Latest News

November 2013

Nov 2013. Please, join us for this town hall to learn about ongoing and new developments that advance access, identification, and citation of physical samples in the geosciences and the management of geoscience collections through the use of cyberinfratsructure and information technology. Learn about the IGSN (International Geo Sample Number) and its international implementation organization, IGSN eV, the System for Earth Sample Registration SESAR, and the DESC project (Digital Environment for Sample Curation).
AGU Town Hall "Physical Samples in the Digital Age"
Monday, Dec 9, 2013, 12:30-1:30PM
Moscone West room 2008
Questions or comments to

October 2013

Oct 2013. SESAR version 4.4 is released! There have been major developments to MySESAR functionality and Batch Sample Registration. Try it out and let us know what you think


New features

  1. Filter by IGSN: The Sample List in MySESAR can now be filtered by IGSN to display samples of the user's choice.
  2. Customized your Sample List view in MySESAR: In MySESAR, a new link for "Add Column(s)" allows users to display additional fields for better sample management.
  3. Customized Label printing: The label printing has been customized so that you can choose which fields to display on the label, including Sample Other Name, Depth (min) and Depth (max), and Collection Date.
  4. Direct links to Sample profile pages in the Downloaded file: Metadata downloads from SESAR now include a hyperlink that opens the sample profile page in your default browser.
  5. Batch Registration improvements: The new layout of the batch registration template improves readability; error checking of uploaded files in the Batch Registration has been extended; instructions for fixing batch registration template errors have been improved; and controlled vocabularies are now case insensitive.  
  6. New Developer's Document posted: SESAR webservices API documentation is posted on the IEDA webservices page.


Bug fixes

  1. Fixed a bug that did not display or allow editing of Depth (min) and Depth (max) for certain object types. 


July 2013

Jul 2013. SESAR version 4.3 is released! The major new feature is the ability to group samples in MySESAR. Try it out and let us know what you think.


New features

  1. Sample Grouping: Create, edit, and view customized groups of SESAR samples. There is a new tab in MySESAR called My Groups. Create groups for projects, loan groups, field programs, or funding awards. You can add samples both from your own namespace or from other namespaces. These groups will be saved in your SESAR workspace. To help us guide future development, use the orange feedback tab on the right side of this page to let us know how you intend to use SESAR groups.
  2. Automatic notification of new batch registrations: When you successfully submit a new batch registration template, our data managers are notified immediately. This has improved response time for registration of SESAR batches. 


Bug fixes

  1. A fix for the Chrome browser now allows negative numbers to be entered into the latitude, longitude, and elevation fields during Individual sample registration.
  2. When entering Geologic Age and Geologic Unit in individual sample registration, non-numeric entries are now allowed.
  3. Sample profiles with release dates in the future can no longer be accessed by the Search IGSN box on the front web page or by direct URL query. A message is displayed that indicates the information is not yet public. Previously, these samples were only excluded from the catalog search.
  4. Batch registrations will not be be uploaded if error messages still exist. The errors must be corrected before the batch can be uploaded.

June 2013

June 2013. Thanks to everyone who participated in the DESC (Digital Environment for Sample Curation) Webinar. The materials are posted on this page.






  • .mov file (48 MB) 
  • Depending on your browser settings, the .mov might open directly in your browser, or download to your default folder. 
  • Do you prefer a different video format? Let us know by emailing or using the orange feedback tab on the right side of the window.



  • Visit the DESC Webinar Discussion page to see contributions from the webinar participants. Please, send further comments by clicking on the 'feedback' button at the right side of this window.



  • 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



Please send any questions or comments to



June 2013. DESC (Digital Environment for Sample Curation) is conducting a survey to gather broad input about common data management and sample curation challenges for repositories and collection managers and curators in an effort to find solutions. We would like to request your help by filling out the survey below. We greatly appreciate your time and effort!


Click here to take the DESC Survey about data management and sample curation challenges

May 2013

June 2013. Join us for a webinar on June 6th about a building a community cyberinfrastructure for sample curation.


