Earth Science Week Update January 2015

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 13, No. 1: January 2015

* Earth Science Week 2015: ‘Visualizing Earth Systems’
* Visualize Earth Science Education With USGS
* NASA Sites Illuminate Timely Topics in Science
* Examine Natural Systems in ‘Windows on Earth’
* Resources Available Online Throughout the Year
* National Park Videos Explore Climate Change
* AGU Resources Advance Education and Outreach
* Apply by February 1 for Congressional Fellowship
* Nature Conservancy Eyes Science of Earth Habitats
* AAPG Offers Instructors Videos, Expert Speakers

Earth Science Week 2015:
‘Visualizing Earth Systems’

AGI is pleased to announce that the theme of Earth Science Week 2015 (October 11-17) will be “Visualizing Earth Systems.” This year’s event will promote awareness of the many ways scientists monitor and represent information about Earth systems including land, water, air, and living things.

Earth Science Week 2015 learning resources and activities will engage young people and others in exploring ways of visualizing Earth systems. Using technologies ranging from on-site data collection to satellite-based remote sensing, scientists investigate conditions of Earth systems. And geoscientists display their findings in charts, graphs, diagrams, illustrations, photos, videos, computer-generated animations, and 3D-printed creations.

“With this theme, Earth Science Week explores what it means to see our planet through eyes informed by the geosciences,” says Geoff Camphire, AGI’s Manager of Outreach. “Geoscientists are finding innovative ways to not only examine natural phenomena, but also present that information to professional, educational, and other audiences. In addition to tools such as telescopes and microscopes, we also can view and map changes in natural systems through new avenues such as computer games, smartphone apps, and online videos.”

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 many organizations, including 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; the Association of American State Geologists; and the Archeological Institute of America. To learn more, go to

Visualize 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 website ( includes lesson plans and other resources for K-12 students, educators, and others. Just in time for the Earth Science Week 2015 theme of “Visualizing Earth 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 rich archives of the USGS podcast series, CoreCast, featuring stories and insights on climate change, satellite monitoring, human health, wildlife disease, and more (

NASA Sites Illuminate
Timely Topics in Science

As Earth Science Week participants have come to see, NASA offers a dazzling array 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 website 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 website 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 website 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
Examine Natural Systems
In ‘Windows on Earth’

Science teachers and students might want to gaze through “Windows on Earth,” an online educational project that features photographs taken by astronauts on the International Space Station. Astronauts take hundreds of photos each day for science research, education, and public outreach.

This web site provides free public access to virtually all of these photos, updated at least weekly. The site is operated by TERC, an educational non-profit, in collaboration with the Association of Space Explorers (the professional association of flown astronauts and cosmonauts), the Virtual High School, and CASIS (Center for Advancement of Science in Space). Technical support is provided by NASA’s Crew Earth Observation Program.

Windows on Earth also operates software on the International Space Station, as a window-side aide to help astronauts identify priority targets for photography. The images help show Earth from a global perspective. All images are in the public domain, credited to NASA. Visit

Resources Available Online
Throughout the Year

Come and take a look! 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 website presents videos, webcasts, classroom activities, 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!

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!

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 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 educational 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 2015-2016 William L. Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellowship. The successful candidate will spend 12 months 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.

Prospective applicants should have a broad geoscience background and excellent written and oral communication skills. A demonstrable interest in applying science to solving public problems is desirable. A Ph.D. at the time of appointment is required. Applicants must be a member of one of AGI's member societies. Applications are due February 1, 2015. 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 website (, 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.

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.

AAPG’s Distinguished Lecture program allows colleges, universities, and geological societies to arrange for a geoscientist to make a presentation. For details, 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