Earth Science Week Update February 2008

EARTH SCIENCE WEEK UPDATE
American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 6, No. 2: February 2008

IN THIS ISSUE…
* Earth Science Week Spotlights Upcoming Movie
* Theme Announced for Earth Science Week 2008
* Independent Evaluation Details Program’s Success
* Free CD Explores “Earth Observations from Space”
* International Polar Day Coming March 12

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Earth Science Week
Spotlights Upcoming Movie
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The makers of “Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D,” due in theaters July 11, are collaborating with the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) to create educational materials and activities linked to this major summer movie release.

Starring Brendan Fraser, “Journey 3D” will plunge its characters - and viewers - into the exciting world beneath the Earth’s surface. Walden Media, which is producing this update of the Jules Verne classic, has invited AGI, organizer of Earth Science Week, to help develop a booklet of related geoscience information and activities, using the movie as an opportunity to explore “science fiction and science fact.”

Additional details on “Journey 3D” educational opportunities will be made available in the coming months. To learn more about the movie, visit http://www.journey3dmovie.com/ online.

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Theme Announced for
Earth Science Week 2008
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AGI is pleased to announce the theme of Earth Science Week 2008: “No Child Left Inside.” Being held October 12-18, Earth Science Week 2008 will encourage young people to learn about the geosciences by getting away from the television, off the computer, and out of doors.

AGI hosts Earth Science Week in cooperation with sponsors as a service to the public and the geoscience community. Each year, local groups, educators, and interested individuals organize celebratory events. Earth Science Week offers opportunities to discover the Earth sciences and engage in responsible stewardship of the Earth.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the first Earth Science Week, held in 1998. The program is supported by the U.S. Geological Survey, NASA, the AAPG Foundation, and other major geoscience groups. To learn more about Earth Science Week, related resources, and ways to participate, go to http://www.earthsciweek.org.

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Independent Evaluation
Details Last Year’s Success
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Students, teachers, and geoscience enthusiasts across the country and around the world took part in Earth Science Week 2007, with an estimated 5 million people learning about this public-awareness campaign through promotions, education, the Internet, and print and television media coverage. The celebration was covered by dozens of media outlets, from the Los Angeles Times to NBC.

Participation remained strong, as 74 percent of survey respondents said they were either “more active” or “about the same” in their participation in Earth Science Week 2007 relative to the previous year, according to an independent evaluation recently completed by PS International.

More than two-thirds of participants (69 percent) rated the usefulness of Earth Science Week 2007 as “excellent” or “good.” The Earth Science Week Toolkit received higher marks for usefulness than ever, with most materials - such as the poster, calendar, CD/DVDs, bookmarks, and contest materials - being rated more highly in 2007 than the previous year. Similarly, web-based materials were given higher ratings in 2007 by large majorities of respondents.

AGI uses such findings to strengthen the program. To learn more, see Earth Science Week 2007 Highlights at http://www.earthsciweek.org/highlights/index.html.

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Free CD Explores “Earth
Observations from Space”
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Observations from space over the past 50 years have fundamentally transformed the way people view the Earth. The National Research Council report “Earth Observations from Space” describes how satellites have revolutionized Earth studies and ushered in a new era of multidisciplinary Earth sciences.

Since the launch of Sputnik I in 1957, thousands of satellites have been sent into space on missions to collect data about the Earth. Today, the ability to forecast weather, climate, and natural hazards depends critically on these satellite-based observations.

In particular, the ability to gather satellite images frequently enough to create “movies” of the changing planet is improving our understanding of Earth’s dynamic processes and helping society to manage limited resources and environmental challenges. To learn more or order free copies of the report’s companion CD while supplies last, see http://dels.nas.edu/basc/earthobservations/.

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International Polar Day
Coming up March 12
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Join educators and students around the world in celebrating International Polar Day - with the theme “The Changing Earth: Past and Present.” - on March 12. This event is a major part of International Polar Year (IPY), currently underway.

The focus will be on change over geological time, especially the glacial and interglacial periods during the past million years, and cycles of ocean-atmosphere interactions that give rise to regional climate variations on scales of decades to centuries. Understanding these processes, and the science projects that investigate them, is critical to putting recent human-induced climate change into context.

In partnership with IPY and NASA, a videoconference called “The Science of IPY” is scheduled for March 13. For details, see http://www.astc.org/iglo. For a listing of all IPY events, see http://www.ipy.org/index.php?/ipy/calendar.

You can sign up for e-mail alerts about federally funded educational materials, classroom resources, and information about opportunities to assist scientists in the field. The program offers two RSS (Real Simple Syndication) feeds to the public - one on “news and features” and one on “educational resources.” Directions for subscribing to the RSS feeds are available at http://www.ipy.gov.

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The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 44 geoscientific and professional associations that represents 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 interests in the 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 resources and interaction with the environment. For contact information, please visit http://www.earthsciweek.org/contactus/index.html.

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