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The Ohio State University

Byrd Polar Research Center

About the Byrd Polar Research Center

Scott Hall front side Named in honor of one of America's most famous explorers, the Byrd Polar 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.


Scott Hall local (campus) map


Byrd Polar 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

From State Route 315, use the Lane Avenue exit, then go west on Lane Avenue to Kenny Road. Turn left onto Kenny Road, then turn right onto Carmack Road.

The Center is located across the western-most footbridge over Carmack Road, north of the Greenhouse.


Parking is located south of Scott Hall on the opposite side of Carmack Road. A footbridge above Carmack Road provides easy walking access between Scott Hall and the parking lot. OSU Transportation & Parking offers Pay-N-Display 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. All-day visitors should contact the Center to request a daily parking pass.


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

Byrd Center Support Staff

Please view our Administrative Staff listing in our Directory.

Byrd Center Facilities

Byrd Center Publications