Earth Science Week Update May 2010

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 8, No. 5: May 2010


Get Ready Now for
National Fossil Day

Time travel is in your future! The National Park Service and AGI are collaborating to kick off the first annual National Fossil Day during Earth Science Week 2010. On Wednesday, October 13, you and your students can participate in events and activities taking place across the country at parks, in classrooms, and online.

Ever look at a fossil and see into the past? Know what fossils can tell you about climate change? Understand why paleontologists protect the locations where fossils are found? National Fossil Day resources and activities help you answer these questions, celebrating the scientific and educational value of fossils, paleontology, and the importance of preserving fossils for future generations.

Look for fossil-themed activities in the Earth Science Week 2010 Toolkit. And check out National Park Service educational resources online, including Bryce Canyon’s Geodetective activities ( and the new Electronic Field Trip offered by the National Park Foundation ( Stay tuned for more!

Ponder Paleontology
Through PRI’s Resources

The Paleontological Research Institution (PRI), an AGI member society, isn’t just a natural history museum based in Ithaca, New York. PRI offers many education materials and opportunities for science teachers and students at all grade levels.

The online “Teacher Friendly Guide” gives brief geologic histories of every region of the United States. Also available online are photos and descriptions of the museum’s fossil collections. In 2003, PRI opened a new museum, the Museum of the Earth, which focuses on all of Earth’s history and its life forms with particular focus on the Northeastern United States.

Additionally, PRI has programs in research, publications, collections, and public outreach. Its paleontological research journal, “Bulletins of American Paleontology,” first published in 1895, is the oldest in the Western Hemisphere. For more information, email The museum’s website is a great place to learn about paleontology, geology, and the Earth. Check it out (

‘Trail of Time’ Opens
During Earth Science Week

Grand Canyon National Park is announcing the grand opening of the Trail of Time Geoscience Exhibition on October 13-15, during Earth Science Week 2010. The opening of the exhibition will include a workshop on “New Approaches to Geoscience Education in the National Park System.”

Education and research on deep time, the planet’s record of climate and environmental change, natural resources, and the interactions of humans in the Earth system are urgent topics for science education. The National Park Service, with support from the National Science Foundation, is hosting this symposium to highlight and promote new approaches in effective geoscience education and interpretation.

The Trail of Time is considered the world’s largest geoscience exhibition at the world’s grandest geologic landscape. It is a fully accessible interpretive walking timeline trail located between Grand Canyon Village and Yavapai Geology Museum that utilizes the unique vistas and rocks of the Grand Canyon to help visitors explore and understand the magnitude of geologic time. The event will begin on National Fossil Day (see above). Learn more at

‘Lite Geology’ Now
Available Online

The New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources recently made its teacher publication, “Lite Geology,” available online ( Lite Geology also can be found through the Earth Science Week homepage ( under “What’s New.”

The latest issue’s lead article is “Extraterrestrial Geology,” and several additional features also focus on planetary geology. Lite Geology has added a crossword puzzle, and brought back its “Most Wanted Mineral” feature.

The upcoming fall issue will focus on geothermal energy resources, dovetailing with the Earth Science Week 2010 theme of “Exploring Energy.” If you wish to subscribe to the notification list for Lite Geology, visit subscriptions (

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 2010 (Oct. 10-16). 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 (

Video Contest Focuses on
K-12 Science Students

Want to have your video screened at the USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo on the National Mall in Washington, DC, where AGI and Earth Science Week will be exhibiting in October 2010?

If you’re a K-12 student aiming to inspire thousands to care about science and engineering the way you do, accept this invitation to create a short video that explores the question “Why is science cool?” Sponsored by The Kavli Foundation and conducted in partnership with SciVee, the contest closes on July 15, 2010.

Prize money goes to the organization the student is representing, and students win electronics prizes and either a trip to the DC Expo or tickets to meet Mythbusters. For more information, visit

Become a Proud Sponsor
Of Earth Science Week

Would your organization like to join longstanding Earth Science Week Sponsors such as the U.S. Geological Survey, NASA, the National Park Service, the AAPG Foundation, ExxonMobil, and ESRI in supporting Earth Science Week? If so, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to this year’s campaign as a Program Sponsor.

Reaching more than 20 million people a year, Earth Science Week is the geoscience community’s premier outreach campaign, promoting awareness of Earth science among audiences such as science educators, students, and professionals. Program Sponsors receive visibility through recognition on Earth Science Week’s website, poster, kit, and other materials. To learn more, please visit

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 46 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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