Earth Science Week Update July 2018

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 16, No. 7: July 2018


New Podcast Tackles Thailand Cave Crisis

Listen in for geoscience news and perspectives at audioEARTH, a new podcast from AGI, organizer of Earth Science Week. The series' debut installment, "Underground: Cave Crisis in Thailand," is available right now.

Thirteen people recently have been trapped in a cave system in northern Thailand. How did they get stuck there? What are the options for getting them out?

In a new AGI podcast, hosts Joe and Railey speak with the president of the National Speleological Society about the geology behind the story making international headlines. Tune in to make geoscience relevant for your students and others.

The audioEARTH podcast series connects Earth, science, and people by sharing compelling audio stories about geoscience. Listen to "Underground" now.

Geologic Map Day: Celebrate on October 19

On Friday, October 19, 2018, you are invited to join in the celebration of the seventh annual Geologic Map Day! The final major event for the school week of Earth Science Week 2018 (October 14-20), 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 2018 Toolkit. The poster provides maps, plus step-by-step instructions for related classroom activities encouraging students to explore connections between the arts and geology, as in the historic origins behind the song "America the Beautiful."

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, and NASA in partnership with AGI. Additional resources for learning about geologic maps can be found on the Geologic Map Day web page.

AGI Site Helps You Explore 'Critical Issues'

The Critical Issues Program of AGI 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 contact

Support a Global Headquarters for Geoscience

You can help AGI, the organizer of Earth Science Week, to build a better world through the power of geoscience.

The geoscience community requires a central headquarters that is equipped for the 21st century. AGI embarked on a much-needed, ambitious $3.2 million renovation project in 2017. We anticipate successful completion in 2018.

We recognized renovation as an opportunity to fortify this facility with state-of- the-art technology, essential resources, and collaborative spaces to advance the important work of staff, geoscience professionals, and the broader community. Here, geoscience groups will be invited to use the facilities to further their essential work.

Your vital contribution will help ensure that our transformed facility fosters community, prioritizes sustainability, and leads innovation. Learn how at AGI Renovation.

'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 "Visiting Geoscientists."

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.

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 health and awards for students and educators. To learn more, visit Learning and Teaching About the Environment. 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 Groundwater

The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) celebrates Protect Your Groundwater Day on September 4, 2018, 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 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." Or 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.