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2012 News Releases

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2012 News Releases

EARTH: Here Comes the Solar Maximum
In 1859, the largest recorded coronal mass ejection from the sun, known as the Carrington Event, disrupted what little electrical technology was used at the time. Back then, that meant the temporary disruption of the telegraph system. Today, without an effective warning mechanism in place, a solar storm of that magnitude could wreak havoc on our technology-dependent world. And with the solar maximum predicted to occur later this year, scientists and policymakers are scrambling to prepare us for when the next big solar storm hits.

Posted 12/18/2012

EARTH: Antarctic Meteorite Hunters
For more than 35 years, scientists from the Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) program have been scouring glacial landscapes in search of meteorites. Since 1976, teams of physicists, meteorite specialists, and mountaineers have recovered thousands of untouched specimens from meteoroids, the moon and even Mars. Despite subzero temperatures and razor-sharp winds, scientists are lining up for the chance to experience the ultimate hunt for alien objects in the alien environment.

Posted 12/17/2012

EARTH: The Bright Future for Natural Gas in the United States
Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," has changed the energy landscape. We can now affordably produce natural gas from previously inaccessible rock formations, which has led to increasing natural gas consumption. Thanks to its low prices and abundant domestic supply, natural gas may have a chance to overtake coal as the primary energy source for electricity in the United States.

Posted 12/11/2012

AGI Announces the Publication of Dawn of the Anthropocene: Humanity's Defining Moment
We have entered an era of stark realization. Although Earth's resources once seemed abundant and resilient, we have come to understand the limitations of a planet as small and crowded as our own. In DAWN OF THE ANTHROPOCENE: Humanity's Defining Moment, author George A. Seielstad explores the challenges associated with building a sustainable future in a world struggling to meet society's needs.

Posted 11/29/2012

EARTH: Highlights of 2012: Climate Change and Increasing Resilience
Considered individually, 2012's record high temperatures, droughts, wildfires, storms and diminished snowpack are not necessarily alarming. But combined, the fact that the first seven months of 2012 were hotter than the hottest on record, more than half of the U.S. counties were declared disaster areas due to drought, and the snowpacks were at all-time lows, these indicators are much more significant from a climate standpoint. Two questions then remain: Will we see the same thing in 2013? And how do we increase our ability to weather the storms and other disasters coming our way in the future?

Posted 11/26/2012

EARTH: USArray: Geoscientists' "Earth Telescope" Illuminating What Lies Beneath Our Feet
Big science often requires big tools. Until recently, earth scientists have been using relatively small-scale instruments to unlock some our planet's biggest mysteries. Now, geoscientists across the country are teaming up to use an "Earth Telescope" capable of peering deep into the planet with unprecedented resolution. This new technology called USArray is helping us learn more about how the deep Earth works.

Posted 10/31/2012

The American Geosciences Institute's New Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship for Women
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is accepting applications for the new Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship for the 2013-2014 academic year. The scholarship will be awarded to a thesis-based, full time female student pursuing either a Master's or a Doctoral degree in the geosciences, and must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship is merit-based, and applicants will be evaluated on the probability of successfully completing their geoscience graduate program and transitioning into the geoscience workforce following graduation.

Posted 10/31/2012

AGI Announces New 2013 Executive Committee Members
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) welcomes three new Executive Committee members: Berry H. (Nick) Tew, Jr., President-Elect; Dorian Kuper, Secretary; and Jacqueline Huntoon, Member-At-Large. The new members of the AGI Executive Committee will be installed at the Friends of AGI Reception during the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Posted 10/26/2012

Dennis Trombatore to Receive the William B. Heroy Jr. Award for Distinguished Service to AGI
Dennis Trombatore, long-time member and Chair of the GeoRef Advisory Committee, has been named the 2012 winner of the William B. Heroy Award for Distinguished Service to the American Geosciences Institute. Trombatore will be honored for his illustrious service at the AGI Past President's Dinner held during the Geological Society of America (GSA) meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 4, 2012.

Posted 10/25/2012

AGI Details Impacts of Fiscal Cliff on Geoscience R&D
The American Geosciences Institute's (AGI) Geoscience Policy program has launched a new webpage detailing the estimated impacts of the impending sequestration on federal geoscience funding. The sequestration, set to take effect on January 2, 2013 unless Congress agrees on a path to avoid it, could severely impact geoscience research and development (R&D) across the board.

