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EarthNote Guidelines

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EarthNotes are summaries of interesting and timely information about Earth and Earth scientists. They are stand-alone, one page, illustrated reports that inform the general public about how Earth is part of their lives. The reports are contributed by knowledgeable Earth scientists on a wide range of topics, from understanding the health risks associated with wildfire ash to explaining how deep water oil drilling is accomplished.  EarthNotes are another way that AGI works to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society’s use of resources and interactions with the environment.

Authors are asked to contribute information that the public will find interesting, relevant, and timely. For example, topics related to news worthy events could include:

  • Earthquake occurrence – tectonic setting, why the earthquake occurred, and history of earthquakes in the area
  • Flooding – Storm patterns that lead to flooding and history of flooding
  • Landslides – causes and frequency
  • Erosion – causes, amounts, and remedies
  • Volcanic eruptions – general character, frequency, distribution of volcanoes, and effects


The text should be no more than 420 words or 2,850 characters (all character lengths include spaces). Please check punctuation and spelling.


Prepare one or two images to accompany the text. The images must be JPEG’s that are less than 500 kilobytes and be landscape-oriented. To eliminate potential problems, filenames should have no spaces or extra punctuation. The images must be in the Public Domain and available for use “free and clear.” Please provide credits and brief captions.

Additional Resources

EarthNotes are by nature introductions to topics. This is why the Additional Resources section of an EarthNote is very valuable even though it must be short. Please provide the reader with resources available on the web that will enable them to find additional relevant information.  The EarthNote template allows hyperlinks in the text, figure captions, and the Additional Resources section. These are required in the Additional Resources section.  

Suggested Word-Length Targets

Main text: 380-420 words;
Figure captions: 10-30 words, each;
Additional Resources: 20-60 words.

Draft Submittal

The draft text, images, title and authorship are first submitted by email to the EarthNotes editor (Travis Hudson – ) as a WORD document. Upon acceptance by the editor, the author will be given the username and password that provides them access to the online EarthNote development template. Further guidance for developing the EarthNote is provided on the template.

Download a Word document version of this page.


Last update: May 20, 2011




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