The Nanoscience in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Research Community (Nano EES-RC) of the NSF-sponsored National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) held its second annual workshop on May 16-17, with optional “Office Hours with Experts” sessions on May 18. There were 144 registrants and 65 workshop participants in attendance with 19 individuals partaking in the voluntary office hours on May 18.

The workshop was hosted in a fully virtual setting by NanoEarth (The Virginia Tech National Center for Earth and Environmental Nanotechnology Infrastructure) in coordination with the MONT, NCI-SW, and nano@stanford NNCI sites. This workshop was designed for individuals completing research in Earth, environmental, agricultural, water, geoscience, or related fields that were curious of how nanoscience instrumentation and techniques could enhance their research. 

May 16 and 17 introduced the audience to environmental nanoscience research using a series of synchronous and asynchronous videos, discussions with live polls and Q&A sessions. On May 16, the case study presented was about the role of Nanoparticles and Drinking Water Quality and investigated the formation of nanoparticles in a drinking water reservoir. On May 17, the case study provided the participants with an example of using a nanoscience approach to understand a solid Earth material by exploring a meteorite sample prepared in the form of a thin section using a combination of FIB-SEM (Focused Ion Beam - Scanning Electron Microscopy), TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy), and EPMA (Electron Probe Microanalysis). May 18 gave participants an opportunity to sign-up for 1-on-1 sessions with experts in topics of interest to gain advice and feedback. 

The workshop was a great success, with participants reporting that the videos, demos and discussions were the most valuable aspect in the feedback survey. Workshop partakers relayed that they “plan on directing potential new users to their lab (similar facility) to the recordings if publicly available” and that “the workshop was very well put together and organized.” The contents of the workshop, including recordings and the full program are available here.