Posted 10/25/2012

AGI Statement on the Conviction of Italian Seismologists
On October 22, 2012, in L'Aquila, Italy, six seismologists and one Italian government official were convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to six years in prison. The seismologists and official had been on trial for not adequately warning the public about the danger of a potential earthquake prior to the L'Aquila earthquake in April 2009 that killed 309 people. Central to the question of manslaughter was whether there was a direct link between the reassuring statements of the commission on which the defendants served and the deaths from the earthquake.

Posted 10/25/2012

EARTH: Earthquake? Blame it on the Rain
The U.S. Geological Survey's website states it in no uncertain terms: "There is no such thing as 'earthquake weather.'" Yet, from at least the time of Aristotle, some people have professed links between atmospheric conditions and seismic shaking. For the most part, these hypotheses have not held up under scientific scrutiny and earthquake researchers have set them aside as intriguing but unfounded ideas. However, in the last decade new efforts to identify effects of weather-related, or in some cases climate-related, processes on seismicity have drawn new interest.

Posted 10/23/2012

AGI Announces Sharon Mosher as its 2013 President
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is pleased to announce Dr. Sharon Mosher as its 2013 President. She will be inducted at the Friends of AGI Reception held during the Geological Society of America (GSA) Annual Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 5, 2012.

Posted 10/23/2012

Thomas H. Jordan Recognized for His Outstanding Contribution to the Public Understanding of the Geosciences
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is pleased to announce Dr. Thomas H. Jordan as the 2012 winner of the Outstanding Contribution to the Public Understanding of the Geosciences Award. Professor Jordan is recognized for his contributions to science and his efforts to increase the public awareness of earthquake processes, probabilities, preparedness, and risk at an international level. Jordan will receive this esteemed award at the AGI Past Presidents Dinner held during the Geological Society of America meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 4, 2012.

Posted 10/23/2012

Gordon E. Brown, Jr. to Receive the 2012 Ian Campbell Medal for Superlative Service to the Geosciences
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is proud to announce that Dr. Gordon E. Brown, Jr. is the 2012 recipient of the Ian Campbell Medal for Superlative Service to the Geosciences. Dr. Brown, the Dorrell William Kirby Professor of Earth Sciences and Professor of Photon Science at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, is recognized for his contributions as a scientist, educator, administrator, and public servant. He will receive this prestigious award at the Geological Society of America (GSA) Awards Ceremony at the GSA Annual Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 5, 2012.

Posted 10/22/2012

AGI Accepting Applications for 2013 Award for Excellence in Earth Science Teaching
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is accepting nominations for the Edward C. Roy Award for Excellence in Earth Science Teaching. Given annually, this award is presented to one full-time K-8 teacher in the U.S. or U.K. whose excellence and innovation in the classroom elevates students' understanding of the Earth and its many processes.

Posted 10/12/2012

EARTH: Arctic Humidity on the Rise
The Arctic is getting warmer and wetter. As temperatures rise and sea ice melts, scientists suspect that system feedback cycles may further speed up the warming process. Now, a new study out of the University of Colorado at Boulder is showing how shifting patterns of humidity may bring about changes in the Arctic atmosphere.

Posted 10/09/2012

Webcast on Student Recruitment in the Geosciences Now Available from AGI
As part of the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) collaboration with American Geophysical Union on its Earth and Space Sciences Heads and Chairs Program, AGI is pleased to announce the availability of a recorded webcast of the September 20, 2012 webinar focused on Student Recruitment strategies for geosciences programs.

Posted 10/04/2012

National Fossil Day to be Held During Earth Science Week 2012
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and the National Park Service (NPS) invite you to participate in the third annual National Fossil Day on October 17, 2012 during Earth Science Week (October 14-20). National Fossil Day brings together paleontologists, educators, and students from across the country to participate in fossil-related events and activities in parks, classrooms, and online!

Posted 10/01/2012

EARTH: Risky Business: Modeling Catastrophes
The probability that a given natural hazard could become a natural disaster is higher today than at any previous point in history, largely because of population growth putting more people and infrastructure in harm's way. Who pays for the damage and how is value and risk assessed? Much of it comes down to insurance and reinsurance agencies, which are relying more and more on sophisticated catastrophe modeling tools to help gauge when the next disaster will strike, and how much it will cost.

