Fifth GERM Workshop
Columbia University, New York
May 29-31, 2006


Steve Goldstein (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory)
Hubert Staudigel (Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics, SIO)
Francis Albarede (Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon)
Louise Kellogg (University of California, Davis)
Roberta Rudnick (University of Maryland)
Bernhard Peucker-Ehrenbrink (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Hosted by

Steve Goldstein and Hubert Staudigel

Abstract Volume GERM 2003
Previous Conference Volumes
GERM Reservoir Database
GERM Partition Coefficient (Kd) Database
Workshop Registration is Closed
GERM Workshop Program
GERM Workshop Abstract Volume
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Columbia Campus Interactive Map
Columbia Campus Map in PDF Format
Detailed Subway Map in PDF Format
Simple Subway Map in PDF Format
Columbia University
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
National Science Foundation
Elsevier Publishers
NU Instruments
Thermo Finnigan
GV Instruments

GERM Initiative and Workshop Program Description

The central theme of the GERM Initiative involves characterization of the elemental and isotopic inventories of geochemical reservoirs that comprise the Earth System, and the mass balance of transfer processes between them. These cover all time scales, including controls on the crust-mantle system by long-term geological processes, and higher frequency phenomena such as those arising in the ocean and atmosphere. The study of geochemical inventories and fluxes requires inclusion of a range of geophysical, geological, and biological observations and modeling. GERM encourages integrated approaches and supports high quality databases or other Information Technology (IT) tools.

The Fifth GERM Workshop offers a range of keynotes and extended discussion periods on current GERM themes, illuminating topics from several angles, exploring the geological-geophysical-biological and geochemical constraints on our understanding of aspects of the GERM-Earth, including chemical inventory and fluxes and their uncertainties. The format of the main sessions will be presentations by keynote speakers and discussion leaders that include geochemists, geobiologists and geophysicists.

Workshop participants are encouraged to contribute to the discussions with their own overheads, and by submitting abstracts for poster presentations. The Fifth GERM Workshop will include several "breakout sessions" that will advance a variety of important geochemical science infrastructure issues. Breakout session leaders and a series of panelists will be charged with presenting the results in a plenary session. Participants who want to participate as panelists at particular breakout session should contact the Workshop organizers

There will be two GERM Modeling Short Courses and two EarthChem Workshops on May 28, 2006. Keynotes, discussions and poster sessions will run from May 29, 2006 until the early afternoon of May 31, 2006.

Meeting Location

All workshops and short courses will take place in Schermerhorn Hall, located in the northeastern part of the main campus of Columbia University (see campus map).

Time Table

November 1, 2005
April 20, 2006
May 1, 2006
May 1, 2006
May 20, 2006
May 20, 2006
May 28, 2006
May 28, 2006

May 29-31, 2006

May 31

      Online Registration Starts
Last acceptance of requests for travel assistance
Deadline for abstracts submission
Deadline for breakout session suggestions
List of participants posted on this website
Deadline for payment of registration fee
Pre-workshop Short Courses and Mini-Workshops
Onsite Registration between 2-5 PM
Rm 501 in Schermerhorn Hall
Fifth GERM Workshop
Rm 501 in Schermerhorn Hall
End of Workshop (early afternoon)

Social Events

Icebreaker Reception
Sunday 5:30-7:00 PM, 28  May 2006
At Bistro Ten 18, a sidewalk cafe-restaurant-bar at 110th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. From the main campus entrance on Broadway and 116th Street head south to 110th Street, then left one block to Amsterdam Avenue. Bistro Ten 18 is on the SW corner.

New York Philharmonic Concert (Free Admission)
Monday 8:00 PM, 29 May 2006

Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, 112th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. Xian Zheng, Conductor. Program is Verdi La Forza del Destino Overture and Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5. Doors open at 7 PM. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Don't be discouraged by the long line, it's a big Cathedral. Additional seating will be available on the grass next to the Cathedral, and in the Synod Hall viewing room at 110th Street and Amsterdam. From main campus entrance on Amsterdam and 116th Street, head south. Cathedral is on the east side of the street.

