Earth Science Week Update September 2015

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 13, No. 9: September 2015
* Earth Science Week 2015 Coming Soon: Get Ready
* Earth Science Week Toolkit Brings Vision to Education
* Find New Resources at National Fossil Day Online
* Only a Month Left to Enter Earth Science Week Contests
* How to Put Your Local Event on the Map - Online
* HHMI Short Course Touches on Earth Systems
* Watch New Webcast on Earth Science Week 2015
* Geoscience for Everyone Day: We Want You
* Esri Offers GeoInquiries for Earth Science
* Shine a Media Spotlight on Your Great Activities
* See TV Miniseries 'Making North America'
* Plan for Upcoming Earth Observation Day

Earth Science Week 2015
Coming Soon: Get Ready
Now is the time to make plans for Earth Science Week, taking place October 11-17, 2015. The 18th annual Earth Science Week will celebrate the theme "Visualizing Earth Systems" with a wide range of exciting activities, programs, and resources designed to promote awareness of the dynamic interactions of the planet's natural systems.
Pitch in to teach young people about Earth system science. Conduct activities described on the Earth Science Week website at For more ideas, see recommendations at
This year's event is shaping up to reach even more people than last year's audience of over 50 million. For the past 18 years, AGI has organized Earth Science Week to foster public and professional awareness of the status of Earth science in education and society. To learn more, visit the event website at
Earth Science Week Toolkit
Brings Vision to Education
Each year, Earth Science Week focuses a new topic in its toolkit of materials for educators. Choose the kit that best fits your instructional needs. Concentrating on the theme "Visualizing Earth Systems," the 2015 kit includes:
* 12-month school-year activity calendar, suitable for hanging
* New Earth Science Week poster, including a learning activity
* Material on geoscience education and resources from USGS
* NASA visualization DVD and booklet on Earth science
* National Park Service posters on geologic and air resources
* GPS Adventures material from NOAA
* Soil science resource from Soil Science Society of America
* Anthropocene poster from Howard Hughes Medical Institute
* Educational material from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
* Unavco resource on Earth's shape, gravity field, and rotation
* Mining, exploration, and reclamation resources from SME
* Material on climate science from U.S. Department of Energy
* Esri material on Global Positioning System technology
* Geologic Map Day poster with geologic mapping activity
* Google material on online mapping and other topics
* Brochures, bookmarks, fact sheets, postcards, and more!
Additional kits address other topics: "Earth's Connected Systems" illuminates natural systems' interactions. "Mapping Our World" covers maps. "Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences" targets careers. "Our Ever-Changing Earth" focuses on change processes.
Each kit contains materials to help you prepare for Earth Science Week (October 11-17, 2015) and teach Earth science all year long. For ordering, special shipping, bulk order discounts, and more information, visit or phone AGI Publications at 703-379-2480.

Find New Resources at
National Fossil Day Online

To help you prepare for the fifth annual National Fossil Day (October 14) during Earth Science Week 2015, the National Park Service offers a website 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 (

Also see the site's Useful Resources and Links page, which features a trove of educator resources ( The activities page has additional fun and educational things to do (

Lastly, it is never too early to send your event information. Get the news out by using the event information form (

Only a Month Left to Enter
Earth Science Week Contests
With entries due near the end of Earth Science Week - Friday, October 16 - science students and enthusiasts across the country are busy completing submissions for the Earth Science Week 2015 essay, visual arts, and photography contests. Send yours soon!
The photography contest, open to all ages, focuses on "Earth Systems Interacting." Open to students in grades K-5, the visual arts contest is titled "Picturing Earth Systems." Finally, students in grades 6-9 are eligible to enter the essay contest: "Earth Science Visualization Today." Essays of up to 300 words should describe how geoscientists' use of cutting-edge visualization is advancing Earth science today.

The contests offer opportunities for students and the public to participate in the celebration, learn about Earth science, and compete for prizes. The first-place prize for each contest is $300 and a copy of AGI's "The Geoscience Handbook." To learn more about these contests, including how to enter, visit

How to Put Your Local
Event on the Map - Online
If you're hosting an event for the public during Earth Science Week 2015 (October 11-17), let people know about it! The best way is to post your event details on "Events in Your Area" ( This web page provides information on events taking place through program partners in each state.
In addition, your organization can be listed in "Earth Science Organizations" (, a site that offers clickable links to geoscience organizations such as parks, museums, science and technology centers, university geology departments, local geological societies, and other nearby locations.
To post your event, please contact AGI at Be sure to provide a brief description of the event, time and date, street address, phone number, email address, and URL. We'll be happy to direct Earth Science Week participants to your event!
HHMI Short Course
Touches on Earth Systems

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, an Earth Science Week partner, is offering a short course at the Geological Association of America conference coming up November 1-4 in Baltimore. The half-day course is called "Welcome to Anthropocene."

"Human activities are having a profound and lasting effect on Earth's systems," states the abstract. "In recognition of this, scientists have proposed that we are living in a new geologic epoch called the Anthropocene. This short course - intended for K-12 educators - will present the latest research on the topic and highlight free ready-to-use classroom resources for teaching about human impact on planet Earth, all related to the core idea of Earth and human activity found in the NGSS Framework for K12 Science Education."

Participants receive a $25 credit for use in the GSA bookstore. Find the sign-up link at

Watch New Webcast on
Earth Science Week 2015

Go online today to view a new webcast detailing resources, events, and opportunities available through Earth Science Week, the annual worldwide celebration of the geosciences! Find the "Get Involved: Earth Science Week 2015" webcast online now for viewing at your convenience.

