Public Outreach Guide

Why Outreach?

Scientific Drilling is an indispersive but expensive tool that serves to answer fundamental questions about the structure and evolution of our planet, questions which are directly connected to themes of societal relevance, such as sustainable georesources, climate, and natural hazards.Respective target communities for public outreach measures include funding organisations/stakeholders, local communities, politicians and landowners, media, schools and universities and the interested publicity.

Scientific Drilling projects are to a large degree, if not fully, financed by public science funding agencies, which in turn are publicity funded through tax money. Underlying the societal relevance and benefits of Scientific Drilling activities through public outreach is therefore of great importance.

Drilling projects generally attract a great deal of attention from local communities. Acceptance by local politicians and landowners is a decisive prerequisite for the successful execution of scientific drilling projects. It is important to emphasize the pure scientific aim and the societal benefit to the local community prior to any drilling activities.


Drill Site Visit / Public Day

 A public day is a great opportunity for the public not only to look “behind the curtains” but also to generate public and media interest for your project.  

  • Inform local and regional media (press, radio, TV), local politicians and landowners directly. Do not forget to invite representatives from your funding agencies.
  • Announce the “Open Day” on the ICDP project websites and an Social Media.  
  • Drill Sites are often located in remote areas. Provide information on the project website how to reach the drill site, about nearby service facilities and infrastructure (next gas station, restaurant, super market) and if mobile phone connection would be available or not. 
  • Inform the local community through local newspaper and local radio stations. Display leaflets at public places. 
  • Prepare sufficient parking space for the visitor’s cars at the drill site. 
  • Inform the drilling company as early as possible from your plan of an Open Day to make sure that any visit will not infer with drilling operations. Avoid a visit during risky drilling operations or fishing jobs.
  • For visitors it is always exciting to see drilling in action (rotating drill string, circulating drilling mud etc). Check with the drilling company to see what can be done.  
  • Keep a sufficient number of hard hats and, if needed, also safety goggles and safety boots ready.  
  • A tour over the drill site requires one or more guides familiar with drilling techniques. The operating drilling company may provide manpower to organize a tour, but make sure that such tour does not turn to a promotion event for the company. If you have hired an external consultant for project control and supervision, ask if he/she would be willing and able to guide a tour.
  • Explanation on the scientific target of the drilling should be conducted by project PI’s.  
  • School students and teachers are an important target group for science outreach. Inviting groups of school students for a one-day visit of a drill site within the frame of an Open Day (see above) can be very informative for them. Display information material, e.g. project flyer.
  • ICDP can provide brochures and flyers on Scientific Drilling.