About BPCRC

Named in honor of one of America's most famous explorers, the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center of The Ohio State University is recognized internationally as a leader in polar and alpine research. The Center's research programs are conducted throughout the world.

Research at the Center focuses on the role of cold regions in the global climate system, with major themes focused on:

  • climatic reconstruction of glacial and post-glacial times;
  • polar ice-sheets: dynamics, history and ice-atmosphere interactions;
  • high-latitude landform evolution, soils and hydrology;
  • geologic evolution of Antarctica;
  • investigations of ocean dynamics and environmental-chemical processes;
  • and the history of polar exploration.

Scientists at the Byrd Center are reconstructing past climate by studying chemical records preserved in ice cores collected from glaciers in Greenland, Asia, North and South America, and Antarctica. Fossils provide important evidence for much older changes in climate and plant fossils collected in the Transantarctic Mountains indicate that parts of the southern continent were once forested. Environmental studies include programs in Alaska and Russia which are concerned with hydrologic and geochemical cycles in permafrost terrains and interactions with the biosphere. Modern processes such as the motion of the great ice sheets and the circulation of storm systems around Antarctica are being studied with sophisticated computer models and with satellite-borne sensors capable of imaging the surface through cloud cover and during the long polar night.

The Center has an archival program which is a collaborative effort of the Center and The Ohio State University Libraries/Archives. Our Education Outreach program provides publicly-accessible information about our research to schools in the local area and around the world, public interaction with scientists, and hosts group tours, public events, and sponsorships. The Center also sponsors a weekly seminar which is open to the public.

The Center encourages the involvement of undergraduate and graduate students in its research programs. We also maintain the Byrd Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.


Background

The Byrd Polar & Climate Research Center (BPCRC), founded in 1960, is The Ohio State University’s oldest research center. Then as now our mission is to conduct interdisciplinary research at the nexus of Earth Sciences and Engineering. We are best known for our groundbreaking research collecting unique ice core records from Earth’s highest and most remote ice fields and modeling polar climate variability. Over the past decade, our outreach and education efforts have greatly expanded to include development of media, lessons, and instructional materials.  Our Education & Outreach team includes a full-time staff member, a part-time staff member one graduate student, and three undergraduate students.  We recently released an instructional DVD in English and Spanish on global climate change targeted for teachers and we conduct distance learning programs both domestically and internationally. Much of our media is available through our website. Our U.S. Polar Rock Repository sends boxes with rocks samples from Antarctica, free of charge, to educators across the country.  We are currently planning a local high school STEM challenge and summer workshop on inquiry instruction and science literacy for elementary school teachers.

Objectives & Approach

  • Develop partnerships with community organizations, educational institutions, and federal agencies for sponsored research and educational outreach activities.
  • Develop avenues for transferring the scientific knowledge amassed by BPCRC researchers into materials that meet the academic content standards of K-12 schools.
  • Integrate the activities among all participants to reflect both the capabilities of the BPCRC scientists and collaborators and the needs and requirements of the educators and general public.
  • Coordinate and participate in workshops and short courses that provide access to the resources available at OSU and BPCRC to a broader community of learners through both traditional methods and emerging technologies.

Our Mission

BPCRC's mission is to conduct multi-disciplinary research, offer enhanced educational opportunities, and provide outreach activities with the goal of promoting understanding of the ever-evolving Earth System.

Accomplishing Our Mission

Through more than 50 years of research excellence, the Byrd Polar & Climate Research Center (BPCRC) is internationally recognized as a premier polar and alpine research center with an expanding focus on global climate change and environmental issues. This excellence stems from the innovation, dedication and commitment of its scientists, staff and students and the Center's strong connections to relevant academic departments. In achieving its mission, BPCRC is active in building and strengthening The Ohio State University's programs in Polar Processes, Earth System Sciences, Climate and Atmospheric Sciences and Environmental Sciences. Over the years the scope of the research at BPCRC has broadened significantly to encompass geological sciences, glaciology, paleoclimatology, meteorology, climate modeling, remote sensing, oceanography, environmental geochemistry, glacier environmental change, and the human dimensions of climate and environmental changes. These scientific foci are complemented by a very active Archival Research Program, a vibrant Education and Outreach Program, the U.S. Polar Rock Repository and the Goldthwait Polar Library. More information about each of these research programs and other BPCRC activities can be found on this website.

Location

Scott Hall local (campus) map

Address

Byrd Polar & Climate Research Center
Scott Hall Room 108
1090 Carmack Road
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio  43210-1002

Telephone:(614) 292-6531
Fax:(614) 292-4697

Hours

Regular hours are 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

Directions & Parking

By Car

  1. Take 315 to the Lane Avenue exit.  This is one of the major exits for The Ohio State University. Go West (left if you are coming from the South side of the city; right if you are coming from the North side of the city) onto Lane Avenue.
  2. Once you are on Lane Avenue, pass Kenny Road. The next intersection (there will not be a traffic light) is Carmack Road. Take a left.
  3. Once on Carmack Road, continue straight – past Arthur Adams Road – through the 4-way stop and into the parking lot.
  4. Park and use the blue Pay-by-Plate machines (electronic parking meters) which accept coins and credit cards. The machine will print you a temporary parking permit which will allow parking in any unrestricted parking spot.
  5. Follow the footbridge and path towards the Greenhouse.
  6. The Byrd Polar & Climate Research Center (Scott Hall) is the third building on the left, north of the Greenhouse.

By School Bus

It is best to have your bus driver follow these directions.

  1. Take 315 to the Lane Avenue exit. This is one of the major exits for The Ohio State University. Go West (left if you are coming from the South side of the city; right if you are coming from the North side of the city) onto Lane Avenue.
  2. Once you are on Lane Avenue, pass Kenny Road. The next intersection (there will not be a traffic light) is Carmack Road. Take a left.
  3. Once on Carmack Road, take a left onto Arthur Adams Drive. You will notice ponds on both sides of the road. Once you drop off your students, your bus will be able to turn around, and you may direct your driver to parking in the lots (pick up with step number 3 above).
  4. School buses may park in the large parking lots at no cost. No parking permits are needed.

By CABS (OSU Campus-Area Bus Service)

Ride CABS using Campus Loop North, Campus Loop South, or North Express to Bus Stop Carmack #1. Exit the bus and walk up the stairs along the bus stop. Turn right to pass the Greenhouse. Scott Hall will be on your left, 3 buildings down.

All-day visitors should contact the Center to request a daily parking pass.

Byrd Center Facilities

Friends of the BPCRC

Donations and membership dues from the Friends of the BPCRC organization assist the Byrd Polar & Climate Research Center in supporting ongoing research needs. In the past, Friends helped to defray some of the costs incurred when hosting meetings and workshops at the Center. The group also supports the Goldthwait Polar Library by assisting in funding acquisitions.

Membership includes receipt of this newsletter and regular meeting announcements. Friends members are invited to attend all BPCRC functions, including special lectures and meetings and are welcome to use the Goldthwait Polar Library.

If you are interested in becoming a member of Friends, the membership dues are $10.00 annually for students and $25.00 annually for all other members. To join Friends or renew your membership, please complete the form included with this issue of Ice Sheets and mail to the attention of Lynn Lay (Acting Secretary for Friends).

Donors who contribute $100 - 249 receive the "New Polar Explorer" award. Donors who contribute $250 or more receive the "Old Polar Explorer" award.

0