June 2013

Thanks to everyone who participated in the DESC (Digital Environment for Sample Curation) Webinar. The materials are posted on this page.







  • From Sarah Timm (Virginia Museum of Natural History)
    • Q: I developed a program called EGEMS specifically for cataloging geological materials including but not limited to rocks, minerals, research products, etc and I am wondering if there is any room for collaboration. I agree with everything you have said about the importance of preserving our collections and increasing their accessibility and I spent my master’s thesis at Virginia Tech researching and developing a potential solution to this growing need. This was shortly before EarthCube was developed and the only programs for recording data for geological materials were very expensive and designed for large museums. I have given talks at GSA these past few years and have touched on almost all of the topics you have in this talk. I would very much like to be a larger part of this initiative, can you tell me if and how this might be possible? Thank you.
      Information about EGEMS and screenshots of the program can be viewed at www.egemsinfo.com
    • A: Yes, please contact us at info@ if you would like to take on a collaborative role. Another great way to participate is to fill out the DESC survey about data management and sample curation challenges.
  • From Ramona Walls (University of Arizona)
    • Q: I am involved in an effort to develop an ontology for biological collections (http://code.google.com/p/bco/). One goal is to allow linking of data that is annotated with existing standards such as Darwin Core or MIxS. This is going hand in hand with other efforts, for example, to develop standard identifiers for biological specimens. The motivations were almost identical to what you have described for earth science collections during the first two talks. Many of the ontology design patterns we are developing for describing biological samples could be translated directly into earth science samples. It would be great to coordinate the efforts across our communities. Anyone who would like to contact us can use the mailing list at https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/bco-discuss.


  • DESC Repository Survey: We need your help in gathering requirements for DESC. Please, tell us about your data management and sample curation challenges.


Mailing list

  • Sign up for the community mailing list for DESC, SESAR², and IGSN


Please send any questions or comments to info@