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The Earth Science Week Update

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 11, No. 1: January 2013


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Earth Science Week 2013:
‘Mapping Our World’
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AGI is pleased to announce that the theme of Earth Science Week 2013 will be “Mapping Our World.” This year’s event, taking place October 13-19, will promote awareness of the many exciting uses of maps and mapping technologies in the geosciences.

Earth Science Week 2013 materials and activities will engage young people and others in learning how geoscientists, geographers, and other mapping professionals use maps to represent land formations, natural resource deposits, bodies of water, fault lines, volcanic activity, weather patterns, travel routes, parks, businesses, population distribution, our shared geologic heritage, and more. Maps help show how the Earth systems - geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere - interact.

“With this theme, Earth Science Week highlights the ways that Earth scientists use maps to understand our planet and how humans use the land,” says AGI Outreach Manager Geoff Camphire. “For centuries, people have relied on maps to represent their knowledge of Earth and its systems. From old-world celestial maps and nautical charts to the satellite imaging and digital GIS technology of the 21st century, map-making provides an interactive way of knowing our world.”

Reaching over 50 million people annually, Earth Science Week offers opportunities to discover the Earth sciences and engage in responsible stewardship of the Earth. The program is supported by the U.S. Geological Survey, the AAPG Foundation, the National Park Service, NASA, Esri, the American Geophysical Union, and other major geoscience groups. To learn more, go to http://www.earthsciweek.org.

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Resources Available Online
All Year Long
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Earth Science Week is more than one week of the year. If you’ve got Internet access, you can teach and learn about Earth science all year long. The Earth Science Week web site offers classroom activities, videos, Spanish-language resources, research projects, local events and organizations, and careers information.

Most importantly, the site features dozens of recommended lessons that teachers and parents can conduct with children. All are aligned with the National Science Education Standards. Check it out at http://www.earthsciweek.org today!

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AAPG Offers Instructors
Videos, Expert Speakers
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With members ranging from professional geologists and corporate executives to students and academics, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) has plenty to offer Earth science educators. AAPG, a longtime AGI member society and Earth Science Week partner, aims to foster scientific research and promote the science of geology.

In addition to AGI’s K-5 GeoSource and Earth Science Week sites, AAPG’s K-12 Teaching Resources site at http://www.aapg.org/k12resources/features the AAPG video library of more than 300 educational videos. AAPG’s Youth Education Activities Committee is currently building and expanding this resource.

AAPG’s Visiting Geoscientist program allows colleges and universities to arrange for a geoscientist to visit with a group of students for a full day or a half-day. K-12 teachers also may request visits, though availability at the pre-college level is limited. To arrange a visit, go to http://www.aapg.org/education/vgp/. Universities and geological societies can arrange similar visits through the Distinguished Lecture program. For details, see http://www.aapg.org/education/dist_lect/.

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Study Plate Tectonics,
Rock Cycle Online
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The Geological Society of London (GSL), an international Earth Science Week partner, offers two new online resources for learning about key geoscience topics. Reinforcing the “Mapping Our World” theme of Earth Science Week 2013, electronic map-based resources are the focus of GSL’s “Plate Tectonics” page (http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/Plate-Tectonics).

In addition, a new site is being launched to accompany GSL’s “Rock Cycle” online module (http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/rockcycle). Founded in 1807, GSL is the oldest geological society in the world. Learn more about GSL, the United Kingdom’s national society for geoscience, online (http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/education).

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AGU Resources Advance
Education and Outreach
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The American Geophysical Union (AGU), an AGI member society dedicated to the furtherance of the geophysical sciences, offers an array of opportunities exposing students, teachers, and life-long learners to the freshest, most accurate scientific knowledge and the excitement of discovery.

This is accomplished through education- and career-focused events at annual AGU meetings, professional development workshops for teachers, special programs for pre-college and post-secondary students, awards for science educators, and printed and electronic resources. To learn more about AGU’s education and public outreach efforts, please visit http://www.agu.org/education/ online.

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Apply by February 1 for
Congressional Fellowship
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Just over one week left! AGI is accepting applications for the 2013-2014 William L. Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellowship. The successful candidate will spend 12 months (starting September 2013) in Washington D.C., working as a staff member in the office of a member of Congress or on a congressional committee.

The fellowship represents a unique opportunity to gain first-hand experience with the federal legislative process and make practical contributions to the effective and timely use of geoscientific knowledge on issues relating to the environment, resources, natural hazards, and federal science policy.

Minimum requirements are a Master's degree with at least three years of post-degree work experience or a Ph.D. at the time of appointment. Applications are due February 1, 2013. Learn more at http://www.agiweb.org/gap/csf/index.html.

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GSA Geoscientists
Reach Out to Educators
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Teachers and students alike can learn a lot from the Geological Society of America (GSA), an AGI member society and Earth Science Week partner. GSA is an organization of geoscientists in industry, government, business, and academia who are committed to the ongoing professional growth of Earth scientists.

One of GSA’s major education and outreach programs, the Teacher Advocate Program (TAP), provides “Explore Geoscience” CD-ROMs, lesson plans, educational materials, and resource links for Earth science teachers. For more information on TAP, visit http://www.geosociety.org/educate/tap.htm. Teachers also can take advantage of GSA’s Teacher GeoVenture trips, teacher workshops, and Distinguished Earth Science Teacher in Residence. GSA also offers a number of teacher awards and fellowships. See http://www.geosociety.org/awards/aboutAwards.htm to learn more.

Students are encouraged to apply for GSA’s GeoCorps America program, which works with the National Park Service, the Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management to place young geoscientists in geoscience-related positions at national parks. Find out more at http://rock.geosociety.org/g_corps/index.htm.

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Energy Lab Program Open
To Middle, High Schools
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American middle and high schools are now eligible to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Laboratory Equipment Donation Program (LEDP) program. For over 30 years, this program has enabled colleges and universities to acquire hundreds of millions of dollars in high-quality surplus laboratory equipment from the department’s National Laboratories.

The listing of free equipment available through LEDP is updated periodically, as new equipment is identified. It is made available for a limited time on a first-received application, first-qualified basis. The Department of Energy, an active Earth Science Week partner, invites schools to acquire equipment by reviewing the list and completing an electronic application at the LEDP web site (http://www.osti.gov/ledp/).

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EPA Offers Climate Change
Kit for Middle School
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a free collection of resources to enhance middle school students’ understanding of climate change impacts on the United States’ wildlife and ecosystems.

“Climate Change, Wildlife, and Wildlands: A Toolkit for Formal and Informal Educators” contains case studies, activities, and videos based on climate science, environmental education, and stewardship information. The toolkit is available online at http://www.globalchange.gov/resources/educators/toolkit.

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Contest Spurs Students to
Environmental Research
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From Hurricane Sandy to the decline of Arctic sea ice, NASA satellites and other observing instruments have proved crucial in monitoring environmental changes. The 2013 Thacher Environmental Research Contest, sponsored by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, challenges high school students to conduct innovative research on our changing planet using satellite remote sensing of the Earth.

Top projects will receive cash awards of $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place, and $500 for third place. Individuals or teams of up to four students may enter. In addition to the student prizes, teachers of winning students will receive $200 Amazon.com gift cards.

Participation in the contest offers a great way for students to celebrate the theme of Earth Science Week 2013: “Mapping Our World.” Learn more at http://www.strategies.org/thachercontest.

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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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