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Continuing Operations Proposal: The United States Polar Rock Repository as a Research Tool for Understanding Antarctica's Geological Evolution

Intellectual Merit: The United States Polar Rock Repository (USPRR) was established to curate and loan geologic samples from polar regions to researchers and educators. OPP established the USPRR in part to avoid redundant sample collection and thus reduce the environmental impact of polar research. The USPRR also provides the research community with an important resource for developing new research projects. The USPRR acquires rock collections through donations from institutions and scientists and makes these samples available as no-cost loans for research, education and museum exhibits. Sample metadata is available in an on-line database. The database also includes rock property information, such as magnetic susceptibility and specific gravity, which are useful for geophysical studies. Researchers may request samples for analysis using an online request form. The USPRR fulfills several data management directives, including the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, Antarctic Data Management directive of providing free, full and open access to both metadata and the samples. The intellectual merit of the USPRR lies in the global dissemination of scientific information to researchers. Broader impacts: The broader impacts of the USPRR include lessening environmental impacts resulting from redundant fieldwork in Polar Regions. The USPRR provides educational information about Antarctica via the website, by visiting the repository or borrowing a "USPRR rock box". Working at the repository provides students with opportunities to learn about the geology of Antarctica as well as doing research, learning new skills in digital imaging, curation and database management.

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