EARTH SCIENCE WEEK UPDATE
American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 10, No. 2: February 2012
IN THIS ISSUE…
- Upcoming Science Festival to Include Career Focus
- Dig Into Earth Science Education With USGS
- Esri Helps Teachers Map Out Education
- Energy Department Programs Empowering Teachers
- OERB Provides Info on Energy 'Career Paths'
- Help NGWA Promote Ground Water Awareness
- SSSA Offers Riches of Soil Science Education
- Workshops to Target Climate, Sustainability
- NSTA Provides Links to Free Science Resources
- Internship Offers Undergrad Research Opportunity
Know a young person who is uncertain about career choices? Inspiration and information will be in great supply at the USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo hosted by Lockheed Martin on April 28-29, 2012, in Washington, D.C. The event supports the Earth Science Week 2012 theme of “Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences.”
“The USA Science & Engineering Festival is custom-built to help you check out the amazing variety of jobs in the science, technology, engineering and math fields that you may not have heard of before,” says Geoff Camphire, Earth Science Week program manager. “One of the focuses of the festival is to impress upon students and their families the many exciting career opportunities available with the best job prospects for the future in Earth science.”
The festival’s Career Pavilion - where students can see STEM in action - will be filled with exciting experiences and opportunities, including exploring tomorrow’s hot careers in areas such as renewable energy, space tourism, clean technology, education, and many other exciting fields. Come and check out Earth Science Week at Booth 3850. To find out more, visit the festival web site at http://www.usasciencefestival.org.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), a longtime Earth Science Week partner, offers a wealth of information on virtually every Earth science topic, from natural resources and hazards to geospatial data.
The USGS education web site (http://education.usgs.gov) includes lesson plans and other resources for K-12 students, educators, and others. For example, GIS Lab focuses on using Geographic Information Systems to teach spatial analysis, and GPS Class provides lessons on Global Positioning Systems in education.
USGS has thousands of free images and over 69,000 searchable publications such as maps, books, and charts online. If what you’re looking for still proves elusive, just “ask a geologist” (http://walrus.wr.usgs.gov/ask-a-geologist). And don’t forget to check out the USGS podcast series, CoreCast, featuring stories and insights on climate change, satellite monitoring, human health, wildlife disease, and more. To listen, go to (http://www.usgs.gov/corecast).
Leading the charge to incorporate GIS (geographic information system) technology and mapping software in Earth science education, Esri is one of the many corporate partners of Earth Science Week. GIS technology - which can illuminate features such as local geology, watersheds, and roads - can require some training before it can be used effectively. That’s why Esri offers instructor-led training classes as well as “virtual campus” web-based training courses.
Instructor-led classes are held in small groups at Esri’s training facilities worldwide, where attendees have access to knowledgeable staff and ample time to practice GIS skills. Virtual campus web-based training courses include software exercises, conceptual material, and instructional resources. For more information about training, go to http://training.esri.com/gateway/index.cfm. To learn more about GIS and Esri, see http://www.esri.com.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), an Earth Science Week partner, provides learning opportunities for teachers and students at all levels. For example, DOE’s Energy Education & Workforce Development web site offers hundreds of K-12 lesson plans.
For standards-based activities covering topics from energy basics to biofuels, hydropower, and wind energy, see http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/education/lessonplans. The annual National Science Bowl (http://science.energy.gov/nsb/) tests middle and high school students’ science knowledge.
With laboratories across the country, DOE scientists and instruments offer valuable resources for geoscience education. DOE programs for educators include the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship, in which teachers work for a year in a congressional office or federal agency to improve science education. For more on teacher programs, visit http://science.energy.gov/wdts/.
Formed by industry leaders working in cooperation with state legislators, the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board (OERB) provides materials and services to improve the lives of Oklahomans and others through education and restoration.
Since its inception nearly 20 years ago, OERB has shared its exciting energy curricula and safety messages with more than one million Oklahoma students. One OERB educational resource in particular - the “Career Paths” web page - supports Earth Science Week 2012’s theme of “Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences.”
