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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). 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. Read the ODNR press release here.

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. 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.

Friday, Oct. 7 – Geology Hike

Off-trail Ravine Geology Hike (ages 18+), 11 AM‒1 PM EST
Highbanks Metro Park, 9466 Columbus Pike (US Rte. 23 N), Lewis Center, OH 43035

Join geologists Erika Danielsen and Tom Valachovics on a 2-mile off-trail hike in the ravine. Learn about the geology of Highbanks celebrating Earth Science Week! This hike is intended for adults only. Please wear closed-toed shoes (no Crocs). Expect to get wet and muddy. Program will last approx. 2 hours. Don’t forget your complete change of clothes in case you get wet. Hiking stick encouraged. Meet at the Big Meadows Picnic Area at the back of the park. After you enter the park, take the main road down the hill. At the bottom of hill, take the ROAD on the LEFT. Park in the lot with the playground. Meet near restrooms. (A family-oriented version of this hike will take place on October 9, see info below.)

Check out these publications ahead of the event.

Saturday, Oct. 8 – Marblehead Lighthouse Fossil Walk

Marblehead Lighthouse Festival, 9 AM‒4 PM EST
Marblehead Lighthouse State Park, 110 Lighthouse Dr., Marblehead, OH 43440

Join paleontologist Mark Peter for a short walk around the grounds of the Marblehead Lighthouse and learn about the fascinating fossils found in the Columbus Limestone bedrock exposed in the park. Meet at the foot of the lighthouse. This program will be offered at 12 PM and 2 PM.

Check out these publications ahead of the event.

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.


EVENTS

Ledges Geology Hike, Noon‒3 PM EST
Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park, State Route 282, Nelson Township, OH 44231

Join geologist Mohammad Fakhari for a hike through one of Ohio's most scenic and geologically interesting areas. Hikers will learn about the park's geologic history and exposed rocks, and how it was shaped by glaciers during the most recent Ice Age. Ohio State Parks staff members also will be on hand to answer questions and discuss the fascinating flora and fauna found in the area. Participants should meet at the park's parking lot and dress appropriately for this moderate hike.

Check out this publication ahead of the event.

Off-trail Ravine Geology Hike (ages 8+), 2‒4 PM EST
Highbanks Metro Park, 9466 Columbus Pike (US Rte. 23 N), Lewis Center, OH 43035

Join geologists Erika Danielsen and Tom Valachovics on a 2-mile off-trail hike in the ravine. Learn about the geology of Highbanks celebrating Earth Science Week! This hike is intended for adults only. Please wear closed-toed shoes (no Crocs). Expect to get wet and muddy. Program will last approx. 2 hours. Don’t forget your complete change of clothes in case you get wet. Hiking stick encouraged. Meet at the Big Meadows Picnic Area at the back of the park. After you enter the park, take the main road down the hill. At the bottom of hill, take the ROAD on the LEFT. Park in the lot with the playground. Meet near restrooms. (An adult version of this hike will take place on October 7, see info above.)

Check out these publications ahead of the event.

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.


EVENTS

Ohio Rock Talks: Careers in Geoscience (webinar), 11 AM‒12 PM EST
Microsoft Teams Live Event

What does it take to become a geologist? How can you turn a fascination for rocks, minerals, and fossils into a career? We'll explore these questions and more during this virtual celebration of National Earth Science Week. Join the Ohio Geological Survey for a panel discussion with a variety of professional geoscientists. Molly Hunt will moderate the discussion of the panelists' education and career paths. Audience members can ask questions during the program. This free live broadcast will take place online using Microsoft Teams. To join the webinar on the day of the event, click here.

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. 


EVENTS

Horn coral living fossilStatehouse Fossil Tour, Noon‒1:30 PM EST
Ohio Statehouse, 1 Capitol Square, Columbus, OH 43215

Join paleontologists Mark Peter and 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 Worthington Classroom (ground floor) 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, or public information specialist Molly Hunt, (614) 265-6595, molly.hunt@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:


EVENTS

Topographic Maps Free Giveaway, 8 AM‒4 PM EST
Ohio Geological Survey, Geologic Records Center
2045 Morse Rd., Bldg. C-1, Columbus, OH 43229
(map here)

The Ohio Geological Survey will be distributing in-stock paper copies of USGS 7.5-minute topographic maps free of charge to anyone who visits during the hours of 8:00‒11:30 a.m. and 1:00‒4:00 p.m. on Geologic Map Day. These are great tools for hiking, hunting, and more. If you need an Ohio topographic map that is not in stock, they can be printed for $2.00 each. Go maps!

Saturday, Oct. 15 – International Archaeology Day; Geology Hikes

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)

EVENTS

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 – Fossil Hunt

EVENTS

Guided Fossil Hunt, 1‒4 PM EST
Caesar Creek State Park - Visitor Center, 4020 N Clarksville Rd., Waynesville, OH 45068

Paleontologist Mark Peter will give a talk, and geologist Chris Wright will help him 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.

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