Earth Science Week Update June 2009

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 7, No. 6: June 2009


Geoscience Partners Host
Global Photo Contest

In addition to the traditional Earth Science Week (ESW) photo, art, and essay contests, AGI is partnering with the organizers of International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE) to offer a joint IYPE-ESW 2009 Photo Contest, open to shutterbugs worldwide.

The theme of the IYPE-ESW 2009 Photo Contest is “Exploring Earth Science Around the World.” Entrants are encouraged to submit photos that show people engaged in Earth science exploration in the natural environment of their part of the world. AGI will accept photo submissions via email until the end of Earth Science Week, Friday, October 16, 2009. Winners will receive cash prizes and recognition.

IYPE aims to demonstrate new and exciting ways Earth science can help future generations meet the challenge of ensuring a safer and more prosperous world. IYPE is a joint initiative by UNESCO and the International Union of Geological Sciences. Visit for more information about the IYPE-ESW 2009 Photo Contest. To learn more about IYPE, see online.

Online Report Answers
Your Climate FAQs

The U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is shining a spotlight on a major resource for Earth science teachers: The “Climate Change: Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQs) report, now available online, presents highlights from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report.

Designed for teachers and others seeking broad information on climate, the FAQs report answers 19 key questions ranging from “What factors determine Earth’s climate?” to “How do human activities contribute to climate change, and how do they compare with natural influences?”

The FAQs document summarizes findings from a nearly 1,000-page 2007 report, a comprehensive assessment of the physical and biogeochemical sciences relevant to climate and its sensitivity to greenhouse gas increases. The IPCC report was written by 152 authors and from over 30 countries and was reviewed by over 600 experts as well as government reviewers.

The FAQs report may be viewed online as a single PDF file ( or a series of links to FAQs (

National Parks’ Web Rangers
Explore Geoscience

The National Park Service, a longtime Earth Science Week partner, wants you to become a Web Ranger! The interactive Web Ranger program helps people of all ages learn about the national parks. For example, enter White Sands National Monument in New Mexico from your desktop and identify animal tracks left in the 275 square miles of gypsum dunes that give the park its name.

“Rock Around the Park,” another geoscience activity for Web Rangers, shows how erosion has shaped the landscapes of national parks such as Arches National Park in Utah and Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Or you can explore the 213 national parks with fossils, including dinosaur fossils. Learn about what dinosaurs munched on millions of years ago in “Dino Diets.”

Find all this and more on the Web Rangers site. Invent a Web Ranger name, create a personalized ranger badge, and start learning about Earth science in the national parks at today!

Discovery Earth Website
Tackles Hot Topics

The U.S. National Committee of International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE) has teamed up with The Discovery Channel to launch the new Discovery Earth website. IYPE is providing content for the website’s “Earth Top 10” feature, including detailed information and stunning images, on a regular basis.

Topics covered so far include climate change, environmental preservation, earthquakes, ocean movement, acid rain, and extinct creatures - and more are coming up. Check out Discovery Earth at

Post Photos Online
From Earth Science Week

Want to see yourself and your students on the Earth Science Week website? Simply send us your photos from past Earth Science Week celebrations and activities, along with 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!

**************************** Offers News
And Info on Earth Science
****************************, a new Earth Science Week partner, provides a variety of geoscience materials including daily Earth science news, maps, an online dictionary of Earth science terms, and information on geoscience careers.

Also on ( are resources for teachers, including links to lesson plans from major Earth science organizations such as the U.S. Geological Survey, the Geological Society of America, and NASA. To view the teacher page, visit

Watch NASA eClips for
Educational Videos

Just go online for NASA eClips, short educational video segments designed to inspire and engage students. “Mapping the Boundaries of Our Solar System (IBEX),” for example, answers big questions. What is the shape of our heliosphere? What lies beyond? How does interstellar medium affect the heliosphere? To find out, NASA launched the Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, to map the boundaries of our solar system.

Another video, “The Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope,” provides an overview of the electromagnetic spectrum and how scientists are using the new Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope to look at the inconceivable amounts of energy produced by phenomena in space. To watch, see

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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