Posted 10/01/2012

EARTH: Bakken Boom and the New Wild West
Diesel-soaked clothing, 90-hour work weeks, and the constant groaning of a multimillion-dollar oil rig towering overhead: Welcome to life in Williston, N.D., home of the United States' latest oil boom. In this month's issue of EARTH Magazine, R. Tyler Powers, a young geologist thrust into the middle of the new boomtown, offers his perspective on what life is like today in the new Wild West.

Posted 09/24/2012

Geologic Map Day: Celebrate on October 19!
Celebrate the first-annual Geologic Map Day! On October 19, as a part of the Earth Science Week 2012 activities, join the American Geosciences Institute (AGI), the Association of American State Geologists (AASG), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in promoting the importance of geologic mapping to society.

Posted 09/18/2012

AGI Releases the New 2012 Critical Needs Document
With less than two months before Election Day, AGI and its federation of 50 professional geoscience societies have come together again to provide a list of critical issues and policy recommendations for the next presidential administration. The document, Critical Needs for the Twenty-first Century: the Role of the Geosciences, is meant to inform policymakers of the unique knowledge, experience, and ingenuity of the geoscience community, and to address some of society's most pressing issues.

Posted 09/17/2012

AGI to Provide Input on Critical United Nations Document
On September 11th, the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) will participate in a focus group to discuss the United Nations' process of defining Article 15 in the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Article 15 recognizes the human right to "enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications."

Posted 09/11/2012

EARTH: Antarctic Trees Surprise Scientists
"Warm" and "Antarctica" are not commonly used in the same sentence; however, for scientists, "warm" is a relative term. A team of researchers has discovered that, contrary to previous thinking, the Antarctic continent has experienced periods of warmth since the onset of its most recent glaciation.

Posted 09/04/2012

Promote Groundwater Safety: Protect Your Groundwater Day
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is proud to support Protect your Groundwater Day (PYGWD) on September 11, 2012. Protect Your Groundwater Day—sponsored by AGI member society, the National Ground Water Association (NGWA)—promotes the responsible stewardship of groundwater through educational and outreach initiatives that help raise societal awareness.

Posted 08/28/2012

EARTH: Crowdsourcing for Quake-Monitoring
Technology is creating a new breed of scientist. I'm talking about citizen scientists – ordinary people and volunteers from all walks of life coming together to help monitor, and possibly mitigate, the next big earthquake through an innovative program called NetQuakes.

Posted 08/27/2012

EARTH: Do-It-Yourself Lava Flows
It's not every day that lava flows through a college campus parking lot. But, since January 2010, Syracuse University has been bringing the lava to Central New York. Using commercially available basalt gravel and a coke-fired furnace, the geologists involved with the Syracuse University Lava Project are able to produce a wide range of flow morphologies and other features at a scale comparable to natural flows.

Posted 08/20/2012

EARTH: Shake, Rattle and Roll – What Does an Earthquake Sound Like?
A team of researchers may have discovered a way to hear earthquakes. Not the noises of rattling windows and crumbling buildings, but the real sounds an earthquake makes deep underground as rock grinds and fails catastrophically. Typical seismic waves have frequencies below the audible range for humans, but the August issue of EARTH shows you where to find the voice of one seismic monster: March 11, 2011, magnitude-9.0 Tohoku earthquake in Japan.

Posted 08/08/2012

EARTH: Trash-to-Treasure: Turning Nonrecycled Waste into Low-Carbon Fuel
One man's trash is quickly becoming society's new treasure. In the August issue of EARTH Magazine, we explore how materials that were once considered garbage are now being recognized for their true potential as valuable energy resources capable of solving multiple problems at once. If successful, these "waste-to-energy" options could serve as a silver bullet – displacing fossil fuels, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and decreasing the amount of trash that winds up in already teeming landfills.

Posted 07/31/2012

AGI Joins the Science, Technology and Innovation Expert Partnership
As a part of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's 2012 Global Diaspora Forum, the American Geosciences Institute (AGI), other top scientific organizations, and the U.S. Department of State have signed a mutual memorandum of understanding establishing the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Expert Partnership.

Posted 07/26/2012

EARTH: 2012 - The End of the World of Just another Year of Living in Harm's Way?
December 21, 2012 – the purported last day of a 5,125-year cycle in the Mesoamerican calendar – has been added to an endless list of days when the world has been expected to end. But what are our real chances of being wiped out by a catastrophic event – the kind that has happened in the past and will inevitably occur again someday? In the August issue of EARTH, we explore four of the most probable global events that could change life on Earth forever.

