Saturday, January 24, 2015

SEN Utrecht Workshop Report: Exploring the Life Cycle of Sedimentary Experiments

We posted the report from our 2014 workshop at Utrech University: SEN Going Dutch: Exploring the Life Cycle of Sedimentary Experiments.

At the workshop, we initiated working groups for SEN's three main components, the Knowledge Base (SEN-KB), Education & Standards (SEN-ED), and Experimental Collaboratories (SEN-EC). You can view notes from these working group discussions are in the report.

The workshop was a venue for sharing tips on experiment set-up, data collection and management, and expressing critical needs for better curation and archival of data and methods. We look forward to hearing more from the wider SEN community and working to meet these needs through partnerships with other projects.

Access the report on the EarthCube website

Saturday, December 20, 2014

What questions can we answer with SEN?

Thanks goes to Kim Litwin-Miller, who recently joined SEN as a postdoc, for this new image of SEN. The dark days in the lab are fading.

Here are some questions that SEN has been addressing and sharing with our network:

Q: Where can I buy the sediment I need for my experiments?
A: Check out our Sediment Resource list, compiled from SEN members.

Q: How can I set up an IP camera to stream my experiments?
A: Charles Nguyen's team at St. Anthony Falls Laboratory has shared their method for live streaming experiments on the SEN wiki.

Q: What's the best way to share my experimental videos?
A: This old blog post reviews different options for sharing experimental videos.

Q: How can I get a citable DOI for my dataset, and show the citation statistics on my CV?
A: Old blog posts and tweets have mentioned SEAD, figshare, and impactstory, sites that help you manage, publish, and track citation of datasets.

Q: How can I version and document my code so that I'll understand what I did 6 months from now?
A: We are embarking on the journey of learning GitHub and having our own code repository, to help with versioning, documenting, and sharing of code. The GeoSoft project is helping us out. Stay tuned for more info!

Sign up for our ~monthly newsletter or follow us on twitter (@sedimentexp) to get more information like this delivered to you.

Ask us a question ( that you want answered by the network!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

SEN December News: Data publishing and sharing, workshops, and SEN on GitHub

Dear SEN,

We've made it to December. Hope the SEN Newsletter has brought you some useful information in 2014 (see the archive here), and we look forward to more experiments in 2015.

Some events and activities to consider:

  • Town Hall on Publishing and Sharing Earth Surface Process Data @AGU
  • Workshop on Modelling mixed-sediment river morphodynamics
  • Sharing SEN research codes on GitHub
  • What does SEN going Dutch look like? Utrecht Workshop

Town Hall

TH13D: Publishing and Sharing Earth Surface Process Data
Monday, December 15, 2014,12:30 PM - 01:30 PM
Moscone West 2008

We invite both data sharing rookies and professionals to come and discuss needs, obstacles, and existing resources.

Join us for a discussion on publishing and sharing Earth Surface process data. The session goal is to agree upon a set of descriptive fields for proper curation and efficient reuse of Earth-surface related data for experimentalists, modelers, and field investigators. Guidelines will be developed to support our community in preserving, sharing, and publishing data more consistently despite disparate research methods. We will use Sediment Experimentalist Network (SEN) laboratory experiments as an initial example but seek commentary from the broader EPSP community. Students and early career investigators are especially encouraged to attend.

If you have any concerns or questions about this topic in advance of the town hall, we'd be happy to hear about them:

Workshop on Modelling mixed-sediment river morphodynamics

From abrading particles to river profile concavity...
27-28-29 May 2015
Water Lab, Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences
Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands

In the workshop we will discuss topics that deal with modelling mixed-sediment fluvial processes, covering a wide range of scales.

For more information visit the workshop event page.
To receive future circulars, contact the organizers, Astrid Blom ( and Enrica Viparelli (

Sharing SEN research codes on GitHub

"If you write code for research, you’re missing out if you’re not on GitHub."
Read more about GitHub for sharing research code:

In collaboration with the GeoSoft project, SEN has launched a GitHub repository and is looking for members! Let us know if you have a GitHub account, and we'll send an invite to join the repository (notify with your username). In the coming months, we'll be sharing scripts from our Community Experiments. SEN members may also post any code they'd like to share.

What does SEN going Dutch look like? Utrecht Workshop

While we work on finalizing the workshop report for sharing with you all, take a look at some Photos and Tweets from November's SEN Utrecht Workshop. Many thanks to Joris Eggenhuisen and the team at Utrecht for their critical support of this workshop!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Data are messy

"Science rarely proceeds as expected or hoped" begins Raleigh Martin's poster, titled "Data are Messy: thoughts from sediment experiments in the lab and field" and presented at the SEN Utrecht workshop in November 2014. 

Raleigh offers thoughts and recommendations on the "messy side of research", including "There's a lot of voodoo in methods" and "Many experiments are failures," and concludes: "There will be no "one-size-fits-all" solution for documenting experimental data and methods. This requires ongoing discussion that directly considers broader scientific objectives!"

The poster does a great job illustrating some of the challenges involved in properly managing and documenting data and methods in experimental geomorphology.

