Earth Science Week Update March 2019

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 17, No. 3: March 2019


Earth Science Teaching Award Winner Announced

Sergio de Alba, a sixth-grade teacher at R.M. Miano Elementary School in Los Banos, California, has been named the 2019 recipient of the Edward C. Roy Jr. Award for Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching. In addition to teaching, de Alba is highly involved in community projects geared towards science inquiry and multi-cultural involvement in science. He has developed schoolwide programs on the importance of science education, as well as gained funding through grants and donations for classroom programs benefiting students at his school.  

"Mr. de Alba is an amazing educational force," said AGI Executive Director Allyson Anderson Book. "He is a clear stand-out among applicants, both past and present, and his work shows incredible enthusiasm and spirit for teaching Earth science."

De Alba will receive the award in April at the National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA) Friends of Earth Science Reception, sponsored by Activate Learning and the American Meteorological Society, during the National Science Teachers Association 2019 Conference in St. Louis. This year's finalists were Joseph C. Perry of Palmyra-Macedon Middle School in Palmyra, New York, and Jill A. Weaver of Valley View Junior High School in Farmersville, Ohio.

Given annually, AGI's Edward C. Roy Jr. Award recognizes one classroom teacher from kindergarten to eighth grade for leadership and innovation in Earth science education. The award is named in honor of Dr. Edward C. Roy Jr., a strong and dedicated supporter of Earth science education. To learn more, please see the program website.

GLOBE Observer: Link to Soil, Air, Oceans, More

Want to get involved in citizen science? Through the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program, you can take part in GLOBE Observer, an international network of professional scientists and citizen scientists collaborating to promote education about environment and climate.

On the GLOBE Observer website, you'll find teaching activities and resources on soil, air, oceans, weather, and other topics. For example, the Mosquito Habitat Mapper page, for instance, provides materials on mosquito prevention and control, such as a guide to retrieving precipitation data, an educational activity, and lists of resources to learn more about properly identifying and eliminating potential mosquito breeding sites.

GLOBE Observer invites you to make environmental observations that complement NASA satellite observations to help scientists studying Earth and the global environment. By using the GLOBE Observer app, you are joining the GLOBE community and contributing important scientific data to NASA and GLOBE, your local community, and students and scientists worldwide.

To begin, all you need to do is download the GLOBE Observer app and use it to observe the environment wherever you are. Visit online for more information.

Upcoming CLEAN Professional Development Webinars

CLEAN has scheduled the spring series of regular professional development webinars, aiming to help teachers learn how to use the CLEAN collection to teach about climate and energy. CLEAN is also offering a special webinar to present the scientific findings of the newest National Climate Assessment Report (NCA4) and discuss how teachers can use it in their classrooms.

Upcoming webinars include:

  • March 19 at 6:30pm ET: How supports NGSS and 3-D Learning for Climate and Energy Education
  • March 20 at 6pm ET: CLEAN and the National Climate Assessment
  • March 25 at 6pm ET: Teaching Climate Principle 6: Focus on How Human Activities are Impacting the Climate System

Visit the CLEAN Network site to view the past recorded webinars and learn more information.

The 'Critical Zone': Explore with CZOs

For an eye-opening view of our planet, check out the K-12 Education page of the Critical Zone Observatories (CZOs) program, a longtime Earth Science Week partner.

The CZOs program is a National Science Foundation-supported interdisciplinary effort that serves the international scientific community through research, infrastructure, data, and models. The aim is to enhance scientific understanding of what happens in the "critical zone" where chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes shape Earth's surface and support terrestrial life.

On the CZO Education and Outreach site, you'll find educational activities coordinated by the CZO National Office to engage K-12 educators and students. Many additional K-12 Education and Outreach activities are run by the CZO program, mostly led by individual observatories. To see examples of those efforts, select an observatory from the "Move laterally" menu online.

