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Meeting Planning Services

Small Sample Handling Workshop

The Small Sample Handling Workshop is scheduled for June 4–6, 2024, in Tempe, Arizona, at Arizona State University (ASU). Participants will receive hands-on training in manipulation and micromanipulation of comparable small samples, learning from the experts from the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Division at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC), the Buseck Center for Meteorite Studies in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at ASU, and the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI). This training opportunity is limited to 4–6 participants to ensure personalized instruction in a small group setting.


The study and analysis of extraterrestrial samples play a crucial role in advancing our understanding of our solar system. Given the uniqueness of each sample, proper training for conducting sample analysis is critical, both to ensure the quality of the analyses and to provide appropriate care and protection for the sample. Many current and future extraterrestrial sample collections consist of small particles — less than 100 micrometers across — which can be challenging to handle and analyze. Such samples include Earth-collected cosmic dust, returned comet and interstellar samples from Stardust, and returned asteroid samples from the Hayabusa, Hayabusa2, and OSIRIS-Rex missions.

Targeted Skills

The workshop will focus on many skills relevant to the handling, preparation, and analysis of small particles, including:

  • Small particle transfer by hand/micromanipulation
  • Embedding samples in epoxy and sulfur
  • Ultramicrotomy
  • Preparation of samples via microtomy and FIB-SEM

Code of Conduct

USRA/LPI is committed to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, age, race, religion, or other protected status. We do not tolerate harassment of meeting participants in any form. USRA/LPI expects that all participants will abide by this Code of Conduct, creating an environment free from harassment, discrimination, disruption, incivility, or violence of any kind. We expect participants to exercise consideration and respect in their speech and actions and refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior. Report issues, concerns, or violations of this Code of Conduct directly to USRA/LPI management at USRA-LPI Meetings Code of Conduct. The full USRA/LPI Code of Conduct can be found here.

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