AGI Home | About AGIContact UsSearch 
Environmental Geoscience Directory
Environmental Publications
Geological Mapping
Slide Shows
AGI Home

The Environmental Awareness Series is a major project in AGI's Environmental Affairs program. The series booklets cover major topics of environmental and societal concern and demonstrate the complexity and interconnection of natural systems that we use and depend upon. Each booklet is an effective educational tool that provides a readable, well-illustrated introduction to a topic. Target audiences for the booklets include general readers, legislators, teachers, and students. The eleven booklets below are published and several other booklets are in review or under development. Guidelines for authors are available online.

Environmental Awareness Series

Sustaining Our Soils and Society describes soils, their importance to society, soil-forming processes, and strategies for sustained usage of soils. It was published in 1998 in cooperation with the Soil Science Society of America and the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service. Extensive color illustrations combine with the text to effectively communicate the nature of soils, soil forming processes, and their importance to mankind. A poster, related educational materials, and a bookmark complement the booklet. Download a PDF of the entire book (17.7MB)

Metal Mining and the Environment describes the natural sources of metals, why metals are important to society, how mining and related mineral processing extracts metals from the Earth, the environmental concerns that are associated with metal extraction, and how these environmental concerns can be prevented or mitigated. The publishing partners are the U. S. Geological Survey, the Society of Economic Geologists, and the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration. Distribution partners are the Arizona Mining Association, Nevada Mining Association, Colorado Geological Survey, and National Energy Institute. This booklet was published in 1999 and is accompanied by a poster and related educational materials. Download a PDF of the entire book (1.4MB)

Living With Karst: A Fragile Foundation describes the origins and distribution of karst, the resources provided by karst terrains, and the environmental concerns associated with developmnt, recreation, and land use around karst. AGI's publishing partners for this booklet are the National Speleological Society, American Cave Conservation Association, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Illinois Basin Consortium (State geological surveys of Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky), the U. S. Geological Survey, and the U. S. Forest Service. This booklet was published in 2001 and is accompanied by a poster and related educational materials. Download a PDF of the entire book (2.2MB)

Water and the Environment, the 5th publication in the AGI Environmental Awareness Series, provides information about water and its importance; where water comes from; water-related environmental concerns; water protection, policies and regulations; and our future needs for water. After all, water – not oil or minerals – is the most controlling resource on Earth. Its distribution, quantity, availability, and quality are the controls for the development of agriculture, industry, rural, urban, and municipal use. This richly illustrated, non-technical publication is appropriate for the general public, educators, and policymakers. This booklet was published in 2002 and is accompanied by a poster and related educational materials. Produced in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, USDA Forest Service, and the U.S. Geological Survey. Download a PDF of the entire book (2.7MB)

Petroleum and the Environment provides an introduction to the major environmental concerns associated with petroleum exploration, production, transportation, and use. It helps to understand petroleum importance, where it comes from, how it is processed for our use, the policies and regulations designed to safeguard natural resources, and global energy needs. Publishing partners for this book are the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Foundation, Bureau of Land Management, Minerals Management Service, USDA Forest Service, U.S. Department of Energy, and the USGS. This book was published in 2003 and is accompanied by a poster and related educational activities. Download a PDF of the entire book (3.5MB)

Meeting Challenges with Geologic Maps provides information about the value and usefulness of geologic maps. This book explains the meaning of the colors, patterns, and symbols on geologic maps, and provides sixteen examples that show how geologic maps are helping to delineate fragile habitat and ecosystems, protect agains natural hazards, and find needed resources. Publishing partners for this book are the American Association of State Geologists, the Geological Society of America, the National Park Service, and the USGS. This book was published in 2004. An accompanying website provides infromation from the book and additional examples of geologic maps helping to solve problems. Download a PDF of the enitre book (8.3MB)

Aggregate and the Environment is designed to help understand our aggregate resources. This book explains the importance, origins, processing, environmental concerns, how those concerns are addressed, and the policies and regulations related to aggregate production. Publishing partner for this book is the US Geological Survey. This book was published in 2004 and is accompanied by an aggregate poster. Download a PDF of the entire book (8.3MB)

