Latest News

November 2020

November 2020. SESAR version 7.4.2 is released
On November 24th, we released a new version of SESAR. The release includes new enhancements and improvements.
Enhancements include additional validations to the batch registration process and updated security features (moving select pages from http to https).  Improvements include minor bug fixes to the edit page for managing sample metadata and the processes for transferring ownership of large scale numbers of samples.
You can read the full list of new enhancements and bug fixes on the SESAR Release Notes page.

July 2020

July 2020. SESAR version 7.4.1 is released
On July 27th, we released a new version of SESAR. The release includes new features, enhancements and improvements.
New features include adding JSON-LD to our sample profile pages and a new REST API. General enhancements and improvements include updates to our map search and minor bug fixes in our image upload tool and web services.
You can read the full list of new features and enhancements on the SESAR Release Notes page.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact

SESAR Curator Sarah Ramdeen and Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Geological Collections Manager Alex Hangsterfer were awarded an ESIP FUNding Friday mini-grant at this year’s ESIP Summer Meeting.  The funds from the grant will be used to support MARS (Middleware for Assisting with the Registration of Samples), a software developed by Dr. Jim Bowring and his group of undergraduate students at the College of Charleston.

MARS is an open-source web application that streamlines the registration of samples in SESAR to obtain IGSNs, i.e. globally unique identifiers, for the samples and make them Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (“FAIR”).  The application allows investigators or sample curators to submit sample metadata to SESAR  using their own sample metadata files, rather than having to transfer sample metadata to the SESAR batch registration template.  MARS currently supports mapping of NOAA’s Index to Marine and Lacustrine Geological Samples (IMLGS) metadata to the SESAR schema. Version 1 of MARS will be released in the coming months.
The MARS team is working to expand the functionality of the tool to allow any user to create a map between their preferred sample metadata format and SESAR’s to broaden the utility of the tool beyond the marine and lacustrine sample community.  The funding from ESIP will be used to support Dr. Bowring’s students as they continue this effort.  At the ESIP Summer Meeting several sample repositories already expressed interest in adopting the tool.
Read more about the history of MARS and SESAR here, and look for more updates in the coming months!

February 2020

February 2020. SESAR version 7.4.0 is released
On February 6th, we released a new version of SESAR. The release includes a number of new features and enhancements.
New features include a new file upload tool, the ability to export SESAR sample data for EarthChem Library templates, and metadata completeness indicators on the sample landing and search results pages. General enhancements include the generation of shareable URLs for groups on the My Groups page, and additional validations to the registration process. And the web services now support publication URL deletion and retrieving an IGSN by sample name for a specific user code. See our Web Services page for updated documentation.
You can read the full list of new features and enhancements on the SESAR Release Notes page.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact

July 2019

July 2019. SESAR version 7.3.0 is released
We have released a new version of SESAR.  The release includes a number of enhancements and improvments.  Enhancements include updates to the sample search tool and IGSN landing pages.  The general improvements include minor bug fixes in the batch registration process and adding additional validations to the registration process.
You can read about all of the enhancements and improvements at the SESAR Release Notes page.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact

June 2019

June 2019. SESAR will co-host a workshop “Vive les Samples! Geosample data management and visualization for the discerning geochemist!” at the Goldschmidt Conference in Barcelona on August 18th from 8:30 am - 12:30 pm. Please register here.
This workshop will be of interest to all geochemists who collect samples and have an interest in extending the impact of their samples. Presentations and discussion will focus on:

  • learning how to register samples with a unique and persistent identifier and connecting them to data publications and datasets;
  • best practices for keeping samples safe and accessible for the long term;
  • easy-to-implement techniques to effectively communicate through visualization the rich information resource your samples represent; 
  • identifying relevant institutional repositories for your sample data;
  • how professional organizations and publishers are facilitating information connectivity and responsible sample management; 
  • demonstrating how sample management can serve as a basis for a great Data Management Plan; 


May 2019

May 2019. This newsletter summarizes new features and improvements in the System for Earth Sample Registration (SESAR). Click on the links below for more detailed information.


New Samples in SESAR

13,233 samples have been registered in SESAR since February 2019. Browse the complete SESAR catalog with more than 4.3 million samples.


Tutorials & Help Pages

Don't forget to check out our help page for information and tutorials about using SESAR to register, update, and manage your samples. 


SESAR Sample Type Highlights


Most popular sample types and materials of samples registered in SESAR from February 1 - May 1, 2019.


SESAR Community

  • SESAR will co-host a workshop “Vive les Samples! Geosample data management and visualization for the discerning geochemist!” at the Goldschmidt Conference in Barcelona on August 18th from 8:30-12:30. This workshop will be of interest to all geochemists who collect samples and have an interest in extending the impact of their samples. Please register here.
  • EarthChem and SESAR presented at the CZIMEA Toolkit workshop, an EarthCube cyberinfrastructure training and tool assessment workshop which aims to bring together tool developers and early career Critical Zone scientists. Please click here to see our slides from the presentation.
  • Join us on twitter @igsn_info!


IGSNs in the Literature

  • Gonzalez et al., 2019, Characterization of soil profiles and elemental concentrations reveals deposition of heavy metals and phosphorus in a Chicago-area nature preserve, Gensburg Markham Prairie. doi: 10.1007/s11368-019-02315-5
  • Barnes et al., 2019, The role of the upper plate in controlling fluid-mobile element (Cl, Li, B) cycling through subduction zones: Hikurangi forearc, New Zealand. doi: 10.1130/GES02057.1.
    • Click here to browse the spring water samples from the Hikurangi subduction zone in SESAR.
  • Giguet-covex et al., 2019, New insights on lake sediment DNA from the catchment: importance of taphonomic and analytical issues on the record quality. doi: 10.31223/


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February 2019

February 2019. This newsletter summarizes new improvements and features in the System for Earth Sample Registration (SESAR) as well as recent outreach and user highlights. Click on the links below for more detailed information.


