Earth Science Week Update May 2016

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 14, No. 5: May 2016

* Contests Add Fun, Learning to Earth Science Week
* New Event Registry Heightens Your Visibility
* Our Shared Geoheritage: Learn About It Online
* NPS BioBlitz, PaleoBlitz Promise Fun, Science
* Plan Activities Now for Earth Science Week 2016
* You're an Earth Educator? Rendezvous With Peers
* Power Up Education With Energy Resources
* Discover Geoheritage on National Fossil Day 2016
* BLM Helps Schools Explore Solar Energy
* Visit Your Nearby National Wildlife Refuge

Contests Add Fun, Learning
To Earth Science Week

For Earth Science Week 2016, AGI is sponsoring four contests honoring this year's theme, "Our Shared Geoheritage." This year's competitions will feature the traditional photography contest, visual arts contest, and essay contest - as well as a new video contest.

The photography contest, open to all ages, focuses on "Our Heritage in Earth Systems." Open to students in grades K-5, the visual arts contest is titled "Seeing Earth Heritage." Finally, students in grades 6-9 are eligible to enter the essay contest: "Sharing and Caring for Our Geoheritage." Focusing on one geoheritage site, essays of up to 300 words should explain why it is designated and managed the way it is.

For the photo, art, and essay contests, entries may be submitted any time up to the Fridayof Earth Science Week, October 14, 2016. These contests allow both students and the general 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 .

In addition, AGI invites teams of educators and students to enter its new "One Shared Place" contest. Each team will submit a 30- to 90-second original video informing viewers about an outdoor place that is special in terms of geoheritage and geoscience. The deadline for entries is August 16, 2016. The first 25 entries submitted for One Shared Place within the United States will receive a free Earth Science Week 2016 Toolkit, sent to the team captain. All eligible entries must be submitted through the official entry website ( ). A contest overview is provided in a brief One Shared Place Introduction video available via social media and YouTube ( ). For contest guidelines, see the One Shared Place page on the Earth Science Week website ( ).

New Event Registry
Heightens Your Visibility

Are you hosting an Earth Science Week 2016 event, such as an exhibit, tour, lecture, or open house? The new Earth Science Week Event Registry enables you to promote your event more effectively than ever.

To register your event, simply provide a few key details at . Fill out the easy-to-use online form, and let the Earth Science Week team and the world know about your event.

Any registered event will be listed on Earth Science Week's Events In Your Area ( ) and acknowledged in the Earth Science Week Highlights Report ( ) following the event.

Our Shared Geoheritage:
Learn About It Online

Promoting awareness of "Our Shared Geoheritage" - the theme of Earth Science Week 2016 - has been a priority for AGI for some time. Last year, AGI began laying a foundation for this year's celebration through two important publications.
EARTH Magazine, a top resource for the latest geoscience news, published "Geoheritage: Preserving Earth's Legacy" in June 2015. The article provides a geoscientist's perspective on the global phenomenon of geoheritage studies, education, and conservation ( ).

And in October 2015, AGI and the National Park Service jointly published "America's Geologic Heritage: An Invitation to Leadership," which provides a detailed overview and stunning pictures of the nation's geoheritage ( ).

NPS BioBlitz, PaleoBlitz
Promise Fun, Science

Explore the wilds in and around Washington, D.C., like never before! On May 20-21, parks across the area will participate in the National Parks BioBlitz ( ). During this free event, teams of scientists, naturalists, students, and volunteers will document living creatures of national parks in and around the nation's capital.

Explorers of all ages are needed. All events are free and open to the public. However, advance online registration is required to secure a spot on a BioBlitz inventory team. A two-day Biodiversity Festival on the National Mall at Constitution Gardens will feature science exhibits, entertainment, art, and food. The festival will be open 9am-5pm, May 20-21, with a special evening of science fun planned for Friday night.

Similarly, NPS will host a PaeloBlitz event at Goddard Youth Camp, Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Oklahoma, May 20-21. This exciting and scientifically informative experience will allow participants to learn and experience firsthand the diverse fossil record featured in national park lands. Paleontologists and researchers will lead participants in examining and inventorying fossils on Saturday, and the public will take part in a Fossil Festival on Saturday. For more information, see .

The National Park Service (NPS), a longtime Earth Science Week partner, is celebrating its 100th birthday with more than 100 BioBlitzes across the country. To learn more about the National Parks BioBlitz-Washington D.C. and activities nationwide, go to or call (800) 638-6400 ext. 6186. For more information, contact NPS's Mike Litterst ( ) or National Geographic's Carol Seitz ( ).

Plan Activities Now for
Earth Science Week 2016

Don't wait until fall to prepare for Earth Science Week 2016 (October 9-15)! 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 - "Our Shared Geoheritage" - by preparing activities that help your students explore the geoscience heritage of their neighborhood, city, state, nation, and world. 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 .

You're an Earth Educator?
Rendezvous With Peers

Taking part in the Earth Educators' Rendezvous on July 18-22, 2016, at the University of Wisconsin, Madison? The early bird discount deadline is quickly approaching. On the program website ( ), you can now find full information on the 29 workshops, eight panel discussions, two plenaries, one concluding town hall and more than 130 contributed presentations/teaching demonstrations.

Educators who teach about the Earth from across the sciences, social sciences, humanities and engineering are assured to find ideas and activities of interest. You will find tracks to help you in your role as a K-12 or post-secondary instructor to improve your ability to work with diverse students and to support the success of all, and to learn from research on teaching and learning.

Check out the program theme, "Teacher Preparation, Professional Development, and Policy Issues" ( ), which provides a plethora of opportunities of interest to the K-12 community. Interested in a workshop that will provide opportunities for both K-12 and post-secondary instructors to explore sample NGSS assessment tasks? Join the Monday-Wednesday morning Designing NGSS Aligned Classroom Assessment Tasks to Support Instruction workshop ( ) and brainstorm ways to develop assessment tasks, including an assessment task that supports three-dimensional instruction

Members of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, an Earth Science Week partner, receive a discount. Register now ( ).

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 to many resources available through AGI member societies and partners.

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 .

Discover Geoheritage on
National Fossil Day 2016

Exploring the past is in your future! What better way to celebrate the Earth Science Week 2016 theme of "Our Shared Geoheritage"? The National Park Service and AGI are collaborating to kick off the seventh annual National Fossil Day during Earth Science Week 2016. On Wednesday, October 12, 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 2016 Toolkit. And stay up to date on emerging resources and events through the National Fossil Day website. For instance, the program's 2016 logo features three iconic Pleistocene animals from the United States - a saber-toothed cat, a long-horned bison, and a condor flying above. Check it out at .

BLM Helps Schools
Explore Solar Energy

Does the need for carbon-free renewable energy outweigh the potential risks to wildlife habitats, cultural and historical resources, and recreation areas? Middle school teachers can explore this question with their students through "Solar-Generated Electricity," the latest teaching guide in the Classroom Investigation Series of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The unit describes how solar facilities on public lands work, examines the tradeoffs in detail, and illuminates the factors that affect decisions about where to build solar electricity plants. Each activity includes learning objectives and teacher preparation steps, background information, lesson procedures, adaptations to consider, assessment, and student handouts.

Find the PDF at .

Visit Your Nearby
National Wildlife Refuge

Want a direct encounter with geoheritage? Overlapping with most of Earth Science Week this year, National Wildlife Refuge Week is being held October 11-17, 2016. 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 Got to the National Wildlife Refuge Locator's map at to find refuges near you.

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 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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