Latest News

July 2012

July 2012. SESAR and the IGSN eV will hold a workshop at the upcoming 34th International Geological Congress 2012 in Brisbane, Australia, titled "The International Geo Sample Number:  Towards a Global Standard Method for Identifying, Locating & Citing Physical Samples". The workshop will take place on August 5, 2012, at the Congress venue (Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre) from 3 to 5pm. For more information about the workshop and how to register, please go to



  • 34th International Geological Congress, Brisbane Australia [folder link]
    • The International Geo Sample Number (IGSN), Lehnert [pdf]
    • Identifers in ISO and OGC, Cox [pdf]
    • Why Physical Samples are so Important in the Digital Age, Weyborn [pdf]

March 2012

March 2012. At the upcoming EGU General Assembly 2012 in Vienna, Austria, we will host a splinter meeting (SPM1.20) about the the new architecture and governance of the International Geo Sample Number. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 23, 19-20h, in room SM2. Please, join us.

February 2012

February 2012. SESAR version 3.8 features an improved search interface, QR codes for IGSN metadata profiles, downloadable lists of complete metadata profiles, new metadata fields, and several bug fixes.


New features:

  • Improved Search Interface: The Advanced Settings panel now auto-completes searches for Registrant, Collector, Archive, Field Program/Cruise, Platform Name, and Collection Method. In addition, by clicking View list, the user can view all possible entries that exist in SESAR. There is a new option to search by registration date of the sample.
  • QR code has replaced the barcode: On the sample profile, the barcode has been replaced with a 2-D QR (quick response) code. This QR code, if snapped with a QR reader (for example, on smartphones), will resolve to the URL of the sample profile.
  • New metadata fields: New metadata fields, have been added to the Sample Profile: Launch, Launch Type, Launch ID, Navigation Type, Purpose. See their definitions on the vocabulary page.
  • Download complete metadata option: You can now download the complete metadata list from MySESAR and search results. Just click “Download extended list”
  • More help with sample registration: More information has been added to help you to register samples, suggested and controlled vocabulary lists are posted on the help page. Please visit:


Bug fixes: 

  • The IGSN Search box on the upper-right hand corner of the SESAR home page returns existing samples only, not empty profiles.
  • The Download Sample List option in MySESAR and on search result pages can now download more than 100 samples.


Please contact with any comments or suggestions.

December 2011

December 2011. On December 7, 2011, representatives from an international group of academic institutions and federal and state agencies founded the international implementation organization for the International Geo Sample Number IGSN, the IGSN e.V. The meeting took place in San Francisco, California, in conjunction with the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Nine founding members approved and signed the statutes and elected the first Executive Board of the IGSN e.V. (President: Kerstin Lehnert, Vice-President/Deputy President: Jens Klump, Vice-President/Treasurer: Catherine Constable). For more information, please visit the new web site of the IGSN e.V. at

November 2011

November 2011. At the upcoming AGU Fall Meeting 2011 in San Francisco, a new international organization will be founded, the IGSN eV, to govern and advance implementation of the International Geo Sample Number IGSN as a unique identifier for samples and specimens collected from our natural environment.

The creation of the IGSN eV represents a pivotal step for the IGSN toward becoming an international standard for sample identification and registration. The IGSN eV will be an incorporated non-profit organization under German law (gemeinnütziger eingetragener Verein), established at the German Geoscience Research Center (GFZ) in Potsdam. The founding members of the IGSN eV will meet on December 7, 2011, in San Francisco to approve and sign the statutes of the organization, vote on the members of the Executive Committee, and authorize the committee to register the society with the Court of Registry under German law.


Founding members of the IGSN eV will be:

  • Boise State University, USA
  • City College of New York, City University of New York, US
  • College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, US
  • Geoscience Research Center (GFZ) Potsdam, Germany
  • IFM-GEOMAR, University of Kiel, Germany
  • LacCore, University of Minnesota, USA
  • Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, USA
  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, USA
  • US Geological Survey, USA

January 2011

Geological samples collected as part of the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) Project will be registered with SESAR and will receive IGSNs, as outlined in the U.S. ECS Policy for Data, Publications, and Physical Samples. SESAR is working with the data management team of the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) Project at the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) to develop an ISO standard based metadata template for geologic bottom sample information that will meet the needs for the U.S. ECS efforts and for the UNOLS and IODP requirements. The template will be developed under the leadership of the ECS data management team at NGDC and in coordination with LDEO as the academic lead and will align with data description standards in use for both the SESAR and IODP efforts.

The U.S. Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) Project is a multi-agency collaboration whose goals are to determine and define the extent of the U.S. continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles (nm). 

SESAR has organized a workshop to discuss the IGSN Metadata Profile and its mapping to international standards for geospatial and geoscientific metadata and data models. The workshop will take place on February 22 & 23 & 24, 2011, at the San Diego Supercomputing Center at UCSD in La Jolla, CA. If you are interested in participating, please contact



Advancing the International Geo Sample Number as an International Standard for Sample Identification


Workshop Agenda and Goals

Workshop Results

December 2010

SESAR has released a greatly enhanced version of its software that allows users to interact with the SESAR Sample Catalog. SESAR System v3 (beta) provides substantially improved capabilities for users to register samples online, to administer registered samples in MySESAR, and to search the SESAR Sample Catalog.
Examples of new functionality include:

  • create customized templates for submitting metadata of multiple samples. NEW!
  • register multiple samples online by uploading templates. NEW!
  • add up to 5 images and other documents to a sample profile. NEW!
  • add publications to a sample profile. NEW!
  • control public access to sample metadata (set a 'release' date for samples to become public in the SESAR Sample Catalog). NEW!
  • transfer samples to a different SESAR user. NEW!
  • use of GeoPass, a single sign-on authentication system that gives account holders access to multiple data systems (e.g. the Geochemical Resource Library). NEW!

SESAR System v3 has been released as a beta version. Please, contact if you encounter problems or if you have comments and suggestions for improvement.
SESAR will continue to further enhance the System v3. The next release is planned for Spring 2011 and will feature the following new capabilities:

  • save your custom SESAR templates.
  • add custom metadata fields to your sample profiles.
  • group selected samples into 'collections'.

SESAR is holding a Town Hall Meeting at the upcoming AGU Fall Meeting 2010 in San Francisco to inform its users about recent developments.


When:  Monday, December 13, 2010, 12:30 PM

Where: Moscone Center South, room 232/4


Agenda Items:

  • Introduction to the new SESAR system v3 and plans for next releases
  • Outlook on SESAR's Online Collection Management System
  • Discussion: Toward Global Implementation of the IGSN

Please contact if you are planning to attend.

A limited amount of food & water will be available.

Since October 15, 2010, SESAR is part of the new data facility IEDA (Integrated Earth Data Applications) at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in New York. IEDA is funded through a Cooperative Agreement with the US National Science Foundation and provides the organizational framework and infrastructure for the operation and further development of SESAR.