Samples Added

Since November 5,011 samples were registered in SESAR. Browse the complete SESAR catalog with more than 4.3 million samples.


Recent SESAR Improvements

SESAR v.7.2.2 was released in November 2018. This new version introduced improved validation and new functionality for the Sub-Object Type and Classification fields and implemented a new version (4.0) of web service schema. See more release notes here.


SESAR Community

  • The SESAR team attended the AGU Fall Meeting held in Washington D.C from December 10-14, 2018. See more information below about our presentations at AGU, which included presentations about the IGSN and SESAR and participation in a town hall regarding geochemical data standards. If you were not able to catch up with us at AGU, contact us at with questions or comments about our resources.
    • IGSN: Toward a Mature and Generic Persistent Identifier for Samples: This presentation discussed the evolution of the IGSN and our efforts to redesign and improve its existing organization and technical architecture. Slides from this talk can be found here.
    • Increasing the Impact of Your Research by Enabling Persistently FAIR Physical Samples: The System for Earth Sample Registration (SESAR): This poster discussed the benefits of using IGSNs and SESAR, and how SESAR has grown beyond individual investigators to include repositories, museums, and many large-scale scientific initiatives. The poster can be viewed here.
    • Building a Global Network of Geochemical Data: This townhall discussed developing geochemical data standards in the Earth Sciences (and the IGSN as an existing standard that has improved discoverability) and opportunities for a global geochemical data network. To learn more, please refer to the presentation here.
  • Dr. Kerstin Lehnert and SESAR participated in PIDapalooza 2019, a conference dedicated to persistent identifiers (PIDs). Dr. Lehnert gave a presentation titled “Transitioning an Identifier System to Persistence” where she discussed the recent Sloan-funded effort to develop a mature organizational and technical structure for the IGSN that is scalable and extensible to other domains, ensuring persistence.
  • SESAR participated in the annual assembly of members of the International Implementation Organization for the IGSN (IGSN e.V.). The objective of the IGSN e.V. is to implement and promote standard methods for locating, identifying, and citing physical samples with confidence by operating an international IGSN registration service with a distributed infrastructure for use by and benefit to its members. Membership in the IGSN Implementation Organization is open to organizations who wish to run their own IGSN allocating service.
  • Join us on twitter @igsn_info!


User Spotlight

In this edition we spotlight Nichole Anest and the team at the Lamont-Doherty Core Repository. The Lamont-Doherty Core Repository (LDCR) contains one of the world’s most unique and important collections of scientific samples from the deep sea. Sediment cores from every major ocean and sea are archived at the Core Repository, which contains approximately 72,000 meters of core and associated metadata. Besides their mission to provide long-term curation and archiving of samples and cores, the Core Repository also fulfills sample requests, assists investigators in sample collection activities, and works tirelessly to educate teachers, students, and the public about the important role science and the Core Repository play in building a better understanding of Earth processes.


We caught up with Nichole to learn more about how the Core Repository uses the IGSN and SESAR to manage their samples, and to explore some of their exciting sample collections. Read more below:


Why do you use SESAR? We use SESAR because it makes it possible to track samples through time and publications. I get many students requesting samples that someone used in a paper years to decades ago but the information in the paper about the samples is usually limited or non-existent. So, we have to go back through our paper sampling histories to locate the PI, what core(s) and at what intervals they sampled, and try to piece together what samples' data were used for the published work. The use of IGSNs makes these sort of sample requests much easier as well as giving "automatic" acknowledgement to the repository where the samples came from.


Sample group highlight: There are about two hundred cores that were taken by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), part of the US Dept of the Interior, to look for near-shore sand deposits. They wanted to identify where beach sand was transported after major coastal storms (such as Irene and Sandy) and see if it is feasible to use it to replenish the beaches after such storms. Check out the BOEM cores in SESAR which include core photos as well as grain size data.


The BOEM cores in the Lamont-Doherty Core Repository


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May 2018

May 2018. Nearly 7,000 holes drilled across the globe in collaboration with the Continental Scientific Drilling Coordination Office have been registered in SESAR. These holes now have persistent and globally unique identifiers (IGSNs) and can be linked to core samples extracted from the holes. Check them out in the SESAR Catalog by searching Set Name/IGSN -> IGSN begins with "CDR". These holes were registered as part of Open Core Data, an NSF-funded project that is radically improving discoverability, accessibility, citeability, preservation, and integration of data from past, current, and future drilling and coring projects.



CSDCO Hole Locations plotted in GeoMapApp

April 2018

Apr 2018. SESAR version 7.1.1 is released, which includes new features, enhancements, and improvements.

  • New Feature: An option to preview sample locations on a map is now provided when you upload a SESAR batch registration or batch upload template in MySESAR. You can access the map by clicking "View Locations on Map." Locations are only shown if you have entered values for Latitude and Longitude (not UTM). You can see if samples plot in expected locations and, if not, you can adjust coordinates in your batch template and re-upload it, eliminating the need to edit sample metadata at a later time or involve the SESAR curator. We recommend that you double-check your sample locations by viewing your samples on a map each time you upload a batch registration template.

Read all of the improvements at the SESAR Release Notes page.