Earth Science Week Update May 2009

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 7, No. 5: May 2009


Make Connections With
Earth Science Organizations

Want to organize a field trip or a classroom presentation led by a professional geoscientist for Earth Science Week? Start preparing by networking with local scientists, professors, employers, nonprofit representatives, environmental educators, and government leaders in the geosciences!

To facilitate partnerships between educators and others in the Earth science community, AGI has launched the Earth Science Organizations (ESO) database. Use this online tool - - to identify potential geoscience partners near you, access relevant information, and network with colleagues.

Don’t wait until autumn. Now is the time to reach out to potential partners and invite them to collaborate during Earth Science Week 2009 (Oct. 11-17). The ESO map pinpoints local contacts for AGI Member Societies, state geological surveys, agencies such as USGS and NASA, universities offering geology programs, parks, museums, and other Earth science groups. To recommend an organization (or have one removed), contact AGI’s Jason Betzner (

Deadline Coming Up for
Earth Science Teacher Award

Less than three weeks to go! May 31 is the deadline for applications for this year’s Edward C. Roy, Jr. Award for Excellence in Earth Science Teaching, offered by AGI and the AGI Foundation. Given annually, this award recognizes one classroom teacher from kindergarten to eighth grade for leadership and innovation in Earth science education.

The winner will receive a $2,500 prize and an additional grant of $1,000 to enable the recipient to attend the Geological Society of America’s 2009 Joint Meeting at the close of Earth Science Week 2009 (Oct. 11-17) to accept the award.

This award is named in honor of Dr. Edward C. Roy, Jr., a past president of AGI, who was a strong and dedicated supporter of Earth science education. To learn more, visit

Prepare for First Annual
Women in Geosciences Day

Please join the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG), an AGI Member Society, in celebrating the first annual Women in the Geosciences Day - Thursday, Oct. 15 - during Earth Science Week 2009! Women in the Geosciences Day offers you a chance to share the excitement and advantages of geoscience careers with women of all ages, especially those early in their education.

What can you do? If you’re an educator, invite a female geoscientist to speak in your classroom or institution. If you’re a female geoscientist, visit a local school or volunteer at a science center. Organize a scout event for badges, lead a 4H field trip, or hold a special “Take Your Daughter to Work Day” focusing on the geoscience workplace. No matter who you are, you can help show young women what it means to be a geoscientist.

Watch for additional information and resources online in the coming months at Earth Science Week ( and AWG ( Have a great Women in the Geosciences Day!

Contests Add Fun, Learning
To Earth Science Week

AGI is sponsoring three national contests for Earth Science Week 2009. The photography, visual arts, and essay contests allow both students and the general public to participate in the celebration, learn about Earth science, and compete for prizes.

The photography contest, open to all ages, focuses on “How Climate Shapes My World.” The visual arts contest, titled “The Climate Where I Live,” is open to students in grades K-5. Finally, students in grades 6-9 are eligible to enter the essay contest: “Climate Connections.” Essays of up to 300 words should describe how climate interacts with Earth’s systems - geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere - in your area.

Entries may be submitted starting now, but all are due by the Friday of Earth Science Week, Oct. 16, 2009. The first-place prize for each contest is $300 and a copy of AGI’s “Faces of Earth” 2-DVD package. To learn more about these contests, including how to enter, visit

Teachers Empowered by
Energy Department Programs

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), a new Earth Science Week partner, provides learning opportunities for teachers and students at all levels. For example, the DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website offers over 350 K-12 lesson plans. For activities aligned with national science standards and covering topics from energy basics to biofuels, see

With national laboratories located across the country, DOE scientists and advanced scientific instruments offer valuable resources for geoscience education. DOE programs for K-12 teachers and college professors include the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship, in which selected teachers work for a year in a congressional office or federal agency to improve science education. For more on teacher programs, visit

The annual National Science Bowl tests middle and high school students’ science knowledge. See for more. The Real World Design Challenge invites high school students to team up to solve real engineering problems. For more, visit DOE also offers internships for undergraduate and community college students studying or preparing to teach science, math, and engineering. Find out more at

Young Earth Scientists
To Gather in China

The Young Earth Scientists for Society (YES) network, an association of geoscientists under age 35 representing geological societies worldwide, in collaboration with the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE), is organizing an international conference for young earth scientists, policy makers, advisors and decision makers.

The YES Congress will be held at the China University of Geosciences, in Beijing, China, October 25-28, 2009. The conference will discuss global climate, environmental, and geological challenges and establish an interdisciplinary global network committed to solving these challenges.

Pre-registration rates for attendees are still available. The deadline for abstracts for oral presentations, poster presentations, and roundtable symposia has been extended to May 30. To learn more, visit

EPA Has Climate Resources
For Teachers, Students

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a new Earth Science Week partner, offers a climate education website for students, teachers, and school administrators, including information and activities related to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In one activity, for example, middle school and high school students estimate and conceptualize their schools’ emissions and explore ways to mitigate them. Also, teachers can learn from climate experts and search a database of lesson plans, videos, books, and tools. See the EPA website at

IYPE Covers Earth Science
On NPR’s “Earth and Sky”

The International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE) is offering 10 Earth science mini-programs through National Public Radio’s “Earth and Sky,” available via both radio and the Internet, through support from Earth Science Week partners USGS, NSF, and GSA.

One IYPE program is devoted to climate, the theme of Earth Science Week 2009. Other topics covered in the series include resources, hazards, soil, oceans, and health. Each 90-second program has been heard or downloaded by millions of people. To hear the programs online, go to

Smithsonian Education
Digs Into Earth’s Soil

Smithsonian Education offers a fascinating exploration of Earth’s soil with its “Dig It! The Secrets of Soil” exhibition. For information, videos, expert instruction, and activity sheets, visit

For example, a word-search sheet combines science and language arts with insights into the origins of related scientific terms. Download a PDF at

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


To subscribe to this newsletter, visit and Submit your email address.