Webcast Details 'Focus Days' of Earth Science Week

What does Earth Science Week 2019 have in store for you? Each day during the week, you can focus on a different area of Earth science. Go online today to view a webcast about the "Focus Days" of this year's celebration:

  • International EarthCache Day (Sunday, October 13)
  • Earth Science Literacy Day (Monday, October 14)
  • Earth Observation Day (Tuesday, October 15)
  • National Fossil Day (Wednesday, October 16)
  • Geoscience for Everyone Day (Thursday, October 17)
  • Geologic Map Day (Friday, October 18)
  • International Archaeology Day (Saturday, October 19)

This free webcast provides an overview of opportunities, activities, and resources available. The roughly four-minute tutorial includes a wealth of online links, which viewers can click during the presentation to review available resources.

To view the webcast, visit . In the coming months, look for additional webcasts on Earth Science Week 2019: "Geoscience Is for Everyone." Learn more about Focus Days online.

AAG Offers Geography Resources for Teachers

The Association of American Geographers (AAG), an AGI member society, offers an array of web resources for K-12 and college-level instruction. These materials support geographic approaches to Earth science education.

AAG's Center for Global Geography Education, offers online modules for undergraduate courses in geography and related social and environmental sciences. All modules feature a conceptual framework, regional case studies, and collaborative projects.

GeoSTART helps middle- and high-school students develop geography, Earth science, and spatial thinking skills using NASA Earth Observing Missions remote sensing imagery and related data. Go online for free activities and materials.

Young Meteorologist Program Targets Learning

PLAN!T NOW's Young Meteorologist Program takes students on a severe weather preparedness adventure where they encounter lightning, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and winter storms - all while learning about severe weather science and safety.

Developed in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service and the National Education Association, the program shows young people how to prepare for severe weather. A digital evolution of the National Weather Service's Owlie Skywarn initiative, the program features an interactive online game starring a 21st-century Owlie, who helps young people learn about preparing for real-life severe weather and natural hazards.

Players who complete the game earn a Young Meteorologist Certificate. Young Meteorologists are shown opportunities to put their knowledge to work in hands-on activities and community service projects. Explore online.

IRIS Reaches Students at 'Teachable Moments'

Want to delve into the science behind current events with your students? Start with a visit to a website operated by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), an Earth Science Week partner.

IRIS offers a set of online resources - Recent Earthquake Teachable Moments - dealing with recent events of interest to seismologists, such as the magnitude-7.0 earthquake that shook southeastern Peru on March 1, 2019. View PowerPoint presentations, animations, and visualizations, as well as links to Spanish-language materials and USGS data. Additional resources address other quakes worldwide.

Founded in 1984 with National Science Foundation support, IRIS is a nonprofit consortium of over 100 universities engaged in the acquisition, management, and distribution of seismological data. Explore Teachable Moments online.

Earth Science Week Adds Geoscience to Earth Day

Educators and young people worldwide will celebrate Earth Day 2019 on April 22 with activities, experiments, and investigations exploring how our world works - and those in the know will be tapping the wealth of education resources available through Earth Science Week.

Although Earth Science Week 2019 will be celebrated this October, the program offers education materials, information, and tools throughout the year. This year, for example, Earth Science Week provides education tools highlighting the theme of "Geoscience Is for Everyone."

The Earth Science Week website offers hundreds of free classroom activities, Spanish-language resources, videos, visualizations, webcasts, local events and organizations, competitions and awards, and careers information. Learn more about Earth Science Week.

Examine Natural Systems in 'Windows on Earth'

Science teachers and students might want to gaze through "Windows on Earth," an online educational project that features photographs taken by astronauts on the International Space Station. Each day, astronauts take hundreds of photos - many focusing on "Earth and human activity" - for science research, education, and public outreach.

This web site provides free public access to virtually all of these photos, updated at least weekly. The site is operated by TERC, an educational non-profit, in collaboration with the Association of Space Explorers (the professional association of flown astronauts and cosmonauts), the Virtual High School, and CASIS (Center for Advancement of Science in Space). Technical support is provided by NASA's Crew Earth Observation Program.

Windows on Earth also operates software on the International Space Station, as a window-side aide to help astronauts identify priority targets for photography. The images help show Earth from a global perspective. All images are in the public domain, credited to NASA. Visit 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.