Soils, Society, and the Environment focuses mainly on soil as society’s primary source of food and fiber (such as cotton and wood). Growing plants in soil is the only known way to produce large quantities of these necessities, and the implications of that fact are profound. How societies manage their soils can directly impact their environments and may even be a determining factor in a society’s long-term success or failure. This publication provides a global view of soil resources and was prepared in conjunction with the 18th World Congress of Soil Science to be held July 9-15, 2006, in Philadelphia. The American Geological Institute produced the 64-page book in cooperation with the Soil Science Society of America, the USDA Natural Resources Service and the U.S. Geological Survey. The publication includes an 18” x 24” double-sided poster with information about the World Congress of Soil Science on the front and an activity for students on the back. This book was published in 2005.

Coal and the Environment covers issues related to coal mining and combustion, as well as the methods, technology, and regulation currently in use, or planned for the future, to meet our nation's energy needs, while caring for the environment around us. Coal is our most important domestic fuel resource. It accounts for nearly 25% of our country's total primary energy production and produces half of our electric power. The objective in writing about coal is to relate the mining and use of this vital energy resource to the environmental concerns that affect our society. The publication includes an 18” x 24” double-sided poster with information about the mining cycle, from exploration through land reclamation. This book was published in 2006. Download a PDF of the entire book (2.8MB)

Living with Unstable Ground, the 10th publication in AGI's Environmental Awareness Series, is a practical guide and will increase your awareness and understanding of how you can build safely in areas with unstable ground and what society can do to reduce the impact of unstable ground. Most of us take the stability of the ground for granted. However, many ongoing natural processes and human activities, and occasionally complex combinations of both, displace the ground. Whether ground displacements are large and catastrophic or small and slow, their cumulative impact during the lifetimes of humans or civilizations may be large and destructive. As the demand for land grows and humans increasingly modify their environment, more and more people will be exposed to these instabilities and suffer the consequences. This publication was produced by the American Geological Institute in cooperation with Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists, Applied Technology Council with support from the ATC Endowment Fund, and the U.S. Geological Survey. This book was published in 2009.

Meeting Environmental Challenges with Remote Sensing Imagery explains what remote sensing imagery is and how it is obtained, processed, and analyzed. This book, published in 2013 and the eleventh in the Environmental Awareness Series, is over 80 pages long and includes 22 case studies that illustrate how remote sensing imagery is applied to meeting challenges presented by natural hazards such as severe weather and volcanic eruptions, surface and groundwater quality assessment, agriculture and forest management, climate variability, and resource development.  AGI's publishing partners for this book are AmericaView, the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS).

Other Environmental Publications

The American Geological Institute published an Environmental Geoscience Directory in 1996. While the publication is no longer available in print, two of the listings from the directory are provided online.

Role of Geosciences in the Environment is a white paper prepared by AGI's Environmental Geoscience Advisory Committee for the National Institute for the Environment. It is available online.

The Ground Water and Soil Contamination Data Base was released in 1996. It now contains over 100,000 citations and is updated weekly. This database is available online.

Glossary of Hydrology was published in 1998 and contains over 4,000 terms. The glossary provides a listing of the most frequently used hydrologic terms and their definitions for hydrologists, engineers, environmentalists, geoscientists, and others working in the field.

Groundwater - A Primer This booklet will increase your understanding of groundwater occurrence and distribution, flow and relation to surface water, water use and quality, and contamination and protection.

Environmental Research Needs of Metal Mining was published jointly by the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME) and AGI in 1998. This booklet reports on the priority environmental problems encountered at mining-related Superfund sites and uses this as a basis for defining related research needs and potential research directions for consideration by the academic, government, and private sectors.

Remediation of Historical Mine Sites was published jointly by the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME) and AGI in 1998. This publication identifies existing or developing environmental remediation methods that may have current or future application to historical hard-rock mining sites. It is intended as an introduction to the currently known range of methods.




News Archives

Advisory Committee


Environmental Geoscience Program Homepage

AGI Publications Catalog


  Information Services |Geoscience Education |Public Policy |Environmental
Publications |Workforce |AGI Events

agi logo

© 2016. All rights reserved.
American Geosciences Institute, 4220 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22302-1502.
Please send any comments or problems with this site to:
Privacy Policy