Harbor Lights Cruise on Hudson River
Tuesday 8:00-10:00 PM, 30 May 2006
We'll board a NY Waterways boat and tour NY Harbor as the sun goes down and the city lights up. Departure from NY Waterways Terminal, Pier 78, West 39 Street and Hudson River. Instructions will be given at the conference.

Barbecue at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Wednesday from 4:00 PM, 31 May 2006
For those who are still around. Come celebrate Kerstin Lehnert's birthday. Instructions will be given at the conference.

Pre-Workshop Geochemical Modeling Short Courses

Two half-day geochemical modeling courses will be offered on Sunday May 28.

UserCalc: a Web-based U-series Calculator for Mantle Melting Problems
Marc Spiegelman (LDEO)
9:30am-12pm, Schermerhorn Extension, Rm. 558.

Marc Hirschmann (U Minn) and Mark Ghiorso (OFM Research, Inc.)
1:30pm-4:30pm, Schermerhorn Extension, Rm. 558.

Mac computers will be available for those who do not have their own laptops. Space is limited. Please contact Patty Keizer to register at

Pre-Workshop EarthChem Meetings

The EarthChem Project is establishing an advanced data management system that will facilitate the compilation, communication, serving and visualization of geochemical data. The ultimate goal is to allow researchers, educators, students and the interested public to explore geochemical data alone and in the context of larger Earth Science datasets. EarthChem expands the long-term collaborative effort of the successful geochemical online databases PetDB, NAVDAT, and GEOROC. Two mini-workshops will be offered on Sunday May 28.

Geoinformatics for Geochemistry
8am-1pm, Schermerhorn Hall, Rm. 506

This half-day workshop will provide participants with the opportunity to contribute to the design of the EarthChem system, and help prioritize the compilation of new data sets to be included in the data holdings. This is also the subject of a GERM Breakout Session that will focus on broader issues of using Geoinformatics to support Geochemistry.

Xenoliths & GeoFrame: Supporting New Science with Advanced Data and Sample Management
3pm–5:30 pm, Schermerhorn Hall, Rm. 506

The goal of this mini-workshop is to define the need and specifications for a database for xenoliths, discuss needs and options for management and archiving of xenoliths samples, and science initiatives for xenolith studies as integrated GeoFrame-USArray-EarthScope efforts. A potential outcome of the discussions could be the request for a larger/longer workshop to address xenoliths studies as part of GeoFrame and requirements for data and sample infrastructure.

Please contact Kerstin Lehnert to register at

Workshop Program

Poster Sessions

The poster sessions will take place in Rm. 417 of Schermerhorn Hall. Posters will remain up and available for viewing throughout the entire workshop. Coffee will be available during poster sessions.

Breakout Sessions

Breakout sessions address key infrastructure issues in geochemistry, in particular, how GERM can work with the geochemistry community to help developing a geochemical network, what tools, databases or features are needed to bridge the gaps between the geochemical sub disciplines, and how to facilitate open access to all types of geochemical data. This will be done in five separate sessions.

During the final wrap-up plenary session there will be a 15 minute discussion time slot for each breakout group to discuss what has been accomplished, to ask for input from workshop participants who had to attend other sessions, and to plan future activities.

1. Generation of a Rivers Database

Convener: Bernhard Peucker-Ehrenbrink (WHOI)
Panelists: Blake, Gaillardet, Grossman, Moffett, Raymond
Room: 551 in Schermerhorn Extension

This breakout session focuses on the understanding and potential resolution of important limitations in our understanding of land-to- sea transport. Those may include infrastructure issues (lack of a database), observational limitations (lack of time-series observations) or conceptual complexities such as groundwater vs. surface runoff, physical erosion, the role of climate change, or anthropogenic effects. Our goal is to identify the most critical impediments and devise strategies to overcome these problems.

