Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory (CML) is an internationally- recognized repository
for type specimens of some newly classified meteorite samples. We
depend on public donations for most of our operating expenses. These
include activities that are not funded by government agencies such as the
NSF or NASA:
1) Assisting the public in identifying
potential meteorites. CML personnel receive many inquiries from
the public about possible meteorites. In the spirit of Portland State University's
motto "Let Knowledge Serve the City", we try our best to accommodate all
reasonable requests for information.
2) Classification of new meteorites.
This typically involves preparation of one or more thin sections, optical
petrography, and the use of a scanning electron microscope or an electron
microprobe. Depending upon the complexity of the meteorite, this
can become an expensive process (one meteorite ultimately cost over $2000
to classify, but led to an important research publication). We try
to get undergraduate and graduate students involved in research on new
meteorites. In 2010, one of our undergraduates won an honorable mention
for the prestigious Nininger Award (to date, the only undergraduate to
do so), and was first author on a peer-reviewed research publication.
All this research grew out of the classification of a new meteorite.
3) Acquisition of new samples for the
CML meteorite collection and curation of those samples. While
we try to encourage donation of meteorite samples, sometimes the only way
to obtain a specimen is by paying for it. Many meteorites disappear
into private collections and are effectively lost to science when the collector
dies. It is important to maintain as much material as possible for
4) Small but interesting research projects
that are not funded by government grant agencies. In some cases, these
small projects serve as pilot projects that enable us to pursue govenment
funding for larger research efforts. Most of these involve students.
5) Minor day-to-day operating expenses
(such as supplies). These can add up surprisingly over a year.
lab has two very different funds to which you can donate.
Meteorite Laboratory Fund
It operates like a checking account.
Money that is received is deposited and later directly spent on a lab-related
Erwin F. Lange Endowment
This builds a fund that is invested.
The principal (donations) can never be spent, but the earnings/interest
on the fund are paid out to the lab and can be spent. The purpose
of this fund is to eventually become large enough to provide independent
funding for our lab.
Click here to see more
about Dr. Lange and his purchase of Portland State's first meteorite
How to donate
If you prefer to send donations via mail,
you can download our giving form, which also has information about identifying
meteorites (please click here for our giving
If you prefer to donate on-line, please
go to our on-line giving page:
here for on-line giving
You can make a huge difference
to our lab and to our students! Thank you!
Both of our funds are
part of the Portland State University Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3)
non-profit organization. Your donation to our lab is tax deductible.
The PSU Foundation is also one of the nonprofit organizations recognized
by the Oregon Cultural Trust. A matching contribution to the Oregon
Cultural Trust can be claimed as a tax credit. Please see their web
site (www.culturaltrust.org) for information.