Earth Science Week Update August 2012

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 10, No. 8: August 2012


Save With Bulk Order of
Earth Science Week Toolkits

Thinking of buying multiple copies of the Earth Science Week 2012 Toolkit for local educators or organization members? Save money by placing a bulk order!

Get 12-25 kits for $6.70 each, 26-100 kits for $6.45 each, or over 100 kits for $6.20 each. At these prices, the savings add up. The 2012 kit (ordinarily $6.95 each) includes:

* A 12-month school-year activity calendar, suitable for hanging
* The new Earth Science Week poster, including a learning activity
* National Park Service items on geologic time and careers
* A genuine field notebook from Rite in the Rain
* NASA education resources on climate, careers, and contests
* A geoscience careers poster from Soil Science Society of America
* A detailed cloud chart by GLOBE
* Educational material from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
* A temporary tattoo of the JOIDES Resolution research ship
* A GIS-in-science-education resource from Esri
* Activity sheets from the Association for Women Geoscientists
* Brochures, bookmarks, fact sheets, postcards, and more

The kit contains everything you need to prepare for Earth Science Week (October 14-20, 2012), which celebrates the theme “Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences.” For ordering, special shipping, bulk orders, and more information, visit

AGI Plans New Center
for Geoscience Education

The American Geosciences Institute (AGI), which organizes Earth Science Week each year, recently announced plans for an initiative to address the critical need of increasing geoscience literacy. AGI’s Center for Geoscience Education and Public Understanding will serve as a hub for geoscience educational tools and materials, current information on geoscience topics, and Geoscience Critical Issue Forums defining the state of the science knowledge on key topics.

The center will serve not only as an advocate for increased Earth science teaching and assessment standards, but also as a clearinghouse for cutting-edge educational tools. In addition, the center will help to ensure a flow of knowledgeable future geoscientists through targeted career counseling, mentoring, and professional retention programs.

AGI will launch a web site with information about the center and opportunities for partnerships in the early fall of 2012. With its diverse member societies and over 250,000 geoscientists, AGI is uniquely positioned to further this initiative. To learn more about AGI, see

Earth Science Week Begins
With EarthCache Day

Earth Science Week 2012 will begin with the sixth annual International EarthCache Day on Sunday, October 14. The public is invited to join the Geological Society of America (GSA), which runs the global EarthCache program, and AGI, which organizes Earth Science Week, in exploring this exciting and educational Earth science experience.

International EarthCache Day is a time when EarthCachers around the globe organize small gatherings where people learn about the Earth. An EarthCache is a place that people can discover with a GPS device while participating in a “treasure hunt” called geocaching. “The treasure you find at an EarthCache is a lesson about the Earth itself,” says EarthCaching Director Gary Lewis of GSA, a longtime Earth Science Week partner.

EarthCache events are being held around the world on October 14. To view the locations for EarthCaching events, go to For more information, contact Lewis, Senior Director of GSA Education and Outreach, at 720-201-8132.

Show Artistic Talent in
National Fossil Day Contest

A major focus of Earth Science Week 2012 will be National Fossil Day (October 17), and one of the best ways for students nationwide to participate is by entering the National Park Service’s National Fossil Day Art and Photography Contest. Entries should address the theme “Careers in Paleontology.”

Artwork may include a photo, painting, drawing, or watercolor. Explore the wide variety of careers that one can pursue relating to the field of paleontology - on a dig, in the classroom, at a museum, though technology, or in other ways. Artwork must be flat and should focus on a paleontological job is, what it accomplishes, and how it relates to fossils.

The contest is open to any U.S. resident. Entries must be postmarked by October 5, 2012. Learn more at If you have questions, please email

Call for Papers on Climate
By Pre-College Students

Know a science student in middle or high school who’s fascinated by climate? Harvard University’s Journal of Emerging Investigators (JEI) is collaborating with the Institute for Earth Science Research and Education to publish a series of peer-reviewed climate-related papers authored by middle- and secondary-school students.

JEI is an open-access peer-reviewed online journal whose mission is to encourage and publish authentic student research. In addition to stand-alone research papers, JEI also encourages students who are developing science fair projects to submit journal articles based on those projects.

Notice of intent to submit is due November 30, 2012. For submission instructions and guidelines for articles, including suggestions for converting a science fair project into a journal article submission, go to For more information, see

Earth Science Week 2012
Contest Extends Globally

Earth Science Week is extending eligibility for its annual photography contest to allow members of AGI International Affiliates to participate. Originally open only to residents of the United States, the photo contest has always been a major part of Earth Science Week, which this year is being celebrated October 14-20.

“By celebrating the theme of ‘Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences,’ Earth Science Week 2012 calls attention to all the important work there is to be done in the geosciences around the world,” says Geoff Camphire, AGI’s Manager of Outreach. “Now is a perfect time to invite our colleagues and friends worldwide to join this celebration of Earth science.”

Members of AGI International Affiliates are encouraged to enter the contest, titled “Earth Science Is a Big Job.” These individuals are invited to use a camera to capture evidence to show the important work that Earth scientists do in their own communities. Learn more at

EPA Has Climate Resources
For Teachers, Students

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers a climate education web site 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 web site at

Prepare for Fourth Annual
Women in Geosciences Day

Please join the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG), an AGI member society, in celebrating the fourth annual Women in the Geosciences Day - Thursday, October 18 - during Earth Science Week 2012! 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, 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.

For AWG worksheets on geoscience careers, see the Earth Science Week 2012 Toolkit ( Watch for additional information and resources online in the coming weeks at Earth Science Week ( and AWG ( Have a great Women in the Geosciences Day!

Find New Resources at
National Fossil Day Online

To help you prepare for the third annual National Fossil Day (October 17) during Earth Science Week 2012, the National Park Service has launched a web site full of educational resources and information designed specifically for students and teachers (

On the site’s NPS Fossil Park Highlights page, for example, you’ll find lesson plans developed to reflect select state standards, fossil trading cards, videos about pygmy mammoths, special brochures, a virtual museum exhibit on dinosaurs, and more. Check out the page at

Also see the site’s Useful Resources and Links page, which features a trove of educator resources (

NGWA: Learn How to
Protect Your Groundwater

The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) celebrates its third annual Protect Your Groundwater Day on September 11, 2012, promoting water conservation and contamination prevention as ways to protect groundwater resources.

“Every person can do something to protect local groundwater, from not polluting it to using water wisely,” says NGWA Public Awareness Director Cliff Treyens. “The good news is that for most people all it takes is a small adjustment in their daily habits.”

Why bother? For starters, 95 percent of all available freshwater comes from aquifers underground, according to the NGWA event web site.

NGWA, an AGI member society, hopes that by focusing on actionable steps that every person can take, Protect Your Groundwater Day can spur people to protect this resource. For educational information and resources, see

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 50 geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 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, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment. For contact information, please visit

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