What is MARPA?

Marine Annually-Resolved Proxy Archives (MARPA) is a grass roots effort by the paleoceanography and paleoclimatology community, whose aim is to enhance and facilitate both the archiving and sharing of data and metadata related to high-resolution marine proxy records. The MARPA project is working with the community to provide guidance on an easy way to store properly physical sample metadata, to identify existing cyberinfrastructures that could be potentially used to store data derived from physical samples, and their related metadata before and after publication. Finally, this project creates recommendations to use of a common template that allow easy retrieval and validation of the data while giving the PI recognition of their work.

The History of MARPA

As the body of paleoclimatic data expands and demand for these data sets increases, community archives of both digital data and the physical samples from which these data are derived from become increasingly important. Such community archives ensure that data and samples that were acquired with public funding are openly accessible and broadly disseminated for reuse in future studies, that they are professionally curated so that their value for use in science persists, and that they remain accessible in the long term. In addition, scientists who generate original paleoclimatic observations are concerned about how their data is being reused in other studies, and whether their work is given credit in subsequent analyses and syntheses.

Early 2011, the NSF funded EarthCube initiative started working towards community-driven cyberinfrastructures that supports standards for interoperability, infuses advanced technologies to improve and facilitate interdisciplinary research, and help educate scientists in the emerging practices of digital scholarship, data and software stewardship, and open science. However, among the communities targeted by that initiative, some communities did not have proper cyberinfrastructure in place, meaning did not have a proper way to store the metadata related to physical samples and/or the data derive from those samples.

The Marine Annually Resolved Proxy Archives (MARPA) project, created under the EarthCube umbrella, aims at providing proper cyberinfrastructure to the annually resolved proxy community. It is a grass roots effort to provide guidance on creating community-generated standards and to identify tools that facilitate the archiving of metadata for physical materials and geochemical data for their community. This will increase accessibility to data and specimens while creating a lasting legacy for future paleoclimatogical work beyond the careers of individual PIs. For further information, please read the MARPA Article. Please help MARPA grow by sending your feedback on our program, materials, and especially our article to the MARPA Team!