Title: DESC (Digital Environment for Sample Curation): Building a Community Cyberinfrastructure for Earth Science Sample Collection

Date: Thursday, June 6, 2013

Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT


Description: DESC (Digital Environment for Sample Curation) is a collaborative, multi-institutional initiative to build a shared cyberinfrastructure for geoscience sample repositories and collections that will dramatically advance discovery, access, and curation of scientific samples in the Earth Sciences. An effort is underway with funding from the NSF to plan and design DESC as a shared, community-driven, and open-source system to catalog and manage physical samples and connect them to digital information infrastructures.


This webinar will (a) provide an overview of the goals, status, and next steps of the DESC project, and (b) present a DESC community survey that is intended to gather system requirements from curators of sample collections and repositories.


For questions, please contact Kerstin Lehnert (


Register now by clicking the link below:


After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.


System Requirements

PC-based attendees

Required: Windows(R) 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server


Mac(R)-based attendees

Required: Mac OS(R) X 10.6 or newer


Mobile attendees

Required: iPhone(R), iPad(R), Android(TM) phone or Android tablet

May 2013. SESAR is working with sample repositories to improve linking between existing sample information. The IMLGS (Index to Marine & Lacustrine Geological Samples) has provided links to their records for over 35,000 SESAR sample profiles for several sample repositories. The links appear at the bottom of the sample profiles.


Sample repositories with this improved linking include:


Any user can add relevant URL links to their own profiles by choosing the "edit" link in MySESAR. For bulk updates please contact

April 2013

Apr 2013. The International Implementation Organization for the IGSN (IGSN e.V.) invites applications for new members before its next General Assembly in June 2013. The IGSN Implementation Organization operates the international IGSN registration service, and implements and promotes standard methods to locate, identify, and cite physical samples with confidence.
Membership in the IGSN Implementation Organization is open to all non-profit organizations who wish to run their own IGSN allocating service. Organizations who have an interest in the purpose and objectives of the IGSN Implementation Organization (but do not plan to become an IGSN allocating agent) are welcome as Affiliate Members with an advisory function and the right to attend the General Assembly. The amount and due date of annual membership fees will be determined by the General Assembly. The membership fee is currently 500 euros per year.
More information about the IGSN (International Geo Sample Number) is available at:

Submit questions, comments, and membership applications to

Apr 2013. Video, presentations, and Q&A are now available from the March 27 Introduction to the IGSN Webinar! Thanks to everyone who participated in the lively Q&A.

  • Introduction: Why use the IGSN? and What is the IGSN? [pdf]
  • How to participate and become a user [pdf]
  • Webinar Q & A [html]
  • Video [.mov,  70 MB] (depending on your settings, this might play automatically in your web browser upon click, you can also right-click to Save File on your local drive)

March 2013

Mar 2013. SESAR version 4.2 is released and provides several new features and bug fixes. Additionally, now you can post and vote on future functionality in SESAR.


New features:

  1. Collection Time is read in from the batch registration sheet in the format HH:MM:SS UTC. See the SESAR Quick Guide for more information. 
  2. Classification search is enhanced to now return all hierarchically-lower categories in addition to the category itself. e.g. A search for "Igneous>Volcanic" will return "Igneous>Volcanic>Mafic", "Igneous>Volcanic>Intermediate" and "Igneous>Volcanic>Felsic" as well.
  3. More information (Material and Classification) is shown in the list view of MySESAR and search results.


Bug fixes:

  1. The Map Search has been updated to correctly return results by both map polygon and user-entered N-S-E-W bounding values.
  2. Private samples are now linked correctly to the detailed sample profile from MySESAR.
  3. Individual batch registration hover-over definitions are properly aligned. 
  4. Individual batch registration "Ready?" button at the bottom of the webform directs to the correct sample profile display instead of a blank page. 
  5. The primary image thumbnail of a sample correctly displays at the top of the sample profile. 
  6. IGSN case insensitivity is correctly deployed to more features in SESAR.  (If you previously had any lowercase IGSNs, please contact if you have questions.)


Future fixes:

  • Visit the IEDA feedback page to post or vote on suggestions for more SESAR functionality. Just click on the "Post a new idea" link or a "Vote" button to provide your feedback.