As in many other parts of the country, Oklahoma oil and natural gas producers are aggressively seeking qualified professionals - geologists, geophysicists, environmental specialists, and more. Learn more about the many professional careers in the petroleum industry nationwide at http://www.oerb.com/Default.aspx?tabid=63.
Ground Water Awareness Week (March 11-17, 2012) will shed light on one of the world’s most important resources - ground water. Ground water is essential to the health and well being of humanity and the environment, according to the National Ground Water Association, an AGI member society.
To learn more about Ground Water Awareness Week, visit the Virtual Museum of Ground Water History (http://info.ngwa.org/museum/museum.cfm) or watch a “water well show” (https://info.ngwa.org/images/flash/RFD_TV/rfdtv.html). For additional educational activities and resources, see http://www.ngwa.org/Events-Education/awareness/Pages/Get-involved.aspx.
Six thousand members strong, the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a scientific organization that aims to support geoscience teaching and learning about soils. This AGI member society provides an educational resources web page (https://www.soils.org/lessons/) that includes lessons, activities, fun facts, sites of interest organized by soil topic and grade level, and soil definitions for the novice soil scientist.
And you can visit the online version of “Dig It,” an SSSA-sponsored exhibition on soil from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. The exhibit includes interactive displays, hands-on-models, videos, and monoliths representing soils from each state, territory, and the District of Columbia. Check online for viewing times (http://forces.si.edu/soils/).
Upcoming workshops for college faculty will address climate science, sustainability, and other topics in higher education. Two workshops from InTeGrate - Interdisciplinary Teaching of Geoscience for a Sustainable Future, an NSF project - will address sustainability by fostering integration of geoscience and other disciplines.
For information about “Programs that Bring Together Geoscience and Sustainability,” May 23-25, 2012, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California (application deadline March 5), go to http://serc.carleton.edu/integrate/workshops/programs2012/
index.html. To learn about “Systems, Society, Sustainability, and the Geosciences,” July 24-26, 2012, Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, (application deadline April 20), see http://serc.carleton.edu/integrate/workshops/sustainability2012/
For information on other workshops, see: “Communicating Climate Science in the Classroom,” April 2-11, 2012 (application deadline March 1), at http://cleanet.org/clean/community/workshops/communication2012/
index.html; “Teaching Climate Complexity,” May 7-16, 2012 (application deadline March 31), at http://cleanet.org/clean/community/workshops/climate2012/
index.html; “Teaching Environmental Geology,” June 2-6, 2012 (application deadline March 1), at http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/environmental/workshop12/
index.html; “Teaching the Methods of Geoscience,” June 27-30, 2012 (application deadline March 30), at http://serc.carleton.edu/integrate/workshops/methods2012/
index.html; “Workshop for Early Career Geoscience Faculty: Teaching, Research, and Managing Your Career,” June 10-15 2012 (application deadline March 1), at http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/earlycareer2012/
index.html; and “Preparing for an Academic Career in the Geosciences,” June 27-30, 2012 (application deadline March 8), at http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/careerprep2012/
Looking for teaching resources? Check out a page called “Freebies for Science Teachers” on the National Science Teachers Association web site.
Updated periodically, this searchable “array of free resources for you and your classroom” frequently features online links to publications, CD-ROMs, DVDs, videos, kits, and other materials for Earth science education. For more, go to http://www.nsta.org/publications/freebies.aspx?lid=tnavhp.
Targeting young people with an interest in conducting research in the Earth or ocean sciences, Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Summer Intern Program offers students the opportunity to experience scientific research as an undergraduate. The program is open to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have completed their junior or sophomore year in college with majors in Earth science, environmental science, chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, or engineering.
Students receive free housing, public transportation and a stipend of $5,000 for this 10-week program. The application form must be submitted by March 15, 2012. For the online application form, see http://webapp.ldeo.columbia.edu/interns. For more information, see http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/education/programs/summer-internship/lamont-summer-intern-program.
The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 50 geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 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, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment. For contact information, please visit http://www.earthsciweek.org/contactus/index.html.
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