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Earth Science Week in Ohio

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). Participants should keep an eye on weather forecasts and always dress appropriately for each event. Check this web page often for updates on activities sponsored by the ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Earth Science Week Theme

Earth Science Week 2022 officially takes place Oct. 9–15. This year's theme is "Earth Science for a Sustainable World" and emphasizes the essential role of Earth science in helping people make decisions that maintain and strengthen the planet's ability to support thriving life. The theme invites everyone to strengthen their understanding of how geoscience professions, technologies, and practices contribute to the sustainability of the Earth, society, and all of life.

Activities & Upcoming Events

Expand the panes below for information about Earth Science Week events in Ohio. 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. 9 – 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. 10 – Minerals Day

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

Tuesday, Oct. 11 – 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. 12 – 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. 


Horn coral living fossilStatehouse Fossil Tour, Noon‒1 PM EST
Ohio Statehouse, 1 Capitol Square, Columbus, OH 43215

Join paleontologist Mark Peter and geologist Dale Gnidovec (Orton Geological Museum) for a guided tour of the vast array of fossils that make up the building stones of Ohio's capitol. This free biannual event is a favorite for anyone interested in Ohio's cultural and natural history. Participants should meet in the map room and will receive a free copy of the booklet, Statehouse Fossils: A Guide to Fossils of the Ohio Capitol. Click here for complete event details.

Thursday, Oct. 13 – 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.

Friday, Oct. 14 – 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. 15 – 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)


Concretion with rock hammerGeology Hike & Talk, 1‒3 PM EST
Metzger Preserve, 300 Ballard Ave., Williamsport, OH 43164

Join geologist Andy Nash on a tour of Metzger Preserve. Attendees will learn about the formation of the concretions in Deer Creek as well as explore the other geological features of the preserve. Program will be cancelled in the case of inclement weather. The program is free and open to all ages. An adult must accompany all children under 12.

Bog Geology Hike, 10 AM‒12 PM EST
Cedar Bog Nature Preserve, 980 Woodburn Rd., Urbana, OH 43078

Join geologist Tyler Norris for a short talk and a hike through one of Ohio's premiere natural areas. Attendees will learn about how the Ice Age shaped the area landscape, leading to the formation of the bog. Ice Age plants and animals will be discussed as well. Admission fee for the event is $5 per person; Ohio History Connection and Cedar Bog Association members may attend for free. Admission fees can be placed in the blue drop box at the beginning of the boardwalk. All proceeds are used to help protect the preserve. 

Check out these publications ahead of the event.

Sunday, Oct. 16 – Special Events


Guided Fossil Hunt, Time TBD
Caesar Creek State Park, 8570 E. State Rte. 73, Waynesville, OH 45068

Paleontologist Mark Peter will give a talk and guide participants on a fossil hunt in the emergency spillway at Caesar Creek State Park. This program is free and open to the public. Participants should meet at the Caesar Creek Lake Visitor Center, 4020 N Clarksville Rd, Waynesville, OH 45068.

Useful resources:

Brachiopods in palm of a hand

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

Download the following guides (pdf files) to help you explore some of Ohio's geologically interesting parks and preserves.

Walking Tour Guides