Earth Science Week Update July 2017

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 15, No. 7: July 2017


Earth Science Week 2017 Toolkit: Save on Orders

To mark the occasion of the 20th annual Earth Science Week, AGI and key program partners are offering many new materials, tools, and other resources. Under a new price structure, copies of the Earth Science Week 2017 Toolkit are free and available for the cost of shipping and handling. Pay just $8.50 for the first toolkit and $2.25 for each additional toolkit in the United States.

Earth Science Week 2017 Toolkits are available for advance orders now. The toolkit contains everything you need to prepare for Earth Science Week (October 8-14, 2017), which celebrates the theme "Earth and Human Activity." This year's toolkit includes:

  • 12-month school-year activity calendar, suitable for hanging
  • New Earth Science Week poster, including a learning activity
  • NASA materials on Earth science and LandSat images
  • National Park Service posters on glaciers, fossils, and clean air
  • Geologic Map Day poster dealing with karst and sinkholes
  • Mineral Education Coalition's "What's In My Toothpaste" game
  • Association of American Geographers GeoMentors flyer
  • Bureau of Land Management dinosaur coloring page
  • CZO-sponsored The Earth Scientist newsletter
  • AmericaView board game using satellite imagery
  • Soil Science Society of America magnetic bookmark
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute posters on the biosphere
  • UNAVCO Tectonic Motions of Alaska poster
  • Switch Energy Project information on video resources
  • National Wildlife Federation Eco-Schools USA postcard
  • Material on GSA's EarthCache in Education program
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service information on soils
  • CLEAN, AIPG, IRIS, NCKRI, Flyover Country information
  • Brochures, bookmarks, fact sheets, postcards, and more

Earth Science Week is an annual event that has been led by AGI along with its sponsors and the greater geoscience community since 1998. The Earth Science Week 2017 Toolkit will ship starting in August 2017. For ordering, special shipping, bulk orders, and more information, visit AGI's Online Store or phone AGI Publications at 703-379-2480.

Geologic Map Day: Celebrate on October 13!

On Friday, October 13, 2017, you are invited to join in the celebration of the sixth annual Geologic Map Day! The final major event for the school week of Earth Science Week 2017 (October 8-14), Geologic Map Day will promote awareness of the study, uses, and importance of geologic mapping for education, science, business, and a variety of public policy concerns.

The event will enable students, teachers, and the wider public to tap into educational activities, print materials, online resources, and other opportunities for participation. Check out the Geologic Map Day poster included in the Earth Science Week 2017 Toolkit. The poster provides a number of maps, plus step-by-step instructions for a related classroom activity, encouraging students to explore what geologic maps can tell them about karst, sinkholes, and impact of geology on life in Florida and in their own area.

Geologic Map Day is hosted by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Association of American State Geologists, the National Park Service, the Geological Society of America, NASA, and Esri in partnership with AGI, the organizer of Earth Science Week. Additional resources for learning about geologic maps can be found on the Geologic Map Day web page.

'Earth Connections' Contest Wants Your Videos

Now is the time to enter the new "Earth Connections" contest hosted by AGI, organizer of Earth Science Week. Submit a brief, 30-90 second original video that tells viewers about how people have an impact on Earth systems, or how Earth systems have an impact on people, in your part of the world.

The contest is open to individuals or teams of interested persons of any age in any part of the world. Videos may include footage shot on site, animations, computer images, drawings, data, and more. Technology tools for creating video entries are recommended on the contest website.

The deadline for entries is 5 p.m. ET, Friday, October 13, 2017. The winner will receive a prize of $300 USD, a copy of AGI's The Geoscience Handbook, and his or her photograph will be used on the Earth Science Week website. The winner's and finalists' names will be posted on the Earth Science Week website.

For contest guidelines, see the Earth Connections page on the Earth Science Week website. For more information, contact Celia Thomas, AGI's Center for Geoscience & Society program associate.

EPA Site Boosts Environmental Education

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers a rich collection of education resources to boost public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues. The aim, according to EPA's Environmental Education website, is to provide the public with "the necessary skills to make informed decisions and take responsible action."

The site features lesson plans, videos, project ideas, teacher training, funding opportunities, and information on children's heath and awards for students and educators. To learn more, visit online.

See What Climate Means Locally, Nationally

If you've got a computer with Internet access, then you can conduct a new activity called "Climate at a Glance: From Local to National Scale" that the American Meteorological Society (AMS) has contributed as part of the education materials collection of Earth Science Week.

Created by AMS in cooperation with NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, the activity introduces students to the NOAA Climate at a Glance website, which allows real-time analysis of monthly temperature and precipitation data nationwide. Find the activity online.

'Visiting Geoscientists' Make Impact on Students

Are you an Earth scientist who wants to help educate young people about the field, but you're just not sure how to start? Check out "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.

Professional geoscientists such as geologists and geophysicists who visit schools and lead field trips, especially at the K-12 level, provide unique enrichment opportunities, based on their education, experience, and firsthand knowledge of the workplace. Whether you work in a resource or environmental company, a research institute, a state or federal agency, or a college or university, you can make a difference.

Contact a local school and plan now for a visit in the fall. The handbook offers strategies and resources. Various sections discuss how students learn science best, issues in Earth science education, recommendations for volunteers, sample activities, and more. To download the handbook, see the website.

Free App Explores Ice, Sea Level Change

Why does sea level change at different rates? How has it changed in the past? Who will be at risk from more extreme weather and sea level rise in the future? Geoscientists often hear questions like these from students, government officials, and the media.

A free app called "Polar Explorer: Sea Level" lets users explore a series of maps of the planet, from the deepest trenches in the oceans to the ice at the poles. See how ice, the oceans, precipitation, and temperatures have changed over time and listen as scientists explain what you're seeing and why.

"We wanted to make climate data accessible and engaging to the public, for everyone from students to interested adults," says Margie Turrin, education coordinator at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, who designed the app with Bill Ryan, Robin Bell, Dave Porter, and Andrew Goodwillie. "The data is displayed in interactive maps with just enough guidance to support independent exploration." Learn more online. Offers News and Info on Earth Science, a major Earth Science Week partner, provides a variety of geoscience materials including daily Earth science news, maps, an online dictionary of Earth science terms, and information on geoscience careers.

Also on are resources for teachers, including links to lesson plans from major Earth science organizations such as the U.S. Geological Survey, the Geological Society of America, and NASA. View the teacher page.

NGWA: Learn How to Protect Your Groundwater

The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) celebrates Protect Your Groundwater Day on September 5, 2017, promoting water conservation and contamination prevention as ways to protect groundwater resources.

"Every person can do something to protect local groundwater, from not polluting it to using water wisely," says NGWA Public Awareness Director Cliff Treyens. "The good news is that for most people all it takes is a small adjustment in their daily habits."

Why bother? For starters, 99 percent of all available freshwater comes from aquifers underground, according to NGWA. The AGI member organization says that by focusing on actionable steps that every person can take, Protect Your Groundwater Day can spur people to protect this resource. For educational information and resources, see NGWA online.

Online Videos Show 'Faces of Climate Change'

Three short online videos depict the dramatic changes in Alaska's marine ecosystems through interviews with scientists and Alaska natives. The videos were produced by the Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) Alaska, the Alaska Sea Grant program, the Alaska Marine Conservation Council, and the Alaska Ocean Observing System.

View "Faces of Climate Change - Introduction." View more Alaska COSEE Resources.


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 online. To subscribe to this newsletter, visit online and submit your email address.