Earth Science Week Update June 2017

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 15, No. 6: June 2017


Earth Science Week Contests Detailed in New Webcast

How will you celebrate Earth Science Week 2017? Maybe you or your students will win prizes in the four contests described in the new webcast: "Contests of Earth Science Week 2017."

This free webcast, narrated by AGI Outreach Associate Brendan Soles, provides an overview of the photography, visual arts, essay, and video contests. The webcast includes online links that viewers can click during the presentation to review detailed guidelines. The roughly five-minute tutorial includes information on prizes and recognition.

Each year, many science teachers encourage students to participate in the traditional Earth Science Week visual arts contest, open to students in grades K-5, or the essay contest, which is open to those in grades 6-9. The photography contest is open to all ages. In addition, the Earth Connections contest calls for brief videos exploring Earth science.

View the webcast. In the coming months, look for additional webcasts on Earth Science Week 2017, which celebrates the theme of "Earth and Human Activity." Learn more about the contests.

Guidebook PDF Ensures 'No Child Left Inside'

Wouldn't it be great to dedicate a day to "No Child Left Inside," a time for outdoor activities enabling young people to experience Earth science firsthand? To help you do just that, the NCLI Day Guide is now available in PDF format for easy printing and outdoor use.

This free guide provides everything you need to start planning your own NCLI Day event, including any of 17 outdoor learning activities recommended for elementary, middle, and high school students. Begin now to plan your NCLI Day event for summer or fall, when young people can wade into ponds, climb hills, and search the skies to learn Earth science.

Find the NCLI Day Guide, including the new PDF version, on the Earth Science Week website. Have a great NCLI Day!

Show Artistic Talent in National Fossil Day Contest

A major focus of Earth Science Week 2017 will be the eighth annual National Fossil Day (October 11), and one of the best ways for you or your students to participate is by entering the National Park Service's National Fossil Day Art and Photography Contest. Entries should address the theme "The Future of Fossils: People Studying and Caring for Our Fossil Heritage."

Fossils - evidence of past life preserved in rock or sediment - tell us stories about ancient animals and plants. Congress has passed laws to protect fossils in our national parks and to promote opportunities for scientific research and public education. It is vital to leave fossils where they are found, no matter where in the world you are. If you find a fossil, contact someone in the area who specializes in paleontology or geology, and they will be able to help you.

Artwork should focus on how people care for and learn from fossils. The artwork can be in the form of a photo, a painting, a drawing, or a sketch. All artwork must be 2-D and flat. The contest is open to any U.S. resident. Entries must be received by 5 p.m. ETThursday, October 5, 2017. For full contest guidelines, see online. If you have questions, please email National Fossil Day.

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 2017 (October 8-14). 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 Outreach Associate.

Students Can Visualize Earth and Human Activity

When you think of human interaction with natural systems and processes, what images come to mind? Visualizations can be an effective way of exploring "Earth and Human Activity," the theme of Earth Science Week 2017 (October 8-14).

Visualizations are graphic depictions of data. Using technologies ranging from on-site data collection to satellite-based remote sensing, geoscientists investigate Earth systems. And geoscientists display their findings in visual media such as charts, diagrams, illustrations, videos, computer-generated animations, and 3D-printed creations.

Now you can explore human interaction with the natural world through "Visualizing Earth Systems," a recent addition to the Earth Science Week website. The page links you to dozens of recommended visualizations dealing with energy, climate, minerals, water, hazards, and other topics linked to humanity's relationship with the planet.

Visit the Visualizing Earth Systems page. In addition, the page links you to overviews of these topics provided by AGI's Critical Issues Program, featuring additional information on timely topics.

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 out PRI.

AIPG Aims to Educate Next-Generation Geologists

The American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG), an AGI member society, was founded to advocate for geologists and certify their credentials. Today AIPG is reaching out to Earth science students and educators.

Available online for free download, AIPG offers several PowerPoint presentations providing relevant career information for young, newly graduated geoscientists. These presentations also enable K-12 teachers to convey what geoscientists do for a living.

Students who become AIPG members can establish professional contacts, attend meetings and field trips, receive mentoring from professionals and potential employers, access undergraduate scholarships, tap resources on careers in geology, and submit papers to the journal "The Professional Geologist."

In addition, registration is open for AIPG's annual conference, being held in Nashville, Tennessee, September 23-26, 2017. To learn more, visit online.

Earth Science Calendar Offers Geoscience Activities

Looking for classroom activities? Educators who obtain an Earth Science Week Toolkit each year know that one of the most valuable components is the Earth Science Activity Calendar.

This attractive wall calendar traditionally features an activity for each month of the school year, as well as information on important dates in geoscience history and other fun facts. Brimming with 12 learning activities, the new Earth Science Activity Calendar provides a great way for teachers and students to explore the celebration theme of "Earth and Human Activity" in addition to other geoscience topics throughout the 2017-18 school year and beyond.

Order your Earth Science Week 2017 Toolkit, including the new Earth Science Activity Calendar. The new kit is available now!

AGI Site Helps You Explore 'Critical Issues'

The Critical Issues Program of AGI, organizer of Earth Science Week, offers a potential informational resource for use in your classroom lessons and instructional planning. The Critical Issues website provides introductory information on issues at the intersection of geoscience and society, such as energy, climate, water, natural hazards, and mineral resources.

Users can start with our geoscience basics and primer pages, which offer summaries of topics like drought, mining, renewable energy, and earthquakes. These introductory pages provide links to more detailed information in a variety of formats, from frequently asked questions, interactive maps, webinars, and case studies to a database of in-depth research publications. 

Explore the Critical Issues website. And consider whether the information at the site is appropriate for your students, perhaps by using the "informational text" strategies prepared by AGI's Center for Geoscience and Society. If you have questions, please email.

Explore Geophysics During Earth Science Week 2017

The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), an Earth Science Week partner and AGI member society, offers programs for educators and students. For example, a distinguished lecturer series and an honorary lecturer series both enable students to meet professional geophysicists, learn about groundbreaking research in the field of seismology, and obtain valuable career information.

Short courses offered through SEG not only enable seismologists to continue their education, but also help teachers to study seismology with introductory courses on seismic data processing. Meetings, forums, and workshops are also available.

SEG members have access to journals, an online digital library, reference publications, meetings, workshops, networking, and employment referral. To learn more, visit SEG online.


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.