Earth Science Week Update June 2020

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 18, No. 6: June 2020


Earth Science Week Contests Detailed in New Webcast

How will you celebrate Earth Science Week 2020? Maybe you or your students will win prizes in the four contests described in the new webcast: "Contests of Earth Science Week 2020."

This free webcast, narrated by AGI Outreach Coordinator Sequoyah McGee, 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 four-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 Materials Around the World contest calls for brief videos exploring various perspectives on geoscience.

View the webcast online. In the coming months, look for additional webcasts on Earth Science Week 2020, which celebrates the theme of "Earth Materials in Our Lives." Learn more about contests online.

'Switch On' to Learn About Energy Science Today

Switch Energy Alliance presents "Switch On," directed by Harry Lynch and featuring Dr. Scott Tinker. The film is now available to stream online.

Across developing Africa, Asia, and Latin America, billions of people experience a lack of safe and reliable energy - impacting education, food supply, healthcare, and the economy.

Join Tinker on a global adventure to meet people and communities as they "switch on." The film offers a new perspective on energy and the developing world. To learn more and stream the film, visit Switch On.

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 the inspiration of Earth science firsthand? To help you do just that, the NCLI Day Guide is available in both online and PDF format for easy printing, viewing on a smartphone, and using outdoors. 

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. And remember to include appropriate safety measures.

Find the NCLI Day Guide, including the PDF version, at No Child Left Inside Day. Have a great NCLI Day!

Explore Geophysics During Earth Science Week 2020

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. Check online for availability.

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

Make Connections With Earth Science Organizations

As schools reopen in the coming academic year, would you like to organize a field trip or a classroom presentation led by a professional geoscientist? 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 2020 (October 11-17) or other times. Use Earth Science Organizations 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.

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." Learn more at AIPG online.

Check Out These Great NASA Learning Resources

Explore the Earth Science Week theme of "Earth Materials in Our Lives" through a wealth of NASA education resources:

  • NASA Earth Observatory: How to Interpret a Satellite Image - Satellite images are full of useful and interesting information. These tips come from the NASA Earth Observatory's writers and visualizers, who use them to interpret images daily. They will help you get oriented enough to begin to unlock the rich information in a satellite image.
  • NASA Mapping Our World Interactive - The interactive visualization and poster allow you to explore data sets from over a dozen NASA Earth science missions for 25 unique views of our world.
  • NASA's EO Kids - Check out the latest issue, "From School to NASA Earth Scientist." What do you want to be when you grow up? Find out what three NASA scientists wanted to be when they were young and discover what they do now. Then, be a scientist yourself. Learn how to use the Globe Observer app ( to collect your own scientific observations.
  • NASA's Earth Wheel: Water in the Earth System - This interactive resource allows students to explore and compare data from four NASA satellite missions: Aquarius, GRACE, Terra, and TRMM. By considering questions and observing data on the wheel, students learn how NASA data sets, when used together, can provide a more complete understanding of water in our Earth system.
  • NASA Educator Toolkit: Framing Phenomena-Based Student Investigations - NASA Earth science research, observations, visualization tools, and education resources are available for learners of all ages to connect learning to real world science, across topics - including: Earth systems, climate and weather, global climate change, and natural hazards.
  • NASA on National Parks from Space - This collection of stories and images was compiled from NASA's Earth Observatory. The IGES team worked with Earth to Sky (a NASA-National Park Service partnership) and NASA's Landsat mission outreach to create this curated collection and identified strategies and supplemental resources for educators to use the stories with middle and high school students.

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 emphasis 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. The museum website is a great place to learn about paleontology, geology, and the Earth. 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. In addition, view the teacher page.

AGI Remote Summer Internships Provide Experience

AGI, the organizer of Earth Science Week, welcomes four geoscience university students to an innovative remote adaptation of the traditional AGI/AAPG Geoscience Policy Summer Internship and AGI/Paleontological Society Policy Internship. Because of limitations presented by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, AGI has retooled its geoscience internships to be done remotely while still providing policy-relevant experience.
The four individuals participating this summer are:

  • Lyndsey Farrar, who earned an MS in geology from Miami University in 2019, is creating guidelines for museums on accessioning and managing physical collections, especially orphaned and specialty collections as part of the AGI/Paleontological Society Policy Internship Program.
  • Stephanie Plaza-Torres, who earned a BS in geology from University of Puerto Rico in 2019, is creating a parallel effort on the issues of digital data and metadata relative to paleontological collections and how these relate to their value to researchers and museums. Her work is part of the AGI/Paleontological Society Policy Internship Program.
  • Anthony Guajardo, who is a master's student in geology with a focus on geophysics at Northern Illinois University, is leading efforts in policy factsheet development supported by the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association and the American Association of State Geologists. His work is being supported by the Critical Issues Program as part of the Center for Geoscience and Society.
  • Emilie Sinkler, who expects to receive a PhD in geophysics, scientific teaching, and outreach from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2021, is leading the AGI's 2020 Geoscience for America's Critical Needs document to completion and will be working with key election campaigns to ensure geoscience is considered in their science platforms. Her internship is part of the AGI/AAPG Geoscience Policy Internship Program.

Generous support from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the Paleontological Society, and the AGI Foundation helps make these opportunities available. For more than 20 years, with support from various organizations, AGI has offered internships to students and early-career geoscientists. If you would like to learn more about AGI internships and fellowships, 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.