Earth Science Week Update October 2008

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 6, No. 10: October 2008


State Geologists Lead
Activities Nationwide

State geologists across the country spearheaded efforts making Earth Science Week 2008 (October 12-18) an exceptional success. Texas State Geologist Scott Tinker, for example, gave an opening ceremony presentation at the ninth annual Austin Earth Science Week Career Fair, where 350 middle school students learned about careers in fields ranging from archeology and environmental science to hydrology and petroleum geology. In addition to the career fair, the Austin Earth Science Week Consortium organized a summer distinguished lecture series and a book drive for the Austin Public Library.

The Maine Geological Survey distributed Earth Science Week Toolkits - “a big hit” - at the annual Earth Science Day at the Maine State Museum. In cooperation with the University of West Alabama and Discovering Alabama, the Geological Survey of Alabama offered a one-day fossil field workshop for K-12 teachers, helping educators develop classroom activities in paleontology.

The Florida Geological Survey celebrated Earth Science Week at its annual open house with building tours and geologist-guided walks of the Leon Sinks Geological Area. Attracting K-12 students as well as lifelong learners, the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology held two field trips focusing on sites associated with ancient volcanoes and lakes, where attendees collected igneous and sedimentary rocks. And these are just a few examples.

State geologists can be excellent resources for geoscience education. To learn more about your state geological survey, visit the Association of American State Geologists’ website at

Post Photos Online
From Earth Science Week

Want to see yourself and your students on the Earth Science Week website? Simply send us photos from your Earth Science Week celebrations and activities (along with any necessary signed permission forms). We’ll post selected images on the Earth Science Week Photo Gallery (

By submitting a photo, you agree to allow AGI to post the image on the Earth Science Week website, without compensation unless prohibited. All submissions and all rights of ownership in and to the images, including all rights to use, reproduce, publish, modify, edit, and distribute the same will become the exclusive property of AGI and will not be returned. AGI reserves the right to edit, modify, adapt, copyright, publish, use, and reproduce any and all entries without further compensation..

You can snap shots with your digital camera or cell phone, or scan regular photos for electronic transmission. JPEG files are preferred. Download permission forms at and send your photos to See you online!

‘Journey 3D’ Guide
Accompanies DVD Release

The Summer 2008 movie blockbuster “Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D” will be released on Tuesday, October 28, on DVD - the perfect format for the classroom. Watch along with your students as the film plunges characters and viewers alike into the exciting world beneath the Earth’s surface. And use the accompanying “Journey 3D” Educator Guide to explore related science topics.

How accurate were Jules Verne’s ideas about the Earth’s interior? What is the theory of plate tectonics? Where are sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks found? How do Earth systems - the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere - interact? The Educator Guide shows how students can find answers.

AGI, organizer of Earth Science Week, has collaborated with Walden Media, which produced this update of the Verne classic, to develop this booklet of relevant geoscience information and standards-based activities, using the movie as an opportunity to explore “science fiction and science fact.” For a printable PDF of the Educator Guide, go to

Online GigaPans Bring
Earth Science to Life

Nothing makes Earth science real to students like viewing natural features, alternately, up close and from a distance. Recent developments in robotics technology, image processing, and web-delivery have made the creation, viewing, and annotation of Gigapixel panoramas, or GigaPans, far more accessible than ever before.

For Earth Science Week 2008, the GigaPan website launched a series of collections of GigaPan images of landforms and geologic processes. Each day, a new collection of geoscience-themed GigaPans was featured. Educators and students were invited use the site’s interactive viewer to pan around, zoom in on, and annotate various panoramas from around the planet. For example, one could zoom in from a vantage point on the rim of the Grand Canyon to discover the detail of the Great Unconformity.

Check out collections on the GigaPan website ( now. Set up a free account and you can log in, take “snapshots” within GigaPans, and annotate them to share your discoveries with explorers from around the world. To learn more, including how to create GigaPans of your own, see

Contest Winners to Be
Announced Next Month

AGI thanks the many hundreds of students, educators, and others who entered this year’s Earth Science Week photo, visual arts, and essay contests, as well as the new International Year of Planet Earth-Earth Science Week photo contest.

Winners will be announced in November 2008. AGI will contact winners directly and recognize their success both on the Earth Science Week website ( and in this electronic newsletter.

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 45 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


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