2. Geoinformatics for Geochemistry

Convener: Kerstin Lehnert (LDEO)
Panelists: Edwards, Hart, Helly, Koppers, Langmuir, Mogk, Shaw, Staudigel
Room: 506 in Schermerhorn Hall

Over the past decade, advances in information technology have created a new paradigm for conducting research. Geoinformatics is creating new research environments for the Geosciences, offering new "computational, collaborative, data acquisition, and management services that become available to researchers through high-performance networks" (Report of the NSF Blue-Ribbon Advisory Panel on Cyberinfrastructure, Atkins et al. 2003). In this breakout session, we will explore and identify opportunities, needs, requirements, and approaches to advance the application of Geoinformatics to support Geochemistry research in general and, more specifically, the GERM.

3. GERM: Planning the Next Four Years

Conveners: Hubert Staudigel (UCSD) and Anthony Koppers (UCSD)
Panelists: Hofmann, Ito, McDonough, Mogk, Shaw
Room: 555 in Schermerhorn Extension

Over the last three years, GERM has made substantial progress in improving its website and providing a wide range of computational and "Reference Data" resources that provide a widely used cyber-resource in geochemistry research and education. The GERM website developers and designers seek feedback from the science community on these developments and advice on the next priorities in GERM website development. GERM also seeks advice on its work with the geochemistry science and education communities. Such activities include, for example, the integration of GERM with other geochemistry database activities (e.g. EarthChem), its activities in GERM-related publications, the organization of workshops like this one, and how to support geochemistry education at all levels, ranging from primary and secondary schools to university-based education.

4. Geochemical Editor’s Roundtable: How Should we Publish Geochemical Data in the Future?

Conveners: Vincent Salters (Florida State) and Steve Goldstein (LDEO)
Panelists: Adkins, Brantley, Veenstra, White
Room: 561 in Schermerhorn Extension

With the rapid progress in information technology, the Geoscience community has started building a digital data system that dramatically advances the sharing and integration of data across disciplines and borders. For example, data management systems for igneous rock geochemistry have made global geochemical datasets readily accessible for broad audiences. The new opportunities for archiving, discovery, accessing and analysis of geochemical data require us to to rethink the way data is published. This breakout session will discuss how geochemical data publication should be structured in the future, to best take advantage of these new opportunities.

5. From GERM to LEPER (Library of Experimental PhasE Relations)

Conveners: Marc Hirschmann (U Minn) and Mark Ghiorso (OFM Resources, Inc.)
Panelists: Hacker, Hauri, Helly, Koranaga, Spiegelman
Room: 559 in Schermerhorn Extension

Alongside large scale databases of geochemical analyses, there is increasing need for comprehensive community libraries of data collected in experimental laboratories. This session will be an opportunity to introduce to the GERM community our initial efforts to develop LEPER, a database of experimental data pertaining to magmatic phase equilibria. This project is an outgrowth of ongoing efforts to improve the MELTS algorithm. The session will introduce the scope of data and metadata included in LEPER, as well as a prototype web interface for serving LEPER data to the community. This session may interest potential producers and consumers of data for LEPER, as well as those interested in discussing the needs and challenges for developing experimental databases. The discussion may also extend to other types of experimental data (metamorphic phase relations, trace element partitioning, hydrothermal data, thermodynamic data, transport properties, etc.) and thermodynamics data that can/should/might be incorporated into LEPER or to other future database efforts.

Workshop Registration and Abstracts

Registration for the Fifth GERM Workshop is closed. If you already are a registered user for, use your username and password to log-in, and directly go to the questionnaire that you need to fill out to complete your registration. If you are new to, you will first be asked to establish your own user profile, before you can proceed to the questionnaire.

