Earth Science Week Update January 2020

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 18, No. 1: January 2020


2020 Theme Announced: 'Earth Materials in Our Lives'

AGI is pleased to announce that the theme of Earth Science Week 2020 will be "Earth Materials in Our Lives." The coming year's event, held October 11-17, 2020, will focus on the ways that Earth materials impact humans - and the ways human activity impacts these materials - in the 21st century.
Earth Science Week 2020 learning resources and activities will engage young people and others in exploring the relationship between Earth materials and people. The coming year's theme will promote public understanding of geoscience and stewardship of the planet, especially in terms of these raw materials.
"The Earth system includes various rock, fluid, gaseous, and mineral materials - many of which are nonrenewable resources in limited supply - that individuals and societies use to live and thrive," says AGI Associate Director of Communications Geoff Camphire. "The availability of raw materials such as metals, aggregates, and fossil fuels influences and is influenced by human activities such as manufacturing, industry, transportation, food production, energy generation, and product recycling."
Earth Science Week 2020 will explore a host of related questions: As scientists, engineers, inventors and others use raw materials to design innovative technologies and goods to meet human needs, how do we evaluate costs and benefits of using Earth materials? How do we adopt policies and practices that allow us to take advantage of the unique properties of raw materials efficiently, generating value while minimizing negative impacts both locally and globally? How do we address the complex, interrelated issues like resource management, waste management, biodiversity, climate change, circular economies, life cycle analysis, and models of sustainability?
Earth Science Week is supported by many organizations, including the U.S. Geological Survey; the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Foundation; National Park Service; NASA; Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration; Lyda Hill Philanthropies; AmericaView; Geological Society of America; American Geophysical Union; Society of Exploration Geophysicists Association of American State Geologists; Schlumberger; Water Footprint Calculator; and the Geothermal Resources Council. Learn more at Earth Science Week online.

Dig Into Earth Science Education With USGS

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), a longtime Earth Science Week partner, offers a wealth of information on virtually every Earth science topic, from natural resources and hazards to geospatial data.

The USGS education website includes lesson plans and other resources for K-12 students, educators, and others. Just in time for the Earth Science Week 2020 theme of "Earth Materials in Our Lives," for example, grade 6-8 resources include "Life Cycle of a Mineral Deposit," a teacher's guide to 10 learning activities on basic geologic concepts; the processes of finding, identifying, and extracting the resources from a mineral deposit; and the uses of minerals.

USGS has thousands of free images and over 69,000 searchable publications such as books, maps, and charts online. There's also the rich archives of the USGS Multimedia Gallery, including a podcast series on topics such as climate change, satellite monitoring, human health, and wildlife disease.

AMS Teacher Workshops Taking Place This Summer

The American Meteorological Society (AMS) is offering two teacher professional development workshops this summer: Project Atmosphere and Project Ocean (formerly The Maury Project).

Project Atmosphere (July 26-August 1, 2020) is a hybrid (online & in-person) teacher professional development workshop. Teacher participants will be required to engage online learning modules prior to the on-site portion of the workshop in Kansas City, Missouri. At the conclusion of the on-site portion, participants will be asked to complete work in the course management system in collaboration with California University of Pennsylvania. This project is designed for K-12 teachers who teach science courses with atmospheric content.

Project Ocean (July 12-18, 2020) is a hybrid (online & in-person) teacher professional development workshop. Teacher participants will be required to engage online learning modules prior to the on-site portion of the workshop in Chestertown, Maryland. At the conclusion of the on-site portion, participants will be asked to complete work in the course management system in collaboration with California University of Pennsylvania. This project is designed for precollege teachers who teach science courses with oceanography content.

The application deadline for both workshops is March 27, 2020.

NGSS Geoscience Webinar Eyes Earthquake Science

AGI, the organizer of Earth Science Week, is collaborating with the NGSS-ESS Working Group to promote its webinar titled "Beyond Earthquake Locations: Modern Seismology in the NGSS Classroom" taking place February 13, 2020 (4pm ES, 3pm CT, 2pm MT, 1pm PT). The webinar is part of a series dealing with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Earth System Science (ESS).

Does modern seismology fit within the NGSS? If so, where and how? Explore how Marsquakes, icequakes, induced seismicity, models of Earth's deep structure, and more integrates into the NGSS structure. Featured will be a presentation by Michael Hubenthal of the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology.

The webinar is free, but registration is required. Register and learn more online. You will receive webinar access information a day before the webinar. Organizers also will post a recording of the webinar on the NGSS-ESS webinar page where archived videos of previous webinars also may be viewed.