This free webcast, narrated by AGI's Katelyn Murtha, provides an overview of learning activities, instructional materials, career resources, upcoming events, networking opportunities, contests, videos, and other programs available through Earth Science Week. The tutorial provides a tour of online links and resources for more information.

The roughly 7-minute webcast focuses on Earth Science Week 2015 (October 11-17), which celebrates the theme "Visualizing Earth Systems." To view the webcast, visit In addition, see webcasts describing the Earth Science Week contests, special days during the week, and AGI's geoscience teacher award competition.

Geoscience for Everyone
Day: We Want You
Join the Earth Science Week team in encouraging everyone - including women, minorities, and people with a range of abilities - to explore geoscience careers on "Geoscience for Everyone Day," Thursday, October 15, 2015. If you're an educator, invite a geoscientist to speak in your classroom. If you're a geoscientist, visit a school or volunteer at a science center. Organize a scout event, lead a field trip, or hold a special "Take Your Child to Work Day." Open a young person's eyes to the world of Earth science.
Doing so, you'll be supporting the efforts of AGI Member Societies such as the Association for Women Geoscientists and the National Association of Black Geoscientists in raising awareness of the remarkable opportunities available to all young people in the Earth sciences. To learn more about Geoscience for Everyone Day, go to
Are you a geoscientist who's not sure where to start? See "Visiting Geoscientists: An Outreach Guide for Geoscience Professionals," a handbook co-produced by AGI and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists' Youth Education Activities Committee. You can provide unique enrichment opportunities, based on your education and experience. To download the handbook, see
Inclusion in the geosciences is making headlines. In its September issue, EARTH Magazine reports how in 2014, at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, researchers put on the first fully accessible field trip - a huge success. Explore a story about what it means to go into the field and how embracing inclusion can foster a rewarding experience for all at

Esri Offers GeoInquiries
For Earth Science

A long-time Earth Science Week partner, Esri recently launched a new online educational resource: GeoInquiries for Earth Science. These free, bite-sized activities make use of topical web maps and lessons tied to standards and key textbooks. The activities also offer a pathway to go beyond them with free ArcGIS Online school licenses.

GeoInquiries are designed to be fast and easy-to-use instructional resources that incorporate advanced web mapping technology. Each 15-minute activity in a collection is intended to be presented by the instructor from a single computer/projector classroom arrangement. No installation, fees, or logins are necessary to use these materials and software. To learn more about GeoInquiries, please visit

Shine a Media Spotlight
On Your Great Activities
Energy! Climate! Natural disasters! Jobs! Earth science is breaking news. Educators can take advantage of journalists' interest in geoscience to promote awareness of local Earth Science Week activities. Here are five effective strategies:
* Plan a special event to draw attention to your Earth Science Week activities. Conduct an investigation or experiment, invite a prominent geoscientist to talk with students, host a ceremony or a banquet, stage an event with a nearby museum or science center, give awards to volunteers, or honor geoscience enthusiasts who make a difference.
* Prepare a press release to alert the media about your Earth Science Week activities. Answer important questions, such as who, what, where, when, and why. Include data and quotes from key players. Provide contact information for followup. Print the release on your letterhead and fax it to editors and reporters at least three days before the event.
* Be persistent in pitching your story to local news organizations. Besides noting the "hook" of Earth Science Week, show how your activities address issues that are urgent, timely, and relevant to the community. Write a brief, compelling query letter to the appropriate editor at each media outlet. Follow up with a phone call and email.
* Write letters to the editor for print in local newspapers and magazines. You might respond to a recent geoscience-related article with a letter to the editor. If possible, schedule a meeting with the editorial board. Or instead of a letter, perhaps write an opinion editorial, or "op-ed," to cite concerns and recommend solutions.
* Use available Earth Science Week materials in promoting awareness. In the Earth Science Week Toolkit and on the event website are print and electronic materials - poster, calendar, logo, and more - that you can use to "brand" your activity. Link your local activity to the larger national celebration to emphasize its significance. For more ideas, see
See TV Miniseries
'Making North America'

Don't miss "Making North America," a NOVA television miniseries coming on PBS in November. Hosted by renowned paleontologist Kirk Johnson, this spectacular road trip through a tumultuous deep past explores three fundamental questions: How was the continent built? How did life evolve here? And how has the continent shaped us?

Mighty, elemental forces molded North America - fiery eruptions, titanic floods, the grinding of great ice sheets, and massive impacts from space all shaped our homeland. The epic three-part series unfolds in a forgotten world that existed long before our own, crossed by long-lost mountain ranges, deserts the size of Africa, and vast inland seas spanning the length of the continent.

Education resources will help educators use the miniseries as a teaching tool. Learn more at See a trailer at

Plan for Upcoming
Earth Observation Day

Earth Science Week 2015 is a great time to think about how you'll celebrate Earth Observation Day (EOD) in 2016! The most recent EOD was last celebrated on April 8, 2015. But the next one will be here before you know it.

EOD, a STEM educational outreach event of AmericaView and its partners, aims to engage students and teachers in remote sensing as an exciting and powerful educational tool. AmericaView is a nationwide partnership of remote sensing scientists who support the use of Landsat and other public domain remotely sensed satellite data through applied remote sensing research, K-12 and higher STEM education, workforce development, and technology transfer.

For lessons and activities by AmericaView and other organizations, as well as additional resources, please 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