Funding Scientific Discovery

Data management of collections, both active and legacy projects, is a critical component of scientific discovery and progress. Yet, in most cases, there are few funding opportunities available solely for data management projects.

Although this seems to be changing at a national and international level, there is a consistent need for privately-sponsored support of ongoing data management at the laboratories at the Office of Archaeological Studies. Current opportunities to fund such projects include:

• The organization of the Dr. Robert DuBois Estate collection of roughly 15,000 archaeomagnetic specimens, data and field notes.

• The inclusion of the Eighmy/Lengyel/ Sternberg collection of 20,000 archaeomagnetic specimens, data and archaeological notes into the OAS laboratory archives.

• The development of a digital database in the Radiocarbon Sampling Laboratory aligned with the data standards of the National Science Foundation.

“The gold standard in scientific databases is to adhere to the acronym FAIR—data that are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable,” says Shelby Jones, OAS laboratory supervisor. “Our labs have been working to achieve this goal for our tens of thousands of laboratory samples for years, and 100% of those efforts have been supported through the Museum of New Mexico Foundation and other donated funds. As we acquire additional specimens, the need for additional support continues. Once completed, the materials in these laboratories will serve as a sample research library for scientists across the U.S. and world.”

This article and image are from the Museum of New Mexico Foundation’s Member News Magazine.