Posted 07/24/2012

Top Science Organizations Pose Critical Science Questions to Candidates in 2012 Presidential Election
Through collaborative efforts with other top scientific societies, the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) has helped formulate a list of critical science policy questions to pose to President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney in the upcoming presidential election.

Posted 07/19/2012

EARTH: Karakoram Glaciers Buck Global, Regional Trends
Resting in the Karakoram Range between northern Pakistan and western China, the Karakoram glaciers are stumping scientists. Unlike most mountain glaciers, the Karakoram glaciers, which account for 3 percent of the total ice-covered area in the world, excluding Greenland and Antarctica, are not shrinking. On the contrary, a team of French glaciologists has recently confirmed that these glaciers on average have remained stable or may have even grown slightly in recent years.

Posted 07/09/2012

AGI Announces Plans for the New Center for Geoscience Education and Public Understanding
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is pleased to announce its intention to launch a new initiative to address the critical need of increasing geoscience literacy.

Posted 07/06/2012

EARTH: Five Outstanding Questions in Earth Science
What are today's biggest unanswered questions in earth science? In the July issue of EARTH Magazine, experts from a variety of disciplines weigh in on what they consider to be the biggest unsolved mysteries across the geosciences and how they think we may solve them.

Posted 06/27/2012

EARTH: Neutralizing the Rain
In the 1980s, acid rain was a big topic of conversation. Everyone knew about it. Today, just a couple of decades later, it's all but been forgotten. Why and how did this happen?

Posted 06/21/2012

AGI's Big Ideas in Geoscience Video Wins Three Awards
Big Ideas in Geoscience, a DVD created by AGI to bring the Nine Big Ideas from the Earth Science Literacy Principles to life, has just won three prestigious awards: Digital Video (DV) Winner in Education, DV Winner in Nature/Wildlife and Videographer Award of Excellence.

Posted 06/20/2012

Earth Science Week 2012 Contests Announced
In celebration of Earth Science Week 2012, the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is sponsoring three national contests honoring this year's theme "Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences." This year's competitions will feature a photography contest, a visual arts contest, and an essay contest.

Posted 06/13/2012

EARTH: Ecosystem Collapse in Pleistocene Australia
In the Late Quaternary, Australia was home to an array of megafauna. The half-ton Palorchestes azael, the rhinoceros-sized Diprotodon, and even the giant koala, Phascolarctos stirtoni, roamed Australia's interior. However, between 50,000 and 45,000 years ago, they all vanished. Although recent studies indicate human colonization as a potential cause of their extinction, the exact mechanism has never been resolved. Now, geologist Gifford Miller from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his colleagues believe they have uncovered the answer.

Posted 06/05/2012

Earth Science Week 2012 Toolkits Available for Order
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is now accepting advance orders for the Earth Science Week 2012 Toolkit. The Earth Science Week 2012 Toolkit contains educational materials for all ages that correspond to this year's event theme, "Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences."

Posted 05/30/2012

EARTH: Better Warnings for the Consequences of Earthquakes
Global seismic hazard maps exist to help societies and decision-makers anticipate and prepare for earthquakes. These maps are supposed to depict the maximum level of ground shaking likely to be produced by an earthquake in a given area. In the past decade, however, ground motions and death tolls in areas struck by earthquakes have far exceeded these maps' projections. Thus, scientists are calling into question the standard methods used to estimate seismic risk, and accepted assumptions and calculations have come under fire.

Posted 05/29/2012

Geoscience Currents 60: Female U.S. geoscience enrollments and degrees remain steady in 2011
The American Geosciences Institute has released Geoscience Currents 60, which examines female enrollments and degrees in the geosciences over time. In 2011, the Current concludes, female participation in U.S. geoscience degree programs remained generally steady. After decades of steady growth in the rate of female participation, there has been little change since 2005. Several interesting trends are also noted, including declines in doctorates awarded following economic downturns, and that women appear to have slightly higher degree completion rates than men at the Bachelor's and Master's levels.

Posted 05/22/2012

EARTH: Carbon and the City
In 2010, the world reached a milestone: The number of people living in urban areas reached 50 percent. This monumental shift from rural to urban living comes with consequences. Growing urban populations will have to learn to efficiently deal with increased demands for energy, transportation, sanitation, food and water while balancing the environmental impacts of such densely populated regions.

