Lamont-Doherty Core Repository: Curation, Service, Professional Development, Outreach

Lead PI: Brendan T. Reilly , Dr. Maureen E. Raymo , Ms. Nichole A. Anest

Unit Affiliation: Biology and Paleo Environment, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

June 2023 - May 2028
North America ; United States
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: This project will support the ongoing operation of the Lamont-Doherty Core Repository (LDCR). The LDCR is a national resource for geoscience research and education. This repository houses one of the largest and geographically expansive collections of deep-sea sediment cores in the world. It also includes seafloor rocks, manganese nodules, corals, and wetland and river cores. Like a library of mud, fossils, and rocks, the LDCR serves the Earth science community by storing, distributing, and collecting samples and data. Scientists from all over the world use this material to study the history and processes of the Earth. The LDCR hosts hundreds of visitors every year. These visitors leave with an understanding of the scientific and educational resources available at the LDCR and the role the LDCR serves for the scientific community. The LDCR offers a variety of outreach activities. These activities include professional training opportunities, a community use sediment analysis laboratory, and permanent exhibits for visitors. The support provided through this project allows the LDCR to achieve its mission: (a) to provide long-term curation and archiving of samples and cores collected by the geoscience community to ensure their preservation and usefulness to current and future generations of Earth scientists; (b) to serve the needs of national and international scientists by fulfilling sample requests as well as providing sample descriptions, core log measurements, and basic sedimentological, geochemical, and geophysical analyses on materials of interest; (c) to assist principal investigators from any institution in the planning and execution of sample collection activities, including sea-going activities, and providing short-term (2-year) exclusive access to sample material and data in addition to long-term storage and curation of those samples; (d) to add value to the existing collection through new and continuing initiatives that include improving on-line data availability, sample characterization, and documentation of subsets of the collection; (e) to mentor and create professional development opportunities for students and early career scientists, including summer internships; and (f) to continue development of outreach and educational materials to educate teachers, students, and the general public about the important role the LDCR plays in improving our understanding of Earth processes such as climate change, ocean acidification, evolution, and tectonics. Data from old and new materials in our collection are a continuing resource for the development of novel techniques and the provision of fresh scientific insights. Through the LDCR, students, early career researchers, and other scientists are able to take advantage of existing and archived materials, allowing them to seize research opportunities in a timely fashion without having to mount costly expeditions.

BROADER IMPACTS: The LDCR is committed to enhancing the educational and research experience of the many students, early career researchers, and citizens that visit us or work here. We host hundreds of visitors a year (over a thousand if you count the annual LDEO Open House), all of whom leave with an understanding of the scientific and educational resources available at the LDCR as well as the NSF-supported service role we undertake for the scientific community. We have an active on-line presence, for which we plan to grow over this award period with improved online educational materials for the general public, students, and early career researchers. The LDCR offers professional training opportunities, a community use analytical facility, and has permanent exhibits to improve visitor understanding (on a variety of levels) for the science we do every day and the larger societal issues that impact all citizens.