Latest News

June 2013

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.


Mar 2013. Due to the interest in information about SESAR and the IGSN expressed at the EarthCube P&G workshop, we have set up a webinar, during which we will provide an overview of the IGSN ( and the System for Earth Sample Registration ( We will demonstrate how you can register your samples, how you can use the IGSN and SESAR to manage, cite, and track your samples and how your sample registration will contribute to building a global sample catalog.
For more information, contact
Title: Introduction to the IGSN (International Geo Sample Number): Physical Samples as Part of Cyberinfrastructure
Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT
The webinar materials (presentations, Q&A, and video) are posted at the SESAR documentation page.
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

Mar 2013. There will be a splinter meeting at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2013 to discuss physical samples in the digital era.
What: A discussion about Physical Samples in the Digital Era
When: Thursday, 11 April, 15:30-17:00
Where: Room R10
We invite anybody who is concerned with physical samples collected in the Earth Sciences and how to best integrate these samples with digital data and information infrastructure. The objective of this meeting is to discuss standards and best practices for the registration and identification of samples, their documentation, and their curation to ensure discovery, access, and preservation of both the physical samples and of the virtual representation of the samples in digital data systems.
For more information, please contact Kerstin Lehnert.

January 2013

Jan 2013. SESAR version 4.1 features improved time zone display, label printing capability, and more help for batch registration templates. 


New features:

  • Time zone display is now in UTC (Universal Time Coordinated). The display on sample profile pages follows ISO-8601.
  • Label printing is implemented in MySESAR. Users have the option to select certain samples and print labels for them. More information here.
  • Batch registration template Quick Guide instructions are now included with each new download of a Batch Registration Template.


Bug fixes:

  • The sample delete button at the bottom of a user's sample profiles now leads to the correct page for requesting sample delete.


November 2012

Nov 2012. Town Hall Meeting at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco


Physical Samples as Part of Cyberinfrastructure

When? Monday, Dec 3, 2012, 12:30-13:30h
Where? Marriott Hotel - Foothill F


Webinar information
Register now by clicking the link below:

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


1. Upcoming EarthCube workshops with relation to samples
2. Information & update about the International Geo Sample Number IGSN
3. Discussion and plans for the 'Digital Environment for Sample Curation'


For questions, please contact Kerstin Lehnert (