The Sediment Experimentalist Network (SEN) integrates the efforts of sediment experimentalists to build a knowledge base for guidance on best practices for data collection and management. The network facilitates cross-institutional collaborative experiments and communicates with the research community about data and metadata guidelines for sediment-based experiments. This effort aims to improve the efficiency and transparency of sedimentary research for field geologists and modelers as well as experimentalists.
Research in experimental geomorphology is in a data-rich era with a level of high-resolution, digital data sets that was not available even a few years ago. Facilities are evolving to allow a greater number of more sophisticated experiments at ever larger scales and finer resolutions. However, these extremely large volumes of laboratory data are not easily accessible, often stored in individual hard drives or other digital media and gradually abandoned. This lack of organization comes at substantial cost to the experimental geomorphology community through lost opportunities for coordinating experimental data with models and field data. Building a global research network of these scientists, facilities, and data is key to addressing grand scientific challenges faced by the sediment experimentalist community.
There are three major components of SEN. The Knowledge Base (SEN-KB) provides a centralized place for people to post and request experimental data and method descriptions. The Education and Standards group (SEN-ED) provides training, especially for early career scientists, in order to promote a culture of data sharing and data stewardship. The Experimental Collaboratories (SEN-EC) provides a testbed for collaborative work involving data and tools sharing among many investigators, spanning a range of career stages and geographic locations, including educators and international scientists.
Participation in SEN is built through mailing lists, annual workshops, town halls, scientific sessions at the AGU meeting, twitter @sedimentexp, monthly newsletters, community experiments that are broadcast and tweeted in real time, and lectures at the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics Summer Institute.
SEN is working with EarthCube through projects like CINERGI, GeoSoft, and Geosemantic Framework to bring the latest cyberinfrastructure to practicing domain scientists.
Benefits to the broader geoscience community – next steps
SEN-KB promotes research community progress through new experimental and educational tools and methods with example data and user needs for EarthCube cyberinfrastructure researchers. SEN-ED outreach and annual workshops train students and young geoscientists for best practices of data collection and sharing. The last two workshops in Asia and Europe built international ties, and a future joint meeting with CSDMS will integrate with efforts to provide well-documented and easily accessed experimental data as model benchmarks.
SEN serves the voice of the experimental geomorphology community to the cyberinfrastructure field through EarthCube projects, and brings cyberinfrastructure technologies back to the domain scientists for consideration, comment, and use.
- Blog: sedimentexperiments.blogspot.com
- Twitter: @sedimentexp
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Intro video: EarthCubeNSF YouTube
- Article: Building a Sediment Experimentalist Network (SEN), Dec 2013 Sedimentary Record
- Newsletter: subscribe to our ~monthly newsletter
Activities and Resources
- SEN Knowledge Base (beta)
- Shared folder (documents and reports)