Earth Science Week Update November 2013

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 11, No. 11: November 2013


Earth Science Week 2013
A Worldwide Success

While figures are still being tallied, it is estimated that once again more than 50 million people gained a new awareness of the geosciences through the 16th annual Earth Science Week ( last month. The event celebrated the theme “Mapping Our World” by illuminating the many exciting ways geoscientists use maps to study the planet.

Events ranged from students conducting classroom science projects to activities at science centers and museums. National Fossil Day, October 16, reached millions with paleontology activities and resources. Women in the Geosciences Day, October 17, enabled professional geoscientists to share the excitement of their careers with young women. And the second annual Geologic Map Day engaged students in learning about the vital uses of geologic maps (

If you conducted a special activity to celebrate Earth Science Week, please let us know. Your activity will be featured in the Earth Science Week 2013 Highlights Report, which will be posted online and used to help secure support for the program in the future. Email information, news clips, and images to

Earth Science Week Contest
Winners Announced

Briana Davis of Wichita, Kansas, won first place in the visual arts contest with a creative drawing of a satellite mapping service for cell phone users. Finalists were Ian Bench, Canyon Garner, Holly Gehman, and Swetha Karthikeyan. Students in grades K-5 made two-dimensional artworks illustrating the theme “Making Maps Through the Ages.”
Libby Hinchliff of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, won first place in the photo contest with a photo of her little sister using a map to find her way around the beach. Finalists were Kailee Loving, Adam Stibla, Kelly Yang, and Elaina Zodiatis. Submissions illustrated the theme “Mapping My Community.”
Mason Port of Woodstock, Georgia, won first place in the essay contest with a paper on seismologists and engineers using fault maps to understand potential earthquake hazards. Finalists were Nisha Chandra, Sophie Gonzales, Amy Liao, and Vijeta Revankar. Students in grades 6-9 wrote essays of up to 300 words addressing this year’s theme, “How Geoscientists Use Maps.”
Congratulations to the winners, finalists, and hundreds of students and others who entered. Each first-place winner receives $300 and a “Faces of Earth” DVD set. Entries submitted by winners and finalists are being posted online for viewing at

Family Science Fun
At AGU Fall Meeting

The American Geophysical Union (AGU), an AGI member society and longtime Earth Science Week partner, offers a wide range of learning opportunities for students, educators, students, and families at AGU’s 46th annual Fall Meeting in San Francisco, December 9-13, 2013 (

Geophysical Information for Teachers (GIFT) Workshops allow K-12 science educators to hear about the latest Earth and space science research from the scientists making the discoveries, explore new classroom resources for their students, and visit exhibits and technical sessions of the AGU meeting for free ( View past workshops and register for GIFT 2013 online

On December 8, Dr. Lucile Jones will present the free Public Lecture, which is geared toward students and families. Her work in seismology focuses on foreshocks and earthquake physics, and her current Multi-Hazards Demonstration Project aims to demonstrate to the public how science can improve society’s resiliency to earthquakes (

That same day, an open house will enable meeting attendees and their families to learn about exciting work currently taking place in the Earth and space science. During the event, participants will have a chance to meet scientists, do hands-on science, and take home fun resources collected during their visit.  Watch a video about Exploration Station at the AGU Fall Meeting at

AGU  Education Workshops at the meeting are open to everyone, though they are especially useful for graduate students and early-career faculty. Check the full list of additional information and workshops regarding education events (

Earth Science Week
Thankful for Support

Here at AGI, we are thankful for your support for Earth Science Week. At a time of public concern about energy, climate, natural disasters, and jobs, the importance of Earth science education is growing. Earth Science Week plays a leading role as the geoscience community’s premier public awareness campaign.

While much of the program’s budget is generated from grants, individual donations represent a significant source of support. Your tax-deductible contribution makes a big impact.

For additional information plus AGI’s online donation form, see On the form, please be sure to check the box to ensure your donation is applied to Earth Science Week. Thank you for your support of the geosciences!

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 over 220 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. Play more than 50 games, invent a Web Ranger name, create a personalized ranger badge, and start learning about Earth science in the national parks at today!

Earth Science Week
Is Now on Twitter

For all kinds of geoscience news, resources, and opportunities, follow Earth Science Week on Twitter! To sign up for instant updates from Earth Science Week, please log-in to your Twitter account and follow us on @earthsciweek.

If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can sign-up on All you need is your name and email address to get started!

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Cool Online Resource
Available from NASA

NASA has a new online science resource for teachers and students to help bring Earth, the solar system, and the universe into their schools and homes. Called NASA Wavelength, the site features hundreds of resources organized by topic and audience level from elementary to college, and out-of-school programs that span the extent of NASA science.

Educators at all levels can find educational resources through information on standards, subjects, keywords, and other details, such as learning time required to carry out a lesson or an activity, cost of materials and more.

Teachers can identify resources relevant to specific themes and current events, such as Geography Awareness Week (November 17-25, 2013) and lessons dealing with NASA's Curiosity rover or using Earth science resources. For access to NASA Wavelength, visit To learn more about NASA education programs, see

Get Benefits, Become an
Earth Science Week Fan

Earth Science Week reaches more people every year through the Earth Science Week Fan Page on Facebook, the Internet’s most popular social networking site. Facebook enabled us to connect geoscience educators, students, and others with people who work, study, and live around them. Now we’re taking that group to a new level.

When you become an Earth Science Week Fan, you instantly gain access to geoscience videos, begin receiving important updates and information, and help spread the word about Earth Science Week.

You can join the group by creating or using your own Facebook account. To become an Earth Science Week Fan, go to

Borrow a DIG Box,
Teach Earth Science

Would you like to use instructional resources emphasizing the scientific method, geology, and paleontology? Through the Discoveries in Geosciences (DIG) program - a collaboration of Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture and the University of Washington - teachers are invited to borrow a DIG Box including fossil specimens and lesson plans.

Founded in 2010, the DIG Field School was developed by Dr. Gregory Wilson, assistant professor of biology at the University of Washington and adjunct curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, and UW Graduate Student Lauren Berg. To learn more about obtaining a DIG Box on loan, visit or email

Earth Science Week Toolkit
A Great Holiday Gift

Looking for a gift for a geoscientist friend or Earth science teacher? The Earth Science Week Toolkit provides dozens of materials - from a calendar to posters and learning activities - that can be used all through the year!

Choose the kit that best fits your needs. Focusing on the theme “Mapping Our World,” the 2013 kit 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 maps of national parks
* NASA education materials on map technologies and resources
* A poster on careers in mapping and GIS from Esri
* A DVD of the Switch Energy Project documentary on energy
* A genuine field notebook from Rite in the Rain
* The Energy Outlook highlights report from ExxonMobil
* A poster on how GPS works from NOAA
* Energy4Me material on energy science
* A poster on minerals that make up our world
* A soil science poster from Soil Science Society of America
* A dinosaurs flyer from Bureau of Land Management
* Brochures, bookmarks, fact sheets, postcards, and more

Still available for a limited time, past years’ kits address other topics: “Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences” (2012) targets careers. “Our Ever-Changing Earth” (2011) focuses on change processes. “Exploring Energy” (2010) deals with energy science. “Understanding Climate” (2009) covers climate science. “No Child Left inside” (2008) features materials designed to help young people explore the geosciences outdoors. For ordering, special shipping, bulk order discounts, and more information, visit


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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