Earth Science Week Update January 2014

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 12, No. 1: January 2014


Earth Science Week 2014:
‘Earth’s Connected Systems’

AGI is pleased to announce that the theme of Earth Science Week 2014 will be “Earth’s Connected Systems.” This year’s event will promote awareness of the dynamic interactions of the planet’s natural systems.

Earth Science Week 2014 learning resources and activities will engage young people and others in exploring the ways that geoscience illuminates natural change processes. By deepening our understanding of interactions of Earth systems - geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere - Earth science helps us manage our greatest challenges and make the most of vital opportunities.

“With this theme, Earth Science Week cuts to the core of Earth science and what it means to society,” says Geoff Camphire, AGI’s Manager of Outreach. “The interactions of Earth systems are at the heart of our most critical issues, from energy and the environment to climate change and emerging economic realities. No matter where we come from or where we’re going, we all need to understand Earth’s connected systems.”

Reaching over 50 million people a year, Earth Science Week offers opportunities to discover the Earth sciences and engage in responsible stewardship of the Earth. The program is supported by the U.S. Geological Survey; the AAPG Foundation; the National Park Service; NASA; Esri; National Geographic; the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration; the Geological Society of America; and the American Geophysical Union. To learn more, go to

Dig Into Earth Science
Education With USGS

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), a longtime Earth Science Week partner, offers a wealth of information on virtually every Earth science topic, from natural resources and hazards to geospatial data.

The USGS education web site ( includes lesson plans and other resources for K-12 students, educators, and others. Just in time for the Earth Science Week 2014 theme of “Earth’s Connected Systems,” for example, Park Geology in 3-D allows students and teachers to view the striking effects of the atmosphere and the hydrosphere on the geosphere in our National Parks.

USGS has thousands of free images and over 69,000 searchable publications such as books, maps, and charts online. If what you’re looking for still proves elusive, just “ask a geologist” ( And don’t forget to check out the USGS podcast series, CoreCast, featuring stories and insights on climate change, satellite monitoring, human health, wildlife disease, and more (

NASA Resources Explore
Timely Topics Overhead

As Earth Science Week participants have come to know, NASA offers a treasure trove of learning resources for students and teachers interested in the geosciences. The agency, a major Earth Science Week partner, provides three resources specially designed to show the connections between space, weather, and climate:

* Space Place: NASA’s award-winning web site engages children in the upper-elementary grades in Earth and space science through interactive games, hands-on activities, fun articles, and short videos. With material in both English and Spanish and resources for parents and teachers, Space Place covers space, the sun, the solar system, our planet, and the scientists and technology that make discovery possible. Check it out at

* SciJinks: NOAA and NASA have joined forces to create the ultimate weather web site for middle-school students. SciJinks offers exciting and accessible content, games, and multimedia. There are videos, printable images and posters, and help for teachers. The site also provides content by topic, such as clouds, tides, oceans, atmosphere, seasons, and satellites. Visit to learn more.
* Climate Kids: NASA’s web site brings the exciting science of climate change and sustainability to life. Targeting students in the upper-elementary grades, the site features interactive games, hands-on activities, and engaging articles. With a special section for educators, Climate Kids offers much for parents and teachers as well. Learn how global changes affect the planet over time using the interactive Climate Time Machine. Explore all this and more at

Resources Available Online
All Year Long

Earth Science Week is more than one week of the year. If you’ve got Internet access, you can teach and learn about Earth science all year long. The Earth Science Week web site offers classroom activities, videos, Spanish-language resources, research projects, local events and organizations, and careers information.

Most importantly, the site features hundreds of recommended lessons that teachers and parents can conduct with children. Check it out at today!

AAPG Offers Instructors
Videos, Expert Speakers

With members ranging from professional geologists and corporate executives to students and academics, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) has plenty to offer Earth science educators. AAPG, a longtime AGI member society and a major Earth Science Week partner, aims to foster scientific research and promote the science of geology.

In addition to AGI’s K-5 GeoSource and Earth Science Week sites, AAPG’s K-12 Teaching Resources site at features the AAPG video library of more than 300 educational videos. AAPG’s Youth Education Activities Committee is currently building and expanding this resource.

AAPG’s Visiting Geoscientist program allows colleges and universities to arrange for a geoscientist to visit with a group of students for a full day or a half-day. K-12 teachers also may request visits, though availability at the pre-college level is limited. To arrange a visit, go to Universities and geological societies can arrange similar visits through the Distinguished Lecture program. For details, see

National Park Videos
Explore Climate Change

The National Park Service invites you to view videos on a variety of climate change topics, including citizen science, sea-level rise, glaciers, and more! Additional videos, currently in production, will be featured online in the coming months.

Through these educational videos, teachers and students can learn the basics about climate change topics, explore the National Park Service's unique position in responding to climate change, understand the challenges of managing parks in the face of climate change, and find out more about the science behind climate change. See the videos online at and

AGU Resources Advance
Education and Outreach

The American Geophysical Union (AGU), an AGI member society dedicated to the furtherance of the geophysical sciences, offers an array of opportunities exposing students, teachers, and life-long learners to the freshest, most accurate scientific knowledge and the excitement of discovery.

This is accomplished through education- and career-focused events at annual AGU meetings, professional development workshops for teachers, special programs for pre-college and post-secondary students, awards for science educators, and printed and electronic resources. To learn more about the education and public outreach efforts of AGU, an Earth Science Week partner, please visit online.

Apply by February 1 for
Congressional Fellowship

Not much time left! AGI is accepting applications for the 2014-2015 William L. Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellowship. The successful candidate will spend 12 months (starting September 2014) in Washington D.C., working as a staff member in the office of a member of Congress or on a congressional committee.

The fellowship represents a unique opportunity to gain first-hand experience with the federal legislative process and make practical contributions to the effective and timely use of geoscientific knowledge on issues relating to the environment, resources, natural hazards, and federal science policy.

Minimum requirements are a Master's degree with at least three years of post-degree work experience or a Ph.D. at the time of appointment. Applications are due February 1, 2014. Learn more at

Nature Conservancy Eyes
Science of Earth Habitats

The Nature Conservancy offers informational resources ideal for educators aiming to teach about a wide range of geoscience topics, including the ecology of various habitats and ways that communities interact with them.

Videos and other materials convey the work of scientists engaged in conservation efforts around the world. For example, educational resources on floodplains ( explore the many ways that humans rely on floodplain areas for clean water, agriculture, and healthy ecosystems.

Throughout The Nature Conservancy web site (, you can find a wealth of resources on natural habitats, including webcasts on the environment, interviews with scientists, and articles explaining how habitats pose potential hazards to communities living there.

GSA Geoscientists
Reach Out to Educators

Teachers and students alike can learn a lot from the Geological Society of America (GSA), an AGI member society and Earth Science Week partner. GSA is an organization of geoscientists in industry, government, business, and academia who are committed to the ongoing professional growth of Earth scientists.

One of GSA’s major education and outreach programs, the Teacher Advocate Program (TAP), provides “Explore Geoscience” CD-ROMs, lesson plans, educational materials, and resource links for Earth science teachers. For more information on TAP, visit Teachers also can take advantage of GSA’s Teacher GeoVenture trips, teacher workshops, and Distinguished Earth Science Teacher in Residence. GSA also offers a number of teacher awards and fellowships. See to learn more.

Students are encouraged to apply for GSA’s GeoCorps America program, which works with the National Park Service, the Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management to place young geoscientists in geoscience-related positions at national parks. Find out more at

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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