopes to continue funding mini-awards like this in future years.

    Applications (maximum 3 pages) should be submitted by April 5, 2013, to IEDA Director Kerstin Lehnert (, and should include

    • a brief description of the data sets that will be assembled, such as type of data, volume, format (.xls, .txt, grids, etc.), and current status (e.g. on tape, on paper, on-line, etc.)
    • a statement that explains the relevance of the data set(s) for future re-use
    • a project plan how the successful completion of the project will be achieved and to what extent IEDA staff is needed to assist. For sample-based data such as geochemical analyses, the sample archiving situation should be discussed.
    • a budget outline

    The IEDA User Committee will review all applications and select awardees based on the scientific relevance of the data sets and prospect of the project¹s successful completion. Funded projects will need to complete the data compilation and documentation by September 30, 2013. IEDA staff will work with each awarded investigator or group of investigators to help identify needed documentation, and will provide guidance and tools to facilitate data documentation and transfer.


  • 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.