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2013 News Releases

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2013 News Releases

EARTH Magazine: Navigating the Risks of Hazard Research
After the 2012 conviction of six Italian geoscientists on manslaughter charges related to communication about the hazards prior to the L'Aquila earthquake in 2009, scientists worldwide are keen to understand the risks of their hazards research. EARTH Magazine investigates the complicated and often nuanced risks scientists face in hazard research.

Posted 12/20/2013

EARTH Magazine: Giant Quakes Sloshed Fjords Half a World Away
Norwegian citizens living along fjord coastlines were perplexed as rare waves sloshed along local docks and seawalls. Scientists identified and described the rare phenomenon: seismically generated water waves called seiches, which had been set in motion by the massive Tohoku earthquake half a world away.

Posted 12/05/2013

Critical Issues Program Releases Preliminary Results of "Defining Critical Issues" Survey
The aim of the web-based survey is to understand how the decision-making community, geoscience community, and the public define the term "critical issue," as well as which critical issues are of top concern to each community. The survey is deliberately short, broad, and unstructured in order to capture a wide range of responses.

Posted 12/03/2013

EARTH Magazine: Old photos help scientists relocate 1906 San Francisco quake rupture point
Alexandria, VA – Geoscientists using every resource available to them — from bare-earth LIDAR technology to knowledge of turn-of-the-century fashion — have helped correct a 100-year-old mistake about where the San Andreas Fault rupture point was for the historic 1906 earthquake.

Posted 11/25/2013

Energy from the Earth: A Geoscience Energy Congressional Briefing Series
The American Geosciences Institute in collaboration with the Geoscience Energy Briefing Consortium announces the debut event of the Energy from the Earth: Practical Geoscience to Inform Energy Legislation briefing series.

Posted 11/20/2013

EARTH Magazine: The Year in Review
Each day from, Nov. 18 to 22, EARTH Magazine will release a new commentary from our print issue. The subjects are varied but the themes intersect where geoscience and society meet.

Posted 11/18/2013

The American Geosciences Institute Welcomes New Officers
New American Geosciences Institute officers elect welcomed at the Geological Society of America Meeting.

Posted 11/07/2013

EARTH Magazine: CIS La Brea - Tiny Traces Reveal Big Secrets of the Tar Pits
Alexandria, VA - Saber-tooth tigers, dire wolves and woolly mammoths conjure up images of a past when large beasts struggled against the elements, each other, and even against humans for survival. Thousands of these creatures met their demise in the muck of the La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles, where they slowly sank into the tar and were fossilized. Now, scientists are using traces from hungry, bone-eating insects on these fossils to investigate how long it took for the giant beasts to be swallowed up by the sticky, oozy substance.

Posted 11/05/2013

Geoscience Currents #81: Salaries and Employment Locations of Recent Geoscience Graduates
Currents #81 examines preliminary results on where geoscience students found employment following graduation, and at which salary level.

Posted 10/23/2013

AGI Publishes the "Consumer's Guide to Minerals"
Rather than focusing on visual and physical properties, this book explores minerals' myriad uses in scientific research, manufacturing, medicine and many commercial applications some of which may even shock you.

Posted 10/22/2013

EARTH Magazine: Gaming the System in the Caspian Sea: Can game theory solve a decades-old dispute?
Alexandria, VA – A persistent stalemate over ownership and resource allocation, of everything from beluga caviar to energy resources, has hung over the Caspian Sea ever since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Looking to help advance the discussion over the Caspian toward as efficient and equitable an outcome as possible, scientists are taking a stab at the decades-old dispute by applying game theory and related methods, which use mathematics to study of competition and cooperation and have predominantly been used by economists and sociologists.

Posted 10/22/2013

Geoscience Currents #80
New Geoscience Graduates' Employment and Education Plans, Spring 2013

Posted 10/18/2013

Berry H. (Nick) Tew, Jr. Assumes American Geosciences Institute Presidency for 2013-2014
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is pleased to welcome the 2013-2014 President, Dr. Berry H. (Nick) Tew, Jr. He will be inducted at the Friends of AGI Reception held during the Geological Society of America (GSA) Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado on October 28, 2013.

