Day 2 of the National Data Repositories will be getting underway in a few hours here in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. There is a record turnout of 180 participants from 30 countries but I'm the only U.S. representative who is not from a private company providing data management services. The meeting is taking place next door to the Petronas Twin Towers, headquarters of meeting host Petronas, the national resource company [right].
I arrived in KL on Saturday after a 30+ hour trip via Hong Kong. My travel is funded by a grant from Columbia University's Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory as part of a project to develop and deploy the new International Geo Sample Numbering (IGSN) system and organize a U.S. workshop to bring together core and sample repository managers to share best practices and develop common standards and procedures to better curate and preserve our often irreplaceable samples.
The problems we are facing in the US are much the same as those for every country dealing with geological samples and data with one major difference. The US does not have a national data repository either for data or samples as many here do. Much of the data and samples we are discussing are from resource exploration and development especially petroleum which is largely managed at the state level in the U.S.