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Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Florida State University
  • Sherwood W Wise
  • (850) 644-5860
  • Charlotte Sjunneskog
Award Date:06/08/2009
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 2,500,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 2,575,401
  • FY 2010=$75,401
  • FY 2009=$2,500,000
Start Date:06/15/2009
End Date:09/30/2015
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.078
Primary Program Source:040101 RRA RECOVERY ACT
Award Title or Description:Curation of National Antarctic Marine Sediment Collections
Federal Award ID Number:0838901
DUNS ID:790877419
Parent DUNS ID:159621697
Program:ANT Earth Sciences

Awardee Location

Street:874 Traditions Way, 3rd Floor
Awardee Cong. District:02

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Florida State University
Street:874 Traditions Way, 3rd Floor
Cong. District:02

Abstract at Time of Award

This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). The proposal requests operating funds to continue supporting the Antarctic Marine Geology Research Facility (AMGRF) at Florida State University, the largest repository of Southern Ocean piston cores in the world. The Facility has been receiving, describing, and archiving cores for the past 48 years, at the same time supporting extensive marine geological research. The services and programs provided by the Facility include: (a) numerous technical services to the Antarctic and Earth Science investigators to work with the stored cores and samples; (b) archiving and curating more than 21,000 m of cored sediments and more than 5,000 kg of sea bottom samples collected by the U.S. Antarctic Program vessels; (c) maintaining the core and sample database covering the period from 1944 to present that is accessible via the Facility's Web site, and (d) services and equipment for the benefit of the Antarctic marine geology research community. Continued reliance on students' involvement in the Facility operation and research provides a broader impact and firmly grounds this effort in its educational mission.

Publications Produced as a Result of this Research

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Naish, T; Powell, R; Levy, R; Wilson, G; Scherer, R; Talarico, F; Krissek, L; Niessen, F; Pompilio, M; Wilson, T; Carter, L; DeConto, R; Huybers, P; McKay, R; Pollard, D; Ross, J; Winter, D; Barrett, P; Browne, G; Cody, R; Cowan, E; Crampton, J; Dunbar, G "Obliquity-paced Pliocene West Antarctic ice sheet oscillations" NATURE, v.458, 2009, p.322. doi:10.1038/nature0786  View record at Web of Science

Project Outcomes Report


This Project Outcomes Report for the General Public is displayed verbatim as submitted by the Principal Investigator (PI) for this award. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Report are those of the PI and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation; NSF has not approved or endorsed its content.

Report for the General Public on the FSU Antarctic Marine Geology Research Facility sponsored by the NSF Office of Polar Programs


NSF OPP-0838901 

Title: Curation of Antarctic Collections

Amount: $2,575,401

Principal Investigators:  Sherwood W. Wise, Jr. (Faculty PI) and Charlotte Sjunneskog (Head Curator)

Date:  May 16, 2016


The Antarctic Marine Geology Research Facility (AMGRF) occupies in a 10,000 sq. ft. one-story building on the Florida State University (FSU) campus in Tallahassee that was built in 1964 by National Science Foundation (NSF) funds to house sediment cores taken in the Southern Ocean or on the Antarctic continent under the sponsorship of the NSF Division of Polar Programs.  It currently houses over 23,000 meters of piston- and gravity-cored sediment plus 5,500 m of rotary-cored material from national and international drilling programs in refrigerated storage, the electric bill for which is paid entirely by FSU.  Most of the collection is kept at sea-bottom temperatures (between 34 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit).  Those taken on land under permafrost conditions, however, are kept refrigerated at -20o F to preserve any layers of ice. 


These unique collections draw a large number of visitors each year, both scientists who come to sample and study the cores (up to 25/year) plus about 900 others who come for tours, lectures, formal instructional classes and other outreach activities.  Visitors are always welcome.  Among those touring the AMGRF are FSU students, FSU Women in Math, Science and Engineering (WIMSE), middle- and grade-school campers from a summer enrichment program (Tallahassee’s Challenger Learning Center), middle-school students participating in SciCamp (for girls interested in science careers), and home-schooled students (some in cooperation with the Florida Geological Survey).


When the Facility is not otherwise engaged in fieldwork, workshops, or hosting visiting scientists, it is utilized for one week each semester by the Introductory Geology, Physical Geology and Historical Geology laboratory classes and for three weeks for Sedimentary Petrology labs.  As part of a week-long module on climate change, up to 350 students per semester learn about deep-sea sediments and their utility for understanding climate change. To supplement their classroom learning, the students spend 1 hour in the AMGRF for hands-on experience examining cores macroscopically and microscopically while recording their observations as part of a 3-page formal exercise written for their lab manual by the Faculty PI (S. W. Wise).

A major responsibility of the curatorial team is to insure that all of the cores in the collection are scientifically described in a timely manner so that any qualified scientist can obtain samples needed for their research.  These core descriptions are available on our web site at


In 2008 the 6,000 sq. ft. cold room for core storage was reaching capacity until our Phase I Mobile Shelving paid for by NSF was installed.  This created enough storage capacity at current rates of incoming cores to last until about 2030.  Plans have been drawn by an architect for three more sets of mobile shelving that would provide sufficient future storage capacity to last until about 2080.  


Last Modified: 05/18/2016
Modified by: Charlotte Sjunneskog

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