About the Byrd Center

Named in honor of one of America's most famous explorers, Admiral Richard E. Byrd, 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.


The Byrd Polar and 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.

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 and 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.

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.


Scott Hall local (campus) map


Byrd Polar and 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


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

Directions & Parking

Aerial photo of West CampusMap of West Campus

Google Maps Directions

PDF icon PDF icon Download Directions (PDF)



  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 road with a traffic light is Carmack Road.  Take a left.

  3. Once on Carmack Road continue straight – past Arthur Adams Road - to the 4 way stop. Parking lots are located straight ahead Carmack 3) and to the right (Carmack 5). Note the Carmack 3 lot is usually full during the day.

  4. Park and pay at the kiosks marked on map below. If you are paying at the kiosk, you may park at spaces marked WA, WB, WC, or VISITOR. If the machine is out of paper and you do not receive a receipt, it is OK as long as you entered your license plate correctly. (If you happen to have a pre-paid parking permit, you may park in the WA, WB, or WC spaces. Do not park in the VISITOR spaces.)

  5. From the Carmack 3 lot, go over footbridge and follow the path straight into the compound of buildings. The Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center is the third building on the left.

From the Carmack 5 lot, follow the sidewalk along Arthur Adams Road. The Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center is the first building on the right. Continue to the front of the building (east side entrance).

Additional Options to Pay for Parking Via Computer or Mobile Device

  • Visitor Day Permit: Day permits are valid for one calendar day in any unrestricted surface lot space (restricted spaces are loading zones, ADA, reserved). They can be purchased by creating a guest account at osu.campusparc.com/guest. Permits are license plate based and do not require the display of placard or permit. Purchase of the permit can be done in advance, with desired active date set during purchase.

  • Parkmobile: Parkmobile is a payment option that uses pay-by-phone and smartphone applications. Visitors can create a Parkmobile account online at parkmobile.com or via the Parkmobile app. Hourly parking prices mirror that of a pay-by-plate (pay-n-display) and single space meters.


It is best to have your bus driver follow these directions. Buses can park for free in the West Campus lots.

  • 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.

  • Once you are on Lane Avenue, pass Kenny Road. The next road with a traffic light is Carmack Road. Take a left.

  • 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).


Ride CABS using West Campus or North Express to the Bevis Hall bus stop. 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. Meet in the Auditorium, Room 240, on the second floor of Scott Hall. You will need to enter Scott Hall through Door #2 (each door is labeled) on the east side of the building and ascend the steps near the statue of Admiral Byrd.

Byrd Center Facilities

Friends of the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center

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.