Education and Outreach

Outreach is an important part of what we do at the OSU MGR. Housing over 6,200 cores and more than 16km of sediment we use this great resource to ignite the imagination of the next generation of earth and ocean scientists. Typical educational visits begin with a presentation  of how we recover the cores in our collection and a tour of the facilities so students can see where we house our collection. Following this there are opportunities to view cores from all over the world and look at some of the microfossils through microscopes. Our collections cover time periods from sediment deposited on the ocean floor in the last few years to sediments that are millions of years old giving students the opportunity to learn about ocean processes occurring in different places and over multiple time scales. Please email the OSU MGR staff if you are interested in a core lab tour (


Examples of recent activities

Tours and outreach activities cover a wide variety of topics and can be tailored to the group. Recent activities have hosted both K-12 and undergraduate and postgraduate groups. Examples of  some recent events are listed below:

Stayton Middle School Tour – Students were showed how the deep sea sediment cores are taken, stored, and processed.  They were introduced to equipment that is used to take non-destructive analytical measurements.  The students were taken on a tour of the warehouse refrigerators that store the sediment cores collection.
IDES Students – Undergraduate students enrolled in the Increasing Diversity in Earth Sciences NSF funded program at OSU were given a tour of the facility and were involved in discussions about coring techniques, the diversity of cores, and why different places in the ocean contain different sediments.
Adventures in Learning – AIL is designed for gifted, talented, and high-ability learners who have completed grades 5 or 6 and are interested in fast-paced, challenging opportunities. Students were given a tour of the core repository and lab and shown the processes involved in the coring process and descriptions of the physical attributes and research uses of the cores.  The students got a hands on activity with a simulated core and prepared samples for study under microscopes.
SED513: Inquiry In Sciences and Science Education – OSU graduate course where science and mathematics teachers in training are given a tour of the lab and discuss issues relating to integrating scientific understandings and practice into K-12 instruction.
OC103: Introduction to Oceanography – OSU 100 level UG course.  Using the corelab as during a practical lab non-science students were introduced to the oceans, including marine geology and chemistry, ocean currents, coastal and biological processes.
OC562: Sedimentary Processes in the Ocean Basins – Graduate level class specifically concerned with sediment in the ocean. The core lab tour and lecture forms an integral part of this class which challenges students to investigate and interpret different sediment cores from different ocean basins.
OEAS520: The Solid Earth – Assignment given to students using estuary cores curated at the core lab. Students developed sedimentary skills including cleaning core surfaces to obtain a flat surface for imaging , describing the color, grain size, presence/absence of plant fragments and any observable feature of the core and measuring the magnetic susceptibility. As part of the write up students were asked to make comparisons between the information they gathered on their cores and previously studied cores.  
Miscellaneous Tours: Tours of the facility given to the World Affairs Council, film crews from the BBC, Al Jazeera English, and Discovery Canada, CEOAS 50th Anniversary, DaVinci Days, Saturday Academy (middle school age girls), NOSB Salmon Bowl participants, REU students,  numerous local middle and high schools.



“Dear Core Lab. Thank you again for presenting at the Midsummer Conference. The students found your workshop informative and really interesting. They liked the chance to do hands-on activities, your workshop in particular got great reviews and one student called it one of the best highlights of his whole summer!  Way to go!”
– Mattie Courtright, Apprenticeships in Science and Engineering Coordinator (2014)

“Dear Core Lab. On behalf of the SED 513/514 class I would like to thank you for your discussion, tour, and hands on activity for the class. This opprtunity allowed the class to grasp the enormity of data collection and analysis when conducting scientific research.”
– Matthew Campbell SED 513/514 Instructor

“Dear Core Lab. Thank you so much for taking the time to present at MSC. It is experiences like this that spark future scientific careers! Your workshop meant a lot to the students and to the program.”
– Mattie Courtright, MSC organizer