The Registration Fee is $180 for professionals and $80 for students. Please pay your registration fee by personal check or US $ bank draft payable to "The Regents of the University of California". Send your check to:

Hubert Staudigel or Patty Keizer
La Jolla CA 92093-0225, USA

The Deadline for Abstracts is May 1, 2006. Every participant in the GERM Workshop is invited to contribute an abstract to the conference volume. These abstracts may be given as a discussion contribution, as a poster, or by title (to be available for reference in the conference volume). The GERM Workshop will feature keynote talks with extended discussions, where participants will have the opportunity to make short relevant presentations during the discussion periods. These contributions may include up to two overheads. There will be a dedicated poster session in the middle of the workshop.

Abstract format. Two pages text, 1000 words or less, with up to two pages of figures, data tables and references. All abstracts must be submitted electronically as Microsoft Word documents or Rich Text Format (RTF) files. In addition, send us electronic copies of your diagrams in either the PS/EPS or Adobe Illustrator format. This will ensure that we can reproduce your diagrams with the best quality in the workshop volume. If you cannot easily produce these formats, please send us the diagrams as high resolution bitmaps (300 to 600 dpi) in the JPEG, TIFF or GIF format.

Poster format. Poster boards will support posters up to 60 inches wide.

Travel Assistance. If you would like to participate in the GERM workshop but you don't have funding, you are encouraged to apply for partial or full travel support by emailing us at, in particular, students and young scientists. Travel costs will be reimbursed after travel, through the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Deadline for requests is April 20, 2006.

Columbia University and Environs

The Columbia University Campus is located in Morningside Heights on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The main campus entrance is at West 116th Street and Broadway. Morningside Heights is also home to a number of other leading educational and cultural institutions including Barnard College, The Union Theological Seminary, The Jewish Theological Seminary, The Manhattan School of Music, Teacher's College, The Interchurch Center, Riverside Church, and Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Restaurants, sandwich shops, cafes, pubs are located on Broadway south of the campus, and on Amsterdam Avenue both north and south of the campus.

For those who are unfamiliar with Manhattan, most of it is a Cartesian Grid, with numbered Streets running east-west, and numbered and named Avenues (including Broadway) running north-south. Numbers increase to the north and west. Manhattan is bounded by the East River in the east and the Hudson in the west.

For maps see the Important Links panel on the top of this page.

On Campus Housing

We have arranged economical housing in the Carman Hall undergraduate dormitory. Rates per day per person (before taxes) are $59 for a single room and $43 for double rooms. All are two room suites sharing one bathroom. Housing is available as early as May 25 for participants who want to spend a few days visiting New York. A credit card is required to reserve a room. There is no penalty for cancellation, if done two weeks before the meeting. After that there is a 20% penalty.

Click here to make a reservation for conference housing.
Deadline for reservations is May 15, 2006.

Conference housing in Carman Hall is at Broadway and W. 114 St.
Enter through the main campus gate at 116th St. and Broadway, or through the gate next to Carman on W. 114 St.

Other Guest Rooms Near Columbia University

Union Theological Seminary: Landmark Guest Rooms
3041 Broadway, at 121st Street
Tel (212) 280-1313; Fax (212) 280-1488

International House: Guest Suite Reservation
500 Riverside Drive (5 minute walk from campus)
Tel (212) 316-8473; Fax (212) 316-7182

Teachers College Whittier Hall Guest Accommodations
1230 Amsterdam Avenue, at 120th Street
Tel (212) 678-3235

Hotel Information

For those who prefer hotel accommodations, Columbia University has negotiated rates with many NY hotels. When making a reservation, please mention that you are visiting Columbia, in order to secure the corporate rate.

Finding Special Columbia University Rate Hotels:

A current list of hotels can be found at Other information on accommodations can be found by going to the Columbia University website at and by searching for "nearby hotels". In some cases it may be less expensive to go through an internet discount travel service.

Other Web Pages Listing Manhattan Hotels with Online Reservation Possibilities:

A Few Pointers to NYC Hostels for Budget Travelers:

Hostelling International is a large hostel in walking distance of the conference site (15 min walk).

