Earth Science Week
What is Earth Science Week?
Since October 1998, the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) has organized this national and international event to help the public gain a better understanding and appreciation for the Earth Sciences and to encourage stewardship of the Earth. Traditionally held in the second full week of October, Earth Science Week encourages the understanding and promotion of earth science at local, state, national and international levels.
2007 marked the tenth annual Earth Science Week. Each year, AGI organizes Earth Science Week as a service to its member societies, with generous help from major partners which provide funding, donated materials, organize events and publicize the celebration. Continuing partners include the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Foundation, the National Park Service (NPS), NASA, and NOAA.
People in all 50 states and in more than five countries have participated in Earth Science Week events and activities, ranging from educators teaching Earth science activities in their classrooms to open houses held at major USGS field stations. State geological surveys are also key participants, and are responsible for having official proclamations issued by their state’s governor.
Earth Science Week Objectives
- To engage students in discovering the Earth sciences.
- To remind people that Earth science is all around us.
- To encourage Earth stewardship through understanding.
- To motivate geoscientists to share their knowledge and enthusiasm about the Earth.
The Earth Science Week website is updated regularly to reflect the new theme, contests, proclamations, events, and classroom activities for each year’s Earth Science Week.
The Earth Science Week website maintains a listing of groups in the Earth Science World Network, as well as a state-by-state listing of Earth Science Week events. These events are sponsored by member societies, state geological surveys, colleges and universities, public and private schools, museums, parks, and other organizations and businesses with interests in Earth Science.
Earth Science Week Toolkits feature AGI’s traditional event poster and school-year calendar showcasing geoscience careers, classroom investigations, and important dates of Earth science events. Also included are posters, flyers, electronic disks, bookmarks, and activities from AGI and its member societies and sponsors. Toolkits are distributed to state geological surveys, Earth Science Week sponsors and may be purchased through the ESW website.
AGI has held national contests in connection with Earth Science Week for five consecutive years. The contests are designed to encourage K-12 students, teachers, and the general public to get involved in the celebration by exploring artistic and academic applications of Earth science.
There are three mediums in which contests are held: Photography, Visual Arts, and Essay. Each contest explores a new theme every year; past themes have included "People Discovering Earth's Treasures" and "Extreme Earth Science" for Photography, "Changing Earth" and "Earth Science in Your Home Town" for Visual Arts, and "Be A Citizen Scientist" and "Studying the Active Earth" for Essays.
The Association of American State Geologists adopted a resolution designating the second full week of October as Earth Science Week. In July, 1998, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) read a statement containing this resolution into the Congressional Record. In 2002, AASG passed a motion to reaffirm their support of Earth Science Week.
AGI currently works with each state geological survey to encourage proclamations to be made on the state and national level for each year's Earth Science Week.
Seven states have issued perpetual proclamations: Alaska, Delaware, Illinois, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.
AGI has obtained Presidential proclamations for Earth Science Week in past years from Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
Earth Science Week releases a monthly Update Newsletter to teacher, student, and geoscientist subscribers. This electronic newsletter keeps planners and participants up-to-date on Earth Science Week planning at the national level and encourages participation in local areas.
- 2002: Water Is All Around Us
- 2003: Eyes on Planet Earth: Monitoring Our Changing World
- 2004: Living on a Restless Earth: Natural Hazards and Mitigation
- 2005: Geoscientists Explore the Earth
- 2006: Be a Citizen Scientist!
- 2007: The Pulse of Earth Science
- 2008: No Child Left Inside
- 2009: Understanding Climate
- 2010: Exploring Energy
- 2011: Our Ever-Changing Earth
- 2012: Exploring Careers in the Earth Sciences
- 2013: Mapping Our World