Metadata Collections & QA

Earth System Science Informal Education Network (ESSIEN)

1. Organization description

The ESSIEN collection was created at and is maintained by the Paleontological Research Institution (PRI), affiliated with Cornell University.  PRI is a research and education organization that houses one of the largest research collections of fossils in North America. In 2003 PRI opened the Museum of the Earth, an exhibits and education facility that uses an Earth systems approach to tell the history of the Earth and its life, featuring numerous specimens from the PRI collections. The Museum fosters greater public understanding and appreciation of Earth and environmental change in the past, present, and future.

2. Collection purpose/goals

The Earth System Science Informal Education Network (ESSIEN) is dedicated to improving Earth system literacy through increased communication and collaboration among providers of informal Earth system education. ESSIEN hosts a website for electronic communications ( and promotes discussion of informal Earth system education at conferences and standalone meetings. The network includes museums, science centers, aquaria, zoos, and other not-for-profit organizations that offer some combination of exhibits and educational programs and resources in Earth science. The ESSIEN collection supports the needs of informal educators by providing a diverse set of examples of educational programming, resources, and exhibits on topics of Earth system sciences.

3. Collection policy

The resources accessible in the collection are web portals to organizations providing substantial informal Earth system science education. They describe educational programming, resources and exhibits that are pertinent to an informal educator.  An organization is considered of interest to an informal educator, and subsequently this collection, if the organization provides informal (i.e., outside of formal, K-16 education) Earth science education to the public, or provides resources for professionals in informal Earth science education.  Organizations added to the collection must be organizations that present content based on practices of the international peer-reviewed scientific community.  The collection administrators will determine the suitability of an organization in cases of ambiguity.


4. Contact information

The ESSIEN website and associated DLESE-based ESSIEN collection is administered by the Paleontological Research Institution (PRI) by Carlyn Buckler and Rob Ross. ESSIEN grew from NSF planning grant 0500002, "Collaborative for Excellence in Informal Geoscience Education"; the collaborative includes PRI, TERC, the Science Museum of Minnesota, and Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Please direct questions about the collection to Carlyn Buckler at the Paleontological Research Institution, Ithaca, NY, 607-273-6623 x25,

5. Resource terms of use

Most of the resources within the collection are portal sites, hence the resource terms of use are dictated by the individual resource copyrights and terms of use found on each site.

6. Metadata terms of use

Metadata is copyrighted 2007 Paleontological Research Institution. DLESE may modify, reformat, and redistribute metadata to function within DLESE systems and services.

7. Resource quality assurance

The resources made accessible via this collection are access points into other organizations that are responsible for the quality of the materials. The collection includes only organizations that strive to offer accurate science content and high quality pedagogy, as evidenced by website-based content and other information as available.  Organizations that provide resources that deviate from this quality will be removed by the collection administrator.  Users of the collection will be invited to suggest additions or removals to the collection.  Representatives of organizations will be polled to update organizational information on an annual basis.  All information changes will be reviewed by the collection manager. 


8. Metadata quality assurance

Metadata is generated by Carlyn Buckler, Paleontological Research Institution. Metadata undergoes quality assurance review by staff at the University Corporation for Atmospheric the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

9. Persistence plan for the collection

The collection is expected to exist indefinitely as long as the materials are current and useful to the informal education community and the links to the materials can be maintained.  Materials and activities that become obsolete will be removed and cease to exist. Once initial cataloging has been completed, PRI is responsible for keeping the collection up-to-date.

Last updated: 2007-03-26
Maintained by: Katy Ginger (, DLESE Metadata