See the full poster here:

Monday, October 20, 2014

SEN Workshop 2 at Utrecht University

Dear SEN community,

We are excited about our upcoming Sediment Experimentalists Network (SEN) workshop at Utrecht University: “Experimentalists going Dutch: Exploring the life-cycle of sedimentary experiments,” on November 4-7, 2014. We are particularly grateful to Joris Eggenhuisen and his staff for hosting this event and putting together an interesting program of discussions, talks, and community experiments.

If you will not be participating on-site in the workshop, that’s OK! We will be performing community experiments on delta formation and encourage off-site participants to provide input on how we will run these experiments, to view the experiments as they are running, and then to participate in community data analysis following the workshop. Furthermore, we invite off-site participants to join workshop discussions on data management, laboratory methods, and the experimental life-cycle. Please check our website on the EarthCube workspace for up-to-date information on these activities.

To ensure that off-site participants are not left out of any of the fun, please complete this brief Google Docs form to be added to our participant list for the event. Please note time differences! (UK: -1 hour, US East: -6 hours, US Central: -7 hours, US Mountain: -8 hours, US Pacific: -9 hours, Japan: +8 hours)

Below are some details on the community experiments and conference agenda. In particular, see the link below to submit your recommendations

  1. Community experiment: The centerpiece of our conference will be a community experiment on delta formation and stratigraphy in the laboratory of Joris Eggenhuisen at Utrecht University. We encourage you to review the description of the community experiments here. Variables for the community experiments will be proposed by participants! Please submit your recommendations for the community experiment by Google Docs here, by Friday, Oct. 24. 
  2. Workshop agenda: Each day of the main workshop (Tues-Thurs) will be built around a theme for the sediment experimental lifecycle and will include presentations by keynote speakers, observation and analysis of community experiments, and discussion of data management practices. On Friday, we will then be convening focused discussions to help push SEN projects forward through the upcoming year. You can view the draft workshop agenda here.

Best Regards,

Raleigh Martin, Kim Miller, Leslie Hsu, Wonsuck Kim, and Brandon McElroy

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sediment Experimentalist Network: SIESD Report and a New Year

Dear Sediment Experimentalists,

SEN had a great time at the Summer Institute for Earth Surface Dynamics last month, but now summer is over and it's time to introduce SEN to new students and colleagues. We're excited to share new information and resources with you in Year 2 of SEN.

  1. Summer Institute for Earth Surface Dynamics 2014
  2. Recruit new lab members and colleagues to SEN
  3. Our growing SEN Knowledge Base

Summer Institute for Earth Surface Dynamics 2014

SEN gave a talk at the Summer Institute for Earth Surface Dynamics, "Sediment Experimentalist Network (SEN): Sharing and reusing methods and data in Earth surface process experiments."

Recruit new lab members and colleagues to SEN

Do you have new group mates who are about to embark on a sediment experiment adventure? Have them join the network and receive news and updates related to sediment experimentalist research.

Our growing SEN Knowledge Base

The SEN Knowledge Base is being populated with wiki articles to help you conduct your research. The articles document examples of experimental methods that you can use and modify. Check out two new entries related to the SIESD 2014 experiment:

Stay in touch and always let us know how we can help.

Happy experimenting,
The SEN Team

Help us grow our network and forward this link to a colleague: Sign up to join the SEN Network

Sediment Experimentalist Network

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sediment Experimentalist Network July News and Tools

Dear Sediment Experimentalists,

SEN was at the EarthCube All Hands Meeting in Washington, D.C. recently, where we met participants from other Research Coordination Networks and EarthCube Building Block projects.

We are sharing a few things we discovered that may be useful to you:

  1. ESIP data management course
  2. Ten simple rules for the care and feeding of data
  3. EarthCube All Hands call to action
  4. Reminder: Data Management Plan Tools

ESIP data management course

At the Education breakout we were reminded about the ESIP Data Management Course, brought to you by Earth Science Information Partners - with downloadable modules (slides or movies) about data management topics like “Advertising your data”, “Backing up your data”, and “Building understandable spreadsheets”. These can be referenced in your data management plans.

Ten simples rules for the care and feeding of data paper 

In another EarthCube breakout session we discovered a paper with good advice on how to treat data, and give suggestions for linking data to publications, publishing code, and stating how to get credit.
Ten Simple Rules for the Care and Feeding of Scientific Data, doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003542

EarthCube All Hands call to action

EarthCube is currently soliciting any interested people to help shape the future direction of EarthCube. The viewpoint of scientists and practitioners is particularly needed. Those that participate will shape many of the decision, funding, and communication practices. Click here for more information and to express your interest in becoming a member of the Science Committee, Tech/Architecture Committee, Engagement Team, Liaisons Team, and the Leadership Council. Membership is open to all interested persons. There will be webinars on July 17 and 21 with more information. You can also email Leslie or Raleigh if you have any questions about this.

Data Management Plan Tools

For those of you preparing proposals now, we remind you of two popular Data Management Plan Tools to help you build a plan with all of the important components.

Stay in touch and always let us know how we can help.

Happy experimenting,
The SEN Team

Help us grow our network and forward this link to a colleague: Sign up to join the SEN Network

Sediment Experimentalist Network Homepage