Posted 10/18/2013

Dr. Scott Tinker presented AGI award for Outstanding Contributions to the Understanding of Geoscience
Very few people have impacted the public understanding of geoscience as much as Dr. Scott Tinker. His documentary Switch, co-produced with Harry Lynch as part of the Switch Energy Project, has screened at over 350 universities, and reached an estimated 3 million people globally. In 2013, it will be distributed in thousands of Earth Science Week kits to students worldwide. For this, and many other esteemed accomplishments, Tinker has been presented the American Geosciences Institute award for Outstanding Contributions to the Understanding of Geoscience.

Posted 10/17/2013

Groundbreaking Report Details Status of U.S. Secondary Earth Science Education
The Center for Geoscience Education and Public Understanding at the American Geosciences Institute, has released a landmark report on the status of Earth Science education in U.S. middle and high schools, describing in detail significant gaps between identified priorities and lagging practice. The report, "Earth and Space Sciences Education in U.S. Secondary Schools: Key Indicators and Trends," offers baseline data on indicators of the subject's status since the release of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in April 2013. Establishing clear aims for the subject, the NGSS state that the Earth and Space Sciences should have equal status with the Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Technology, and Engineering.

Posted 10/17/2013

Comprehensive Clearinghouse for Earth and Space Science Education Launches with Thousands of Resources
A national center focused on the geosciences launches today as the world's most comprehensive and up-to-date online clearinghouse for Earth and space science information and educational resources, ranging from high school curricula and classroom activities to video collections, career resources, and national research reports. The first such clearinghouse of its scope and type, the Center for Geoscience Education and Public Understanding's searchable web site (www.geocntr.org) provides the geoscience community, schools, and the general public with an extensive collection of resources and research from reliable science and education organizations.

Posted 10/16/2013

Geoscience Currents #79
Geoscience Students with Internships that Led to Jobs After Graduation, Spring 2013

Posted 10/16/2013

Mr. Lewis (Stan) Pittman recognized for service to the American Geosciences Institute
The American Geosciences Institute would like to thank Mr. Lewis (Stan) Pittman for his continued service to the AGI community by honoring him with the William B Heroy Jr. Award.

Posted 10/16/2013

Dr. Peter Scholle: 2013 Recipient of AGI's Medal in Memory of Ian Campbell for Superlative Services to the Geosciences
The Executive Committee of the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is proud to announce that Dr. Peter Scholle has been awarded the AGI Medal in memory of Ian Campbell honoring his contributions to the geoscientific community.

Posted 10/15/2013

Errata and Corrections: 2013 Status of Recent Geoscience Graduates Report
Alexandria, VA – Readers are advised to download the newly corrected version of the 2013 Status of Recent Geoscience Graduates report. An error was found in the title and x-axis labels on the figure on page 20. The data in the figure displays geoscience graduates that are seeking, or have accepted, a job position outside of the geosciences. The associated text has been changed now correctly represents the data presented. The corrected report can be downloaded at: http://bit.ly/GzvfvM or http://www.agiweb.org/workforce/reports.html.

Posted 10/15/2013

Geoscience Currents #78
Graduates' Decision Points for Majoring in the Geosciences, Spring 2013

Posted 10/09/2013

National Fossil Day to be Held During Earth Science Week 2013
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and the National Park Service (NPS) invite you to participate in the fourth annual National Fossil Day on October 16, 2013, during Earth Science Week (October 13-19).

Posted 10/09/2013

Workforce Geoscience Currents #77
Quantitative Skills and Core Science Courses Taken by Geoscience Graduates, Spring 2013

Posted 10/08/2013

EARTH Magazine: New Subduction Zone May Close Atlantic Ocean
Thanks to new high-resolution surveys of the seafloor, scientists think they have evidence of the subduction process starting in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Portugal. If they are right, this nascent subduction zone could close the Atlantic Ocean — in roughly 200 million years.

Posted 10/08/2013

Webcast on Earth Science Week Now Available from AGI
Go online today to view a new webcast detailing resources, events, and opportunities available through Earth Science Week, the annual worldwide celebration of the geosciences! Find the "Introduction to Earth Science Week 2013" webcast online now for viewing at your convenience.

Posted 10/07/2013

EARTH Magazine: Energy Storage Brings a Renewable Energy Future One Step Close
The world is diversifying its energy portfolio with renewable energy technology. However, one of the biggest hurdles renewable technologies need to overcome is inherent variability: Humans can't control when the sun shines or how much the wind blows. There's also variability on the demand side, with people needing more energy during certain times of the day and certain months of the year. Thus, to truly make the most out of renewable energy resources, geoscientists are working with engineers to help translate natural energy fluxes into products that can be delivered to the grid on an as-needed basis.

