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: