AGI Announces Earth Science Week Theme and New National Contests for 2004

Alexandria, VA - September 8, 2004 - The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) announces the theme for Earth Science Week 2004: "Living on a Restless Earth." This theme will focus on the natural hazards that take place on our dynamic planet and the geoscientists who study these events. Natural hazards affect every community on Earth, and the scientists who focus on natural hazards help the public to understand the causes of those hazards and how to minimize their effects. Earth Science Week takes place October 10-16, 2004.

Earth Science Week events will include three national contests, hosted by AGI. The contests are designed to encourage students and the public to become involved in Earth Science Week by submitting artwork, an essay or a photograph to the ESW contests. Entries must be received by October 1, 2004. A grand prize winner in each category will win $300 and a one year's subscription to Geotimes, AGI's monthly newsmagazine for the Earth sciences.

Elementary school students in grades K-4 are eligible to compete in the Visual Arts contest. Students should make a drawing, collage or other 2-dimensional piece of artwork that illustrates the "Active Earth." The artwork could show a natural hazard, people preparing for a hazard or Earth scientists at work. Submissions should be no larger than 24 x 36 inches.

Middle school students in grades 5-8 are encouraged to compete in the Essay Contest. Essays should be written as if the student is an Earth scientist who studies a natural hazard. What does a day on the job entail? What equipment is needed? How does this scientist educate the people of his or her community about the natural hazard that is most likely to affect them?

The Photography contest is open to the general public. People should take pictures of Earth scientists at work or of students learning Earth science. Capture some of what goes into studying our dynamic planet on film. Photographs of children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parental consent form that can be found on www.earthsciweek.org/contests. Submissions can include print or digital photographs.

More information on the Earth Science Week contests, including rules and submission guidelines, can be found at http://www.earthsciweek.org/contests.

Earth Science Week 2004 will mark the seventh year the American Geosciences Institute has hosted this national event as a service to the public and the geoscience community. This week was developed to give students and citizens new opportunities to discover the Earth sciences and stewardship of the Earth. It highlights the important contributions Earth and environmental sciences make to society and also invite the public to become engaged in current scientific exploration. Earth Science Week is supported by the U.S. Geological Survey. To learn more about this event, visit www.earthsciweek.org.

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 43 scientific and professional associations that represent more than 120,000 geologists, geophysicists, and other Earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interest in our profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of the resources and interaction with the environment. More information about AGI can be found at http://www.agiweb.org/. The Institute also provides a public outreach site at http://www.earthscienceworld.org/.