Earth Science Week Update May 2015

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 13, No. 5: May 2015

* Webinar: Help Strengthen Earth Science With NGSS
* Plan Activities Now for Earth Science Week 2015
* Power Up Education With Energy Resources
* Make Connections With Earth Science Organizations
* Make Discoveries During National Fossil Day 2015
* Ponder Paleontology Through PRI's Resources
* Family Science Fun at AGU Fall Meeting
* Reaching Out to Spanish-Speaking Students
* Visit Your Nearby National Wildlife Refuge
* Visualize Yourself in an Earth Science Career

Webinar: Help Strengthen
Earth Science With NGSS

If you are interested in implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in Earth and Space Science, you are invited to participate in a free webinar at 4pm EST, June 9. The webinar represents the next stage in efforts by AGI, the organizer of Earth Science Week, in collaboration with the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, to strengthen implementation of NGSS.

A month ago, more than 50 geoscience education leaders came together to share ideas about how to support the implementation of NGSS. This webinar is designed to expand involvement by initiating a community conversation about networking opportunities, actions at all levels, and how best to engage the geoscience community through Town Hall Meetings at the conferences of the Geological Society of America (November 1-4) and the American Geophysical Union (December 14-18).

Go online for "Webinar: Maintaining the Momentum - Networking and Actions by Geoscience Stakeholders to Support NGSS Implementation." The webinar is free, but registration is required. The deadline for registration is June 7. Learn more at

Plan Activities Now for
Earth Science Week 2015

Don't wait until fall to prepare for Earth Science Week 2015 (October 11-17)! Now is the time to plan your activities. Take this opportunity to make a wish list: How would you like your students to celebrate Earth Science Week?

You can promote this year's theme - "Visualizing Earth Systems" - by preparing activities that help your students explore visual representations of data on the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. Start with the exciting classroom activities featured on the Earth Science Week website at

Leading up to the October celebration, you'll see more and more Earth Science Week events, both local and nationwide, listed online at For more ideas, read about successful past events at or see recommendations on how to get involved at

Power Up Education
With Energy Resources

What is energy? Where does energy come from? How much energy do humans use? Free, interdisciplinary education materials and videos are available to answer important questions like these - and to foster a more energy literate nation.

AGI's Center for Geoscience & Society has produced corresponding education materials, including videos in English and Spanish, student and teacher guides, a "quick start" guide to energy literacy, lesson connections, and guidance on aligning energy literacy lessons with the Next Generation Science Standards. Also, AGI provides links users to many resources available through AGI member societies and partners such as Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development (SEED) and Switch Energy Project.

Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts for Energy Education resources, available on the U.S. Department of Energy website, are available at For information on and resources of the Center for Geoscience & Society, please visit

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. ESO's national 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.

Don't wait until autumn. Now is the time to reach out to potential partners and invite them to collaborate during Earth Science Week 2015 (October 11-17). Use this online tool ( to identify potential geoscience partners near you, access relevant information, and network with colleagues. To recommend an organization (or have one removed), contact AGI's Katelyn Murtha (

Make Discoveries During
National Fossil Day 2015

Exploring the past in your future! The National Park Service and AGI are collaborating to kick off the sixth annual National Fossil Day during Earth Science Week 2015. On Wednesday, October 14, 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? Understand why paleontologists protect the locations where fossils are found? Know what fossils can tell you about climate change? 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 and materials in the Earth Science Week 2015 Toolkit. And stay up to date on emerging resources and events through the National Fossil Day website at

For instance, the program's 2015 logo features the chalicothere, a large herbivorous mammal, standing in a prehistoric prairie grassland. To compliment this year's logo, the theme of the monthly feature article is "Cenozoic Era Life and Landscapes." For information about the logo and more, visit Download logos at

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. Since 2003, PRI has offered 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 (

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 48th annual Fall Meeting in San Francisco, December 14-18 (

For example, the meeting will kick off on Sunday, December 13, with "Exploration Station" from 1 to 5 p.m. This free open house will enable meeting attendees, their families, and others to learn about exciting discoveries occurring in Earth and space science. During the event, participants will visit about 30 exhibits, meet scientists, do hands-on science, and take home cool resources collected during their visit.

As an exhibitor, you would be expected to be at the event for the full four hours plus set-up and take-down time. You also would be expected to create a fun, dynamic, and interactive learning experience for about 1,000 members of the public of all ages. All costs for the event other than shipping and handling of materials are covered by AGU.

If you would like to present at Exploration Station, please read the event FAQ at and register at Registration applications must be completed by August 21. If you have any questions, please contact AGU's Bethany Adamec ( or Pranoti Asher (

Reaching Out to
Spanish-Speaking Students

Many geoscience educators have distributed AGI's "Why Earth Science?" brochure to promote awareness of the importance of Earth science in K-12 education over the years. To ensure that this vital message reaches the widest possible audience, AGI has translated the publication into Spanish.

The geoscience community encourages minority participation. America's more than 40 million Hispanics comprise the nation's largest race or ethnic minority, a population that is rapidly growing. What's more, most Hispanics ages five and up speak Spanish at home, says the U.S. Census Bureau.

"Why Earth Science?" explains the importance of Earth science education for success in school, careers, informed decision-making, and civic engagement. English and Spanish versions of the brochure also are available online as downloadable files at
Visit Your Nearby
National Wildlife Refuge

Overlapping Earth Science Week this year, National Wildlife Refuge Week is being held October 11-17, 2015. The event celebrates the richness of the 550 units that make up America's National Wildlife Refuge System.

Whether you prefer to study Earth science firsthand, admire the fall colors, thrill to a sky full of migratory birds, explore a mountain trail, or learn about the cultural resources that are part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's conservation mission, you can find what you like at a National Wildlife Refuge.

Sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a longtime Earth Science Week partner, this week focuses on lands and waters where wildlife and habitats are under federal protection. For information and educational resources, see online. Got to the National Wildlife Refuge Locator's map at to find refuges near you.

Visualize Yourself in an
Earth Science Career

Earth Science Week can help you explore career opportunities in the geosciences. If you became an Earth scientist, for example, what would you actually do? What funds are available to help pay for your studies? How could you get real-world work experience while still being a student?

For the answers to questions like these, look no further than "Geoscience Career, Scholarship, and Internship Resources." This recent addition to the Earth Science Week website can help you learn how to build a geoscience career - in fields such as oceanography, paleontology, seismology, mineralogy, meteorology, geophysics, petroleum geology, environmental science, and space science.

The site includes dozens of links to online resources offered by AGI member societies, program partners, and other governmental, corporate, and nonprofit organizations in the geoscience community. To learn more, 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