Posted 10/04/2013

AGI's 2013 Status of Recent Geoscience Graduates Report Released
In the first study of its kind, the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) Workforce Program has published the results of the National Geoscience Student Exit Survey, which documents the experiences of graduating geosciences majors. The need for continued growth in the geoscience workforce is well documented and supported by its continuance as one of the most lucrative majors at U.S. universities. However, whether those new graduates are ready for these opportunities has been a major question that this new report tries to address.

Posted 09/30/2013

EARTH: How Sandy Changed Storm Warnings
In an October feature story, EARTH Magazine untangles the complexities scientists faced to motivate local residents to pack up and move.

Posted 09/25/2013

Earth Science Week: Houston Puts City Celebration in Spotlight
AGI is collaborating with the Houston Geological Society (HGS) and the Houston Independent School District (HISD) to extend and deepen the reach of the successful Earth Science Week campaign throughout the Houston area with special events, educational materials, online resources, and activities in schools and other settings.

Posted 09/25/2013

Geoscience Currents #75 and #76
Impact of Federal Agencies, Professional Societies and Inquiry-based Teaching on the Professional Development of Early-Career Underrepresented Minority Faculty in the Geosciences

Posted 09/20/2013

Earth Science Week: Celebrate Geologic Map Day!
Celebrate the second annual Geologic Map Day! On October 18, as a part of the Earth Science Week 2013 activities, join leading geoscience organizations in promoting awareness of the importance of geologic mapping to society.

Posted 09/18/2013

Trans-Niño Years Could Foster Tornado Super Outbreaks
Researchers are trying to determine if Trans-Niño years, which mark the onset or ebbing of El Niño and La Niña, are the main culprits behind deadly super-outbreaks of tornadoes. Fueled by a powerfully interconnected global atmospheric system, as sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific shift the Jet Stream's course during Trans-Niño years, the favorable conditions for violent weather in the United States are created. Follow as EARTH Magazine explores the implications this study has for citizens of tornado alley in the September issue of EARTH Magazine.

Posted 09/12/2013

Will High-Scoring SAT Students Pursue a Career in the Geosciences?
The American Geosciences Institute's Workforce Program was able to analyze data on 18,000 precollege students who indicated an inclination towards a major in the physical sciences and scored well on the SAT in 2012 and in 2013.

Posted 08/22/2013

EARTH: Developing a Cyberinfrastructure for the Geosciences
The world is buzzing with the hum of servers containing terabytes of the world's collective datasets. And the geosciences are no different. Geoscientists are awash in data like never before. The challenge now for the geoscience community is how to best integrate disparate datasets for communal use and establish uniform standards for data entry. Now, communities of computer scientists and geoscientists are coming together to tackle the challenge of how best to integrate the wealth of data describing the earth system and to encourage geoscientists to dust off their personal collections for integration into the cumulative data cloud.

Posted 08/20/2013

Earth Science Week Contest Expanded Internationally
International members of AGI Member Societies are encouraged to enter this year's Earth Science Week photography contest, "Mapping My Community." These individuals are invited to use a camera to show how maps are used in their communities.

Posted 08/20/2013

GeoSpectrum: What's Happening Around the Earth Sciences
AGI's GeoSpectrum brings you the stories of the geoscience profession —from stories about public safety and the geosciences by creating contamination maps of lead distribution in New Orleans, charitable drilling for water in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to how Boy Scouts at the 2013 Jamboree were introduced to mining— all in the 2013 summer edition just published at http://www.agiweb.org/geospectrum/

Posted 08/13/2013

EARTH: Hurricane Hunters Fly Toward Improved Storm Forecasts
Each year, as hurricanes hit U.S. coastlines, scientists study them to improve forecasts critical for saving lives and property. Last year, unmanned aircraft from NASA flew into the biggest storms as part of a project to improve hurricane forecasts by 50 percent over the next 10 years. EARTH Magazine reports in the August issue, three projects in particular — the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program, NASA's 2010 Genesis and Rapid Intensification Project Field Experiment and its replacement, the Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel Project — may be responsible for a 20 percent error reduction in the hurricane track and intensity forecasts.

Posted 08/05/2013

EARTH: A Journey Through Cuba's Culture and Geology
Few destinations capture the imagination like Cuba; a forbidden fruit to U.S. citizens. Recently, scientists from the U.S.-based Association for Women Geoscientists travelled there to explore its geology and culture. The expedition is chronicled in the August issue of EARTH Magazine. While Cuba is an intriguing destination as an actor on the global political stage, its geological history captures events that tell scientists even more about the history of the planet.

