DIPnet’s final meeting was scheduled to be held in the summer of 2020 at the Hawaiian Institute of Marine Biology on Oahu. Unfortunately, these plans were upended by the COVID19 pandemic.

Only about 14% of biodiversity-relevant datasets in the world’s largest genomic repository, the INSDC Sequence Read Archive, currently contain information (metadata) about when and where they were sampled. During the summer of 2020, DIPnet recruited students from around the United States who had lost income or research opportunity due to the COVID19 pandemic, paying them with travel funds intended for our final workshop. We started working to address this problem of missing metadata via an online, remote “datathon”. Starting with a list of about 800 datasets for which samples were missing latitude and longitude, the students searched online for published scientific papers associated with those datasets. They then read through the paper to find the geographic location and collection date for each sample reported in the SRA. When students couldn’t find this information, they emailed the authors of the study. Yet even after reading through over 500 such papers, they were only able to find dates and locations for about 33% of the samples that they worked on.

DIPnet GEOME Datathon Participants
Name Affiliation
Eric Crandall Pennsylvania State University
Michelle Gaither University of Central Florida
Rachel Toczydlowski Michigan State University
Libby Liggins Massey University, NZ
Cory Noble Massey University, NZ
Andrea Pritt Pennsylvania State University
Briana Wham Pennsylvania State University
Tanner Anderson University of Oregon
Randi Barton CSU Monterey Bay
Justin Berg University of Guam
Sofia Beskid University of Texas at Austin
Beth Davis CSU Monterey Bay
Alonso Delgado Ohio State University
Emily Farrell University of Central Florida
Maryam Ghoojaei University of Central Florida
Nan Himmelsbach Hawaii Pacific University
Ann Holmes University of California, Davis
Kiersey Nielsen Washington State University
Samantha Queeno University of Oregon
Thienthanh Trinh University of Central Florida
Courtney Weyand Auburn University