The following two sites list other budget accommodations in the city:

Travel to Columbia University

New York City Transit Subway: The #1 and #9 subway lines stop at the 116th Street/Columbia University station. Transit fare (subway and bus) is $2 per trip, per person. MetroCards are the type of fare accepted and may be purchased from subway station clerks, authorized vendors (supermarkets, grocery stores, etc.) or by using automated vending machines, located in most stations.

Airports: The campus can be conveniently reached from any of the major NYC area airports (JFK, LaGuardia, Newark Liberty).

Taxi: From La Guardia it costs approximately $15+toll+tip. From JFK it costs about $45+toll+tip. Taxis carry up to 4 passengers.

Super Shuttle service runs a van service all day from all three airports. Pick-up time is every 20 to 30 minutes and varies with the terminal. The travel time is approximately 45-60 minutes. There is no need to reserve a place on the shuttle, but you can place a courtesy call at ground transportation to alert a representative (look for the blue van). Passengers can be dropped off at their destination. The cost is approximately $15-$19 one-way.

Metro Transit Authority (MTA) Bus from LaGuardia: The M60 bus service from La Guardia runs right past Columbia University along Broadway and down to 110th St. At only $2.00, the M60 is the least expensive transportation option between Manhattan and La Guardia. Please note that you will need exact change or a MetroCard (purchasable in most subway stations).

Travel by Auto

By Car From the North: Take the New York Thruway (I-87) or the New England Thruway (I-95) south to the Cross Bronx Expressway (I-95) in the direction of the George Washington Bridge. Take the exit for the Henry Hudson Parkway south downtown, 9A (the last exit before the bridge). Exit the Parkway at West 95th Street. Stay to the left on the exit, and turn left onto Riverside Drive. Follow the directions "From Riverside Drive and West 95th Street" as described below.

By Car From the South or West: Take the New Jersey Turnpike north or I-80 east to the George Washington Bridge. As you cross the bridge, take the exit for the Henry Hudson Parkway south downtown. Exit the Parkway at West 95th Street. Stay to the left on the exit, and turn left onto Riverside Drive. Follow the directions "From Riverside Drive and West 95th Street" as described below. 

Driving Directions From Riverside Drive and West 95th Street: Go north on Riverside Drive to 116th Street. The University's main gate is two blocks to the east at Broadway and 116th Street. Please note that the main gate is not open to traffic.

Parking: Street parking and local parking garages may be available. Many local residents park on the streets, between Riverside and Morningside Drives, and between 110th and 123rd Streets. Most streets near Columbia do not have meters, and autos can occupy legal spaces except during certain street cleaning hours, posted along every street. During the meeting there will be no street cleaning on Sunday or Monday. Local parking garages are listed below, from south to north:

102 West 107th Street between Amsterdam & Columbus Avenues
(212) 749-8719
137 West 108th Street between Amsterdam & Columbus Avenues
(212) 865-8315
151 West 108th Street at Amsterdam Avenue
(212) 865-2314
234 West 108th Street between Broadway & Amsterdam Avenue
(212) 222-8800
512-520 West 112th Street between Broadway & Amsterdam Avenue
(212) 865-1754
114th Street between Broadway & Amsterdam Avenue
(212) 523-1051
Claremont & West 120th Street
(212) 870-6736
532 West 122nd Street between Broadway & Amsterdam Avenue
(212) 961-1075
69 St. Claire Place a.k.a. 712 West 125th Street
(212) 665-4929
603-11 West 129th Street
(212) 749-2548
3300 Broadway at 129th Street
(212) 283-7487
Riverside Drive & West 134th Street
(212) 283-8212

Most Economical: MTP-Columbia Waterfront LLC, off the 125 Street exit of the Henry Hudson Parkway. Exiting HH Parkway southbound at 125 Street, drive past Fairway Supermarket and past Fairway parking and then through traffic light. The parking lot is on the left, under the elevated highway near the entrance to the HH Parkway. $15.23 per 24 hours. (212) 665-4929.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding the GERM workshop please contact Patty Keizer.

Office days: Monday through Wednesday
Phone: 858-534-8771