Earth Science Week Links You to Education Resources

Where can you find the widest possible collection of Earth science curricula, classroom activities, teacher professional development opportunities, science education standards, virtual field trips, teaching ancillaries, and much more?

Earth Science Week participants need look no further than Education GeoSource, part of AGI's Center for Geoscience & Society. The free geoscience education resources featured on this website, provided by a variety of sources, are available with the click of a mouse.

To visit Education GeoSource, you can simply go to the Earth Science Week homepage and click on "Resources" link at the top of the page. Or go directly to Education GeoSource right now!

NASA Sites Illuminate Timely Topics in Science

A major Earth Science Week partner, NASA offers a dazzling array of learning resources for students and teachers interested in the geosciences:

  • D&I Leadership Video Series: NASA provides a video series on different Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) topics in STEM, especially in education. Videos showcase members from various NASA grantee institutions speaking on ideas and best practices for developing the next generation of STEM graduates in relation to historically underrepresented groups. Find out more about NASA's DEI Leadership Series.
  • For Educators: NASA features hundreds of resources to help you explore the wonders of STEM and space! Activities, contests, and downloadable materials are at your fingertips. Users can also search by grade level (K-12 and higher education), as well as informal education resources and other opportunities like contests and challenges. Visit the For Educators portal.

Apply by February 2 for Congressional Fellowship

AGI is accepting applications for its William L. Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellowship. The fellowship represents a unique opportunity to gain first-hand experience with the legislative process on Capitol Hill.

The successful candidate will spend 12 months (starting September 2020) in Washington, D.C., working as a staff member in the office of a member of Congress or congressional committee. The fellow makes practical contributions to the use of geoscientific knowledge on issues relating to the environment, resources, natural hazards, and federal science policy.

This one-year fellowship carries an annual salary of $68,000, relocation and travel funds, plus a full benefits package including health, dental, and vision insurance, and a 403(b) plan. Prospective applicants should have a broad geoscience background and excellent written and oral communication skills. A Ph.D. in geosciences is required by the time of appointment. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or already eligible to work in the United States.

To apply, interested candidates must submit required materials by February 2, 2020. For full details, see the program website. If you have questions, please contact AGI's Christopher Keane at

AGU Resources Advance Education and Outreach

The American Geophysical Union (AGU), an AGI member society dedicated to the furtherance of the geophysical sciences, offers an array of opportunities exposing students, teachers, and life-long learners to the freshest, most accurate scientific knowledge and the excitement of discovery.

Through education and career-focused events at AGU meetings, professional development workshops, awards for science educators, and printed and electronic resources, AGU offers an array of opportunities that expose students, teachers, professionals, and life-long learners to the freshest, most accurate scientific knowledge and the excitement of discovery.

To learn more about the education and public outreach efforts of AGU, an Earth Science Week partner, please visit AGU online.

AGI Powers Geoscience With Scholarly Information

AGI, the organizer of Earth Science Week, is a premier provider of comprehensive, reliable, and timely geoscience information for geoscientists, public policymakers, educators, the public, industry, the media, and students:

  • AGI publishes a wide range of books on a number of geoscience topics. From our Environmental Awareness Series to critical reference books like the Glossary of Geology and the Geoscience Handbook, AGI Publications help you be a better geoscientist.
  • The Glossary of Geology is the definitive reference for students and professionals in the geosciences. With over 40,000 terms and definition, the Glossary is built on the published geoscience literature to ensure that the definition is precise and accepted by the community.
  • AGI has published a large portfolio of popular books on the issues of how the geosciences support the needs of environmental stewardship. From topics as diverse as water and metal mining to geologic maps and remote sensing, the Environmental Awareness Series brings the most critical information to you in an easy to use format.
  • GeoRef is the premier bibliographic database for the Earth Sciences. An indispensable tool for researchers and students alike, GeoRef lets you understand the entire historical record of research on any topic in the geosciences.
  • AGI hosts a number of both free and subscription-based online databases. GeoRef and its associated thematic databases such as AusGeoRef and CanGeoRef are available for subscription, while the GeoRef Previews Database freely allows a sneak peek at new articles that are working their way into GeoRef.

Delve Into STEM Studies During EE Week in April

Mark your calendar: National Environmental Education Week (EE Week) will be providing science teachers and students with lesson plans, facts, quizzes, and other resources online during the April 20-24 celebration.

For EE Week 2020, NEEF launched its "Greening STEM Hub" online to provide educators with information, resources, and videos on how to use the natural environment and real-world challenges to engage learners and deliver high-quality STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education.

EE Week, held each year during the week before Earth Day, inspires environmental learning among K-12 students and connects educators with environmental resources. Register, find resources, and learn more 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.