Posted 05/22/2012

Geoscience Currents 59 Quantifies Attitudes toward Pursuing Geoscience
In continuation of the Geoscience Academic Provenance research series conducted by Houlton (Geoscience Currents 45-48, and 57-58), Geoscience Currents 59 presents quantitative data collected from participants through a Likert-based survey. Participants were asked to rate their feelings toward geoscience on a scale from 1 to 7. The aggregated responses illuminated the changes over time in the students' attitudes toward pursuing geoscience.

Posted 05/16/2012

AGI Launches GeoWord of the Day
In celebration of the release of the revised 5th edition Glossary of Geology for the Kindle and Nook platforms, the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) has started a free GeoWord of the Day service.

Posted 05/09/2012

EARTH: Volcanoes Sparked - And Prolonged - The Little Ice Age
Volcanism is often implicated in periods of abrupt cooling. After the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, for instance, global temperatures dropped by half a degree Celsius due to airborne particulate matter blocking solar radiation. However, these effects don't normally last more than a few years. Yet, a recent study blames volcanism for a 500-year cold period referred to as the Little Ice Age.

Posted 05/09/2012

Geoscience Currents 57 Examines Engagement Factors of U.S. Geoscience Majors
AGI conducted a follow-up study to research conducted by Houlton (Geoscience Currents 45-48) in a Geoscience Currents series that examines the various pathways taken by undergraduate geoscience majors when deciding to concentrate in the Earth sciences.

Posted 05/08/2012

Glossary of Geology now available as an e-book for Kindle and Nook
The revised 5th edition of the Glossary of Geology, published by the American Geosciences Institute, is now available as an e-book for the Kindle and the Nook. The e-book version provides users with the full layout and text of the Glossary for half the price and none of the pounds of the print edition.

Posted 05/07/2012

EARTH: North Star Loses Mass but Still Shines Bright
The North Star, the Pole Star, the Guiding Star, Polaris: Its many names reflect the many centuries humans have gazed northward to it for guidance. However, recent studies have shown that the North Star is losing mass at a significant rate. Will Polaris, steadfast beacon for early sailors and adventurers alike, vanish from the night sky?

Posted 05/03/2012

AGI Examines U.S. Geoscience Enrollments and Degrees in 2010-2011
Enrollments and degrees in the geosciences in the United States dipped during the 2010-2011 academic year as detailed in the latest Geoscience Currents published by the American Geosciences Institute. After peaking the year before, enrollments slipped back to 2008-2009 levels with undergraduate geoscience enrollments dropping about 8 percent and graduate enrollments falling approximately 3 percent. Degrees similarly declined, with Bachelor's degrees dropping 9 percent, Master's dropping 6 percent, and Doctorates dropping 4 percent.

Posted 05/02/2012

EARTH: Mobile Mapping with Lidar hits the Road
A new generation of lidar, or Light Detection and Ranging technology, is bringing the laser-based survey method down to Earth. The new technology involves mounting instruments atop cars, boats and even backpacks. These new mobile mapping systems will give geoscientists a whole new way to map and study the world.

Posted 04/26/2012

EARTH: Managing the Seismic Risk Posed by Wastewater Disposal
The debate over hydraulic fracturing has recently focused on the rise in seismicity throughout the primarily stable interior of the United States. These intraplate regions, though not unfamiliar with earthquakes, have been experiencing an increased amount of seismic activity in the last decade. This unusual increase is likely to be caused in part by wastewater disposal practices related to natural gas production. With such a sensitive issue it is important to keep the facts in perspective.

Posted 04/18/2012

EARTH: U.S. Navy Navigates a Sea Change in the Arctic
The idea that the Arctic is changing is not breaking news. Sea-ice extent has been declining by 12 percent per decade since 1979, and the ice is thinning too. Because of this, new shipping routes are becoming accessible during the summer months, and the Arctic is beginning to attract parties interested in resource exploration, scientific research and tourism. Therefore, a more accessible Arctic not only means environmental changes, but also changes in our economy and our national security.

Posted 04/17/2012

Dr.Sven Treitel to Receive the AGI Marcus Milling Legendary Geoscientist Medal
Dr. Sven Treitel has been named the 2012 recipient of the Marcus Milling Legendary Geoscientist Medal. David Monk, President Elect for the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), will accept this prestigious award on behalf of Treitel as part of the awards ceremony at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Meeting in Long Beach, California on April 22.

