Help support your lab

The 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 future generations. 

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.

Our lab has two very different funds to which you can donate.

Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory Fund

It operates like a checking account.  Money that is received is deposited and later directly spent on a lab-related expense. This fund helps support the lab directly, including infrastructure needs (e.g., sample cabinets), funds for analysis of meteorite samples conducted by students and lab researchers, sample preparation materials, and acquisition of new meteorites.

The 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.  Currently, proceeds from this endowment will help support the creation of curator position for the lab (for a direct link to a giving page for this, see )

Click here to see more about Dr. Lange and his purchase of Portland State's first meteorite

How to donate

By mail
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  form).

On line 
If you prefer to donate on-line, please go to our on-line giving page:

Click 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 ( for information.

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Page last modified March 17, 2022