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Earth Science Week in Ohio

Each year during the second week of October, the ODNR Division of Geological Survey invites Ohioans to celebrate Earth Science Week. This annual celebration offers opportunities to discover the earth sciences and engage in stewardship of our planet. ODNR geologists lead several events (see below and check back for updates). Participants should keep an eye on weather forecasts and always dress appropriately for each event. 

Earth Science Week Theme

Earth Science Week 2023 officially takes place Oct. 8–14. This year's theme is "Geoscience Innovating for Earth and People" and emphasizes the ways that innovations in the geosciences are helping communities create healthier and increasingly sustainable lives, while accelerating environmental problem-solving around the world. The theme invites everyone to explore existing and emerging geoscience technologies and the techniques geoscientists use in their roles in society, including developing stable infrastructure; fostering sustainable natural resources; analyzing and applying data about Earth; and keeping people safe from geologic hazards. 

Activities & Upcoming Events

Expand the panes below for information about Earth Science Week events in Ohio. Events are free unless otherwise noted. Presenters and field trip leaders are with the ODNR Division of Geological Survey, unless otherwise noted. Learn more about the ESW Focus Days here.

Sunday, Oct. 8 – International Earthcache Day

Explore Ohio’s geology on your own with a GPS-based scavenger hunt. Click here for a list of Ohio Earthcaches.

Monday, Oct. 9 – Minerals Day

Learn more about Ohio minerals with resources from the Division of Geological Survey.

Tuesday, Oct. 10 – Earth Observation Day

Earth is a dynamic world, and Ohio’s landscape has its share of ever-changing geologic features. In addition to shore erosion on Lake Erie, the Division of Geological Survey continuously monitors the state’s groundwater resources and seismic activity. Learn more about the ways we monitor these activities by visiting our website and using our interactive maps.

Wednesday, Oct. 11 – National Fossil DayTM

National Fossil Day logoOhio fossils offer glimpses into the state's natural history and the many environments that existed over the course of nearly 500 million years. Fossil-bearing rocks are found all across Ohio. And numerous fossil-collecting sites are open for collecting by the public. 

Visit our website for great resources for learning more about Ohio's fossils and where to find them. You can learn about the two fossils that are also official state symbols: Isotelus (State Invertebrate Fossil) and Dunkleosteus (State Fossil Fish). We also offer resources on collecting and an online rock and fossil identification form for you to submit your mysterious finds. 

Thursday, Oct. 12 – Geoscience is for Everyone Day

The Division of Geological Survey serves all Ohioans and encourages young learners to explore the many exciting careers in the geosciences. We actively pursue opportunities to partner with other organizations to reach budding geoscientists from underrepresented communities. Learn more about some of these organizations here.

Young Ohioans who want to learn more about a career in the earth sciences can contact the Division to arrange to speak to one of our geologists or visit our offices and get a first-hand look at the career potential. Educators may also reach out to us to arrange for one of our staff to give a talk to their students about these career opportunities. For more information, contact outreach coordinator Chuck Salmons, (614) 265-6596, charles.salmons@dnr.ohio.gov, or public information specialist Molly Hunt, (614) 265-6595, molly.hunt@dnr.ohio.gov.

Friday, Oct. 13 – Geologic Map Day

bedrock map portionAs part of its mission to understand Ohio's geology, the Division of Geological Survey has a long history of mapping Ohio's natural resources. From statewide in scope to local and regional analyses, we have maps that deal with every aspect the state's geology. These maps have evolved over time to be more detailed and informative about bedrock, glacial sediments, geologic hazards, oil and gas, coal and industrial minerals, and other topics. Today, we present this information digitally as well through interactive, online GIS-based mapping applications. 

Celebrate Geologic Map Day and explore Ohio geologic maps using these resources:

Saturday, Oct. 14 – International Archaeology Day

The Ohio landscape is dotted with thousands of burial mounds, ceremonial sites, fossil beds, and other sites that offer insights about our state's prehistory. The Ohio History Connection, statewide organizations, local archaeology clubs and historical societies, and universities provide excellent resources and programming that tell the story of the ancient past. Explore these resources to learn more.

Geology often plays a role in the science of archaeology and understanding ancient cultures. The Division of Geological Survey offers a few publications that offer insights into these cultures and how scientists research them.

  • Guidebook 11: Geological Aspects of Key Archaeological Sutes in Northern Kentucky and Southern Ohio (pdf)
  • Educational Leaflet 6: Flint: Ohio's Official Gemstone (pdf)

Explore Further

If you can't join us, Ohio offers many activities you can enjoy on your own. Educators, students, and the public are encouraged to pack a lunch, lace up your shoes or hiking boots, and explore Ohio's natural history at a location nearby using the resources below. Or use our Publications Catalog and search "Guidebook" for more free downloads.

Geology Guides for Parks & Preserves

We offer a number of short geologic guides specifically designed to help you explore various parks while hiking to examine the geology around you. Download the following guides (pdf files) or visit our webpage to learn more about some of Ohio's fascinating parks and preserves.

Walking Tour Guides