Posted 04/16/2012

EARTH: Foretelling Next Month's Tornadoes
Tornadoes are notoriously difficult to forecast, with often deadly results: In 2011, tornadoes in the U.S. killed more than 550 people, a higher death toll than in the past 10 years combined. Now a new study on short-term climate trends offers a fresh approach to tornado forecasting that may give people in tornado-prone regions more warning that twisters may soon be descending.

Posted 04/03/2012

EARTH Magazine Now Provides Digital Access for Institutional Subscribers
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is pleased to announce that, effective immediately, institutional subscribers to EARTH Magazine can now register for IP-based access for their users to view the full content of EARTH Magazine digitally. This option allows for seamless IP-based access for library users to PDF copies of all issues of EARTH. Print copies of the magazine will continue to be provided to all institutional subscribers unless they specify that they no longer wish to receive print copies. Perpetual access all subscribed issues of EARTH is provided with this feature.

Posted 03/28/2012

EARTH: La Niña Could Set the Stage for Flu Pandemics
What do changes in weather and stressed-out birds have to do with your health? In a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Jeffry Shaman of Columbia University and Marc Lipsitch of Harvard University are beginning to see a new link between La Niña conditions and outbreaks of the flu that could help governments and public health officials determine when the next pandemic will strike.

Posted 03/26/2012

AGI Announces the Release of the Directory of Geoscience Departments, 47th Edition in Print and as an e-Book
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is pleased to announce that the new edition of its cornerstone reference, The Directory of Geoscience Departments, has just been published. The new 47th edition is currently available as an e-book for the Kindle, iBookstore, and Nook, and will be available in print directly from our website ( or through starting April 2, 2012.

Posted 03/23/2012

EARTH: Danger in Paradise - the hidden hazards of volcano geotourism
Beautiful views and exotic thrills draw millions of tourists to volcanic sites each year. Previously frequented by smaller numbers of experienced hikers and trained tour guides, today's volcanic sites are plagued by throngs of novice hikers, who are often ill-prepared and uneducated about the risks of volcano geotourism. These groups of vacation-goers often display a lackadaisical attitude about safety that can put their lives at risk.

Posted 03/20/2012

AGI Supports National Groundwater Awareness Week
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is proud to support National Groundwater Awareness Week, March 11-17, 2012. National Groundwater Awareness Week—sponsored by AGI member society the National Ground Water Association (NGWA)—promotes the responsible stewardship of groundwater through education and outreach initiatives that help make society aware of this life-sustaining resource.

Posted 03/08/2012

2012 Recipient of the Edward C. Roy, Jr. Award for Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching Announced
Meg Town, a teacher at Redmond Junior High School in Redmond, Washington, has been named the 2012 recipient of the Edward C. Roy, Jr. Award for Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching. Town, who earned her master's degree in education from the University of Washington, has spent her career challenging middle and junior high school students with inquiry-based, hands-on learning in the Earth sciences. Earth science is, she says, "the most touchable science."

Posted 03/06/2012

EARTH: Undressing Vesta
Since last July, NASA's Dawn spacecraft has been orbiting the asteroid Vesta, and capturing images and other data that are providing surprising results to the delight and amazement of researchers. Dawn's mission is to help reveal the processes and conditions that marked the first few million years — the dawn — of the solar system; and the information the spacecraft has collected about Vesta is changing the way scientists think about the formation of our early universe.

Posted 03/06/2012

EARTH: Listening for Gas Bubbles
What if we could cheaply and efficiently detect a potent new energy source, while also monitoring for environmental safety? Olivier Carrière, a physicist in the Marine Physical Laboratory at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and other researchers are using the symphony of sound produced in the ocean to do just that.

Posted 02/29/2012

EARTH: Gold, Lead and Death in Nigeria
Throughout the Zamfara region in northwestern Nigeria, children are dying at an alarming rate. What exactly could be causing such an epidemic? The answer lies in the unique geology.

Posted 02/21/2012

EARTH: Unearthing Antarctica's Mysterious Mountains
Buried more than a kilometer beneath the East Antarctica Ice sheet, the Gamburstev Subglacial Mountains have proven to be a geological puzzle for more than 5 decades. How did these mountains form? When did they form? And what makes this ancient mountain range one of the least-understood tectonic features on Earth?

