Earth Science Week Update August 2006

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 4, No. 2: August 2006

Plan Activities Now for
Earth Science Week 2006

Earth Science Week is only two months away. You can organize your own local activity or become involved in one of the many activities already being planned for the week of October 8-14. How will you celebrate Earth Science Week 2006?

You can promote this year’s theme - Be a Citizen Scientist - by engaging others in conducting real citizen-science research and helping to spread science literacy. Record observations of cloud patterns. Dig up fossil evidence of past life. Gather rocks in your neighborhood, crack them open with a rock hammer, and examine their insides with a magnifying glass. Take field trips to museums, science centers, parks, university geoscience departments, and weather stations. Volunteer to collect data on water and air quality, biodiversity, climate change, and other phenomena for environmental monitoring efforts. Conduct activities featured in the Earth Science Week Toolkit and Web site.

Last year, Earth Science Week was celebrated in all 50 states as well as other countries. Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park held a special event including special tours and displays, a geological scavenger hunt, and hands-on exhibits. Ohio’s St. Paris Public Library teamed with the nearby Graham High School Science Department, inviting first- through third-graders to participate in Earth science experiments and hear a talk by a Wright State University paleontologist.

Looking for adventure? Be one of the thousands of people nationwide who are expected to go online, look up predetermined latitude and longitude coordinates, and use a Global Positioning System to hunt down a nearby location on the first day of Earth Science Week. This EarthCache EventCache is being organized by the Geological Society of America (GSA), a major event partner. Participants in these “geocaching” activities will visit geological outcrops, fossil and mineral collecting sites, college geoscience departments, and state geological surveys. There, Earth scientists and other experts will provide educational talks about their site. To set up an EarthCache or learn more about how you can participate, visit or contact GSA at

For more ideas on how you can participate, read about successful past events at, or see recommendations for planning, fundraising, and advertising your event at

Earth Science Week Toolkit
Available Now

The new Earth Science Week Toolkit is arriving on doorsteps across the country this month. The Toolkit is packed with everything you need to join the celebration, lead Earth science educational activities, and promote science literacy.

The 2006 Toolkit includes a school-year calendar running from August 2006 through July 2007 that features classroom activities, important geoscience information, and dates of relevant current events and Earth science milestones for each month. The Toolkit also features an overview of citizen-science and geoscience resources available from USGS, a NASA brochure detailing geoscience education programs and products, a National Parks DVD, a 24-page NOAA booklet on climate, a Scholastic/AGI poster for elementary-level Earth science teachers, and more.

In addition, the careers-oriented 2005 Toolkit ("Geoscientists Explore the Earth") and the natural hazards-focused 2004 Toolkit ("Living on a Restless Earth") are still available for order.

Library Rate shipping and handling in the U.S. is included. Expect delivery 2-3 weeks after payment is received. Faster shipping services are available at additional cost (phone 703-379-2480 for details). Orders outside of the United States will incur additional shipping charges. For special shipping, bulk orders, and more information, visit

Join Winners of Last Year’s
Earth Science Week Contests

Earth Science Week organizers hope that this year’s contest submissions will top last year’s record number of entries. More than 500 people nationwide entered the Earth Science Week 2005 art, essay, and photography contests.

Last year’s first-place winners were:
* James Pugh, of Elgin, South Carolina, for his poster, “Volcanologists: It’s a Hot Job.”
* Robert Kendall, of Phoenix, Arizona, for his essay, “The Big Dream,” in which Kendall describes his love for paleontology and the career he hopes to pursue.
* Brandy Anglen, of Fresno, California, for her photo of scientists testing water for sulfur isotopes at Lake Hoare in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica.

This year, the photography contest, open to all ages, focuses on “Using and Studying Earth’s Resources.” Participants are encouraged to think creatively and submit pictures of geoscientists studying or working with the Earth’s natural resources or people using these resources.

The 2006 visual arts contest is titled “Earth Science in Your Home Town.” Students in grades K-5 are encouraged to draw, paint, or create a poster on any aspect of Earth science that affects their local community. Artwork entries should be no larger than 24-by-36 inches.

Also this year, students in grades 5-9 are eligible to enter the essay contest: “Be a Citizen Scientist!” Essays must be no longer than 500 words and should highlight the ways every person can contribute to a better understanding of our planet.

The photography, visual arts, and essay contests offer opportunities for both students and the general public to participate in the celebration, learn about the Earth sciences, and compete for prizes. The first-place prize for each contest is $300. To learn more about these contests, or to view last year’s winning entries, visit

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 44 scientific 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 interest 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 the resources and interaction with the environment. More information about AGI can be found at The Institute also provides a public outreach site at