REU Supplement: Mid-scale RI-1 (M1:IP) EduceLab - Infrastructure for Next-Generation Heritage Science

Grants and Contracts Details


Request for REU Supplement: Award 2131940 Mid-scale RI-1 (M1:IP) EduceLab - Infrastructure for Next-Generation Heritage Science Summary of Proposed Work We request funds for eight undergraduate students to engage in field and laboratory work that will help prepare EduceLab for its ultimate commissioning as a Heritage Science user facility. Heritage Science is the application of high-tech tools and techniques of science, along with its systematic rigor, to the study and analysis of cultural heritage. The EduceLab design consists of four operational clusters – BENCH, MOBILE, FLEX, and CYBER – each of which will provide unique scientific and technical capabilities for studies in Heritage Science. EduceLab will serve both as a platform for discovery and exploration of cultural and heritage objects as well as an incubator of new approaches and tools for Heritage Science. Students will participate in activities designed to test the usage, integration, and synergy of the four clusters under development that make up the EduceLab mid-scale infrastructure. MOBILE+CYBER The EduceLab commission plan includes a number of prototype projects to be developed as equipment becomes ready for testing and integration into the overall operational cluster. As part of this process, a summer archaeological excavation will serve as an unprecedented and first test case for EduceLab within the context of recovering and analyzing the material record of a unique historical site on location. Students will participate in the analysis and interpretation of newly and formerly recovered cultural heritage items from the Historic Spring Site in Newport, Rhode Island. Research conducted will include the application of site-wide optical 3D scanning and photogrammetry through MOBILE instrumentation. They will test and experiment with capabilities for data integration and data sharing between the MOBILE and CYBER clusters. BENCH+FLEX+CYBER In addition to the on-site curation of field-retrieved materials in Rhode Island, students will select a sample of artifacts for further in-lab analysis using BENCH instrumentation (via CYBER) during the academic year. They will use BENCH image processing software with algorithms and parameters to maximize site renderings for metrical analysis. Students will also engage in the development of capabilities that leverage BENCH instrumentation. Particular attention will be focused on the complementarity of available techniques within the BENCH cluster. For example, similar samples will be studied using a variety of techniques, such as image acquisition and processing at multiple length scales, primarily using optical and electron microscopy; 3D scanning of objects with light and X-ray based instrumentation to be combined with information gained from 2D imaging techniques; and imaging processing software and scripting for combining multi- scale datasets into visually effective presentations. Other students will focus on compositional analysis of materials using techniques such as X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy and cathodoluminescence (CL) imaging, and compare outcomes from both instruments. Finally, students will work to correlate and synthesize the wide variety of data acquired into unified datasets and figures. In developing the instrumental capability of EduceLab, students will survey a wide variety of materials to build a broad dataset within EduceLab. This will include a range of samples relevant to various heritage contexts, such as cultural artifacts and curated collections, biological remains, and human-impacted environments. Datasets will include inorganic materials, (minerals, pottery, shells, etc.) in addition to organic materials (paper, fabric, wood, etc.). Such datasets will serve for future reference in the study of unknown artifacts. Finally, students working in the FLEX environment will access these and other datasets via CYBER and use the CYBER infrastructure to conduct AI and machine learning experiments as they participate in the development of innovative heritage science tools. BENCH+MOBILE+FLEX A significant component of successful heritage science work involves both preparing materials for study and understanding the unique conservation and handling requirements of the highly varied objects. To ensure adequate comprehension and consideration of appropriate curatorial and collection-handling standards, students will work with the William S. Webb Museum for Anthropology to prepare its heritage materials for scientific and technology intensive investigations in association with EduceLab. The Webb Museum, which will be collocated with EduceLab, is an approved curatorial facility for federally- and state-owned archaeological/anthropological collections. Students will assist the museum in the organization, inventory, and upgrading of archaeological/anthropological collections to meet current museum standards and to make them more accessible for research and educational use.
Effective start/end date5/16/229/30/26


  • National Science Foundation


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.