Posted 02/07/2012

EARTH: Dangerous Dust
What would you do if you found out that the roads you drive on could cause cancer? This is the reality that residents face in Dunn County, North Dakota. For roughly 30 years, gravel containing the potentially carcinogenic mineral erionite was spread on nearly 500 kilometers of roads, playgrounds, parking lots, and even flower beds throughout Dunn County.

Posted 02/02/2012

EARTH: Tracking Plastic in the Oceans
Humans produce over 260 million tons of plastic each year. Almost a third of that plastic goes into disposable, one-time-use items, and only about 1% of it is recycled globally. Where does the rest of the plastic go? How does it interact with our environment? And how will it impact us in the future? In this month's issue of EARTH Magazine, follow the fate of many plastics as they make their way from our homes to our planet's oceans.

Posted 01/30/2012

Geoscience Online Learning Initiative (GOLI) Webinar on Critical and Strategic Minerals
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) in coordination with the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) presents the second webinar as a part of the Geoscience Online Learning Initiative (GOLI). The webinar, entitled Critical and Strategic Minerals: Concepts and Status will air on February 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm EST.

Posted 01/25/2012

Earth Science Week 2012 Theme Announced: "Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences"
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is pleased to announce that the theme of Earth Science Week 2012 will be "Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences." This year's event will boost awareness about the geosciences and the many exciting career and job opportunities in the field.

Posted 01/24/2012

EARTH: Setting off a Supervolcano
Supervolcanoes are one of nature's most destructive forces. In a matter of hours, an eruption from a supervolcano can force thousands of cubic meters of molten rock above ground, and scar landscapes with massive calderas and craters. These catastrophic eruptions have a global impact, and yet scientists still do not fully understand them. Today, a team of scientists studying Bolivia's Uturuncu volcano are trying to shed some light on how supervolcanoes can become so powerful.

Posted 01/19/2012

AGI and AIPG Team Up to Launch the Geoscience Online Learning Initiative (GOLI)
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) have teamed up to launch the Geoscience Online Learning Initiative (GOLI). This joint effort seeks to build a portfolio of online learning opportunities to help support the professional development of prospective and early-career geoscientists as well as addressing topics of interest to the broader geoscience profession.

Posted 01/13/2012

EARTH: Source Code - The Methane Race
What is the lifespan of a natural gas deposit? How quickly is our planet's permafrost melting? And does life exist on other planets? Although seemingly unrelated issues, the answers to these questions are linked. And in this month's issue of EARTH Magazine, scientists show that we may be closer to answering them than we think.

Posted 01/11/2012

AGI to Host a Professional Development Workshop for Underrepresented, Early-Career Minorities Pursuing Faculty-Track Positions
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI), in collaboration with the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), is hosting a professional development workshop for underrepresented, early-career minorities interested in careers in research and academia. The workshop, entitled Developing a Diverse Professoriate: A Professional Development Workshop for Underrepresented-Minority, Early-Career Faculty in the Geosciences, will be held in the Washington D.C. area from Wednesday, April 4 through Friday, April 6, 2012.

Posted 01/11/2012

Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences (CFES) to Become AGI's Third International Associate
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) welcomes the Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences (CFES) as the third member of the International Associates Program. Established in 2010, AGI's International Associates (IA) Program provides professional geoscience organizations based outside of the United States with a way to develop a formal collaborative and informational relationship with the Institute.

Posted 01/09/2012

EARTH: Afghanistan's Mineral Resources Laid Bare
Geologists carrying rock hammers and accompanied by Marines traverse the rugged expanse of the Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan, searching for untold mineral wealth. Although the nature of Afghanistan's mineral deposits is not unique in the world, the country's deposits are largely untouched. Will Afghanistan be able to utilize these minerals to rebuild the war-torn nation? Join EARTH Magazine in our January issue as we examine Afghanistan's mineral wealth and the implications it holds for the country's future.

Posted 01/05/2012

EARTH: Thinking Outside the Rocks in the Search for Ancient Earthquakes
As EARTH details in its September feature, "Thinking Outside the Rocks in the Search for Ancient Earthquakes," modern-day scientists are getting creative in the search for information about past quakes. Read more about how researchers are turning to old newspaper articles and photographs, folklore, petroglyphs, crumpled buildings and toppled monuments — and how learning about past quakes can help seismologists to assess future seismic risk.

Posted 09/02/2011

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