Earth Science Week Update February 2020

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 18, No. 2: February 2020


Earth Science Teaching Award Winner Announced

Sherry Claflin, an eighth-grade Earth science teacher at White Cloud Junior High School in White Cloud, Michigan, has been named the 2020 recipient of the Edward C. Roy Jr. Award for Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching.

Claflin earned her bachelor's degrees in Earth and space science education and journalism from Central Michigan University. In her 26 years as an educator, Claflin has received recognitions including the Michigan Earth Science Association's Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Award and the National Association of Geoscience Teachers' Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Award for Central Michigan.

In addition to teaching Earth science, Claflin teaches sixth- and seventh-grade STEM classes. She also has served as an editor and contributing writer for Michigan Earth Scientist, an adjunct geology instructor at Muskegon Community College, a teacher at Annis Water Resources Institute, and an education and outreach consultant for the Newaygo Conservation District's Stephen F. Wessling Observatory and Kropscott Farm Environmental Center. With her guidance, Claflin's recently students won the Lexus Eco Air and Climate Challenge.

Claflin will receive the award in April at the National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA) Friends of Earth Science Reception during the 2020 National Science Teaching Association Conference in Boston.

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., who was a strong and dedicated supporter of Earth science education.

Webinar: Help Students Ask Their Own Questions

If you've ever wondered what you as a teacher can do to help students formulate their own questions for exploration, check out two free webinars coming up  in March in the NGSS-ESS (Next Generation Science Standards-Earth System Science) Working Group series:

Both webinars will be presented by Sarah Westbrook of The Right Question Institute and Nicole Bolduc of Ellington Public Schools. Registration is required. Recordings of these and other webinars are archived for viewing on the NGSS-ESS webinar page.

'What Do Geophysicists Do?' Find Out With SEG

Geophysicists are making a difference in the world with innovations such as improving tsunami safety in Indonesia, revealing a forgotten tunnel dug by Jews trying to escape a Nazi camp in Lithuania, and discovering a gigantic freshwater aquifer just off the eastern coast of the United States.

These are just a few examples of the impact geophysicists are making on problems facing humanity, as illustrated on the "What Do Geophysicists Do?" website of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), an Earth Science Week partner.

Today, geophysics has a major role to play in addressing three of the planet's most pressing challenges - energy, water, and climate. "The world needs more geophysicists," according to SEG. "Are you ready to help save the world?" Learn more online.

Resources Available Online Throughout the Year

Come and take a look! Earth Science Week is more than one week of the year. If you've got Internet access, you can teach and learn about Earth science all year long.

The Earth Science Week website presents videos, webcasts, classroom activities, Spanish-language resources, research projects, local events and organizations, and careers information.

Most importantly, the site features hundreds of recommended lessons that teachers and parents can conduct with children. Explore Earth Science Week online today!

NOAA Boosts Teaching About Oceans, Atmosphere

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) promotes education about oceanic and atmospheric science - and not only during Earth Science Week! NOAA offers resources and opportunities for students and teachers all year long.

At NOAA Education Resources you'll find teaching tools and materials on oceans and coasts, climate, weather and atmosphere, marine life, freshwater, and other special topics. The Water Cycle page, for instance, offers multimedia resources, lessons and activities, real-world data, background information, and career profiles of water science professionals.

The portal similarly provides a wealth of resources on a wide variety of subjects. Whether you're looking for science-based news coverage of recent extreme weather events or a social networking link to reinforce learning activities, NOAA is your source for oceanic and atmospheric science education resources.

Help NGWA Promote Groundwater Awareness

National Groundwater Awareness Week (March 8-14, 2020) will shed light on one of the world's most important resources - groundwater. Groundwater is essential to the health and wellbeing of humanity and the environment, according to the National Groundwater Association.

Learn more about National Groundwater Awareness Week 2020 online, and visit the Groundwater Fundamentals page to learn more about the importance of groundwater.

SSSA Offers Riches of Soil Science Education

Over 6,000 members strong, the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a scientific organization that aims to support geoscience teaching and learning about soils.

This AGI member society provides online educational resources tailored for teachers and for students. Included are lessons, activities, fun facts, sites of interest organized by soil topic and grade level, and soil definitions for the novice soil scientist.

You can also visit the online version of "Dig It," an SSSA-sponsored exhibition on soil from the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. The exhibit includes interactive displays, hands-on-models, videos, and monoliths representing soils from each state, territory, as well as the District of Columbia. Check online for viewing times.

AAPG Offers Access to Distinguished Lecturers

With members ranging from professional geologists and corporate executives to students and academics, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) has plenty to offer Earth science educators. AAPG, a longtime AGI member society and a major Earth Science Week partner, aims to foster scientific research and promote the science of geology.

Check out, for example, AAPG's Distinguished Lecture Program, which allows colleges, universities, and geological societies to arrange for a geoscientist to make a presentation.

Explore 'Critical Issues' in the Geosciences Online

AGI's Critical Issues website provides useful information on issues including energy, climate, water, natural hazards, and mineral resources.

Designed as a source of decision-ready information on state and local issues, this web portal is growing steadily in popularity among students, educators, and the science-interested public. Sample pages include:

Explore the geosciences on the Critical Issues website.

Upcoming CLEAN Climate and Energy Webinars

CLEAN has scheduled an upcoming slate of professional development webinars to help teachers learn how to use the CLEAN collection to teach about climate and energy. CLEAN also offers webinars designed to help teachers use the site to address NGSS and implement 3D learning through units designed with CLEAN resources.

Upcoming webinars include:

  • CLEAN, NGSS, and 3D Learning for Climate and Energy Education, February 18.
  • It's Us: Humans as Agents of Change Within Earth's Climate System, February 24.
  • The UC Berkeley Understanding Global Change Project and CLEAN, March 4.

Visit CLEAN to register today.

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.