Posted 07/29/2013

Earth Science Week 2013 Toolkits – Order Today!
Alexandria, VA – The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is now accepting advance orders for the Earth Science Week 2013 Toolkit. The Toolkit contains educational materials for all ages that correspond to this year's event theme, "Mapping Our World."

Posted 07/24/2013

EARTH: Mapping Field Camp's Past and Present: Exploring a Mainstay of Geoscience Education
EARTH Magazine explores the ritual of field camp as geoscientists' rite of passage for thousands of U.S. college students. Geology field camps date back to the days of great explorers and naturalists like John Muir and his contemporaries. Now young men and women gear up and pack out to geologically unique locations nationwide. Traditional skill sets are now taught alongside relevant technology to keep students workforce-ready.

Posted 07/22/2013

USGS: Inaugural Student Geologic Map Competition
Alexandria, VA - The U.S. Geological Survey is hosting the inaugural Best Student Geologic Map Competition. This competition is open to university-level students and entries will be judged at the 125th Annual Geological Society of America Meeting held in Denver, CO from October 27th through 30th 2013. A judging panel will select three winners during a special session convened on October 29th, 2013. The special session will double as a networking hour for students to share their experiences and techniques.

Posted 07/15/2013

EARTH: Corn syrup model splits Yellowstone's mantle plume in two
One of the greatest controversies in science is what's underneath the Yellowstone supervolcano. The controversy surrounds a unique relationship between a mantle plume (like the one that powers Hawaiian volcanoes) and the subduction zone off the Washington-Oregon coast. Cutting-edge research using a common kitchen ingredient is explored in the latest issue of EARTH Magazine.

Posted 07/14/2013

EARTH: Iowa Impact Crater Confirmed
Alexandria, VA – Scientists have recently confirmed the existence of an impact crater buried below the town of Decorah, Iowa. Scientists first discovered what they thought resembled a crater in 2008, but now it has been corroborated by an airborne geophysical survey and hydrology surveys. Scientists estimate the diameter of the crater at 5.5 kilometers wide, nearly five times the size of the Barringer Meteor Crater in Arizona.

Posted 07/10/2013

Earth Science Week 2013 Contests Announced
In celebration of Earth Science Week 2013, the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is sponsoring three national contests honoring this year's theme "Mapping Our World." This year's competitions will feature a photography contest, a visual arts contest, and an essay contest.

Posted 07/03/2013

EARTH: The energy-water nexus: Managing water in an energy-constrained world
Of all the water on Earth, less than 3 percent is available for human use, and as climates change and populations boom, the strategies used to extract it will become increasingly complex. With increasing demand, policymakers, scientists and leaders must recognize the energy-water nexus. The energy-water nexus describes an interdependent relationship that exists between availability of water resources and the energy required to obtain, distribute and utilize them. The way we manage the delicate relationship between energy and water will have major implications for the future of both critical resources, as EARTH explores in the July issue.

Posted 07/03/2013

AGI's Latest Geoscience Currents Examines the Community College to University Pathway in Texas
Community colleges provide a strong foundation for the nation's graduating STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) workforce. In its latest Geoscience Currents, the American Geosciences Institute documents the flow of geoscience students from 2-year to 4-year institutions in Texas, adding to an earlier report on similar data from California released in 2012.

Posted 07/02/2013

EARTH: Lofted by Hurricanes, Bacteria Live the High Life
With cold temperatures, low humidity and high levels of ultraviolet radiation, conditions 10 kilometers above Earth's surface may seem inhospitable. But, next time you're flying consider this: The air outside your airplane window may be filled with microscopic life that affects everything from weather and climate to the distribution of pathogens around the planet.

Posted 05/06/2013

EARTH: Why U.S. Energy Security is Increasing
To what extent is the United States energy independent? In recent years, Americans have heard a lot about the need to be unconstrained from foreign energy sources, but what do the numbers really tell us about our current state of independence?

Posted 04/29/2013

AGI Announces 2013-2014 William L. Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellow
Congratulations to Kristen Mitchell, the 2013-2014 William L. Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellow for the American Geosciences Institute (AGI). The William L. Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellowship offers geoscientists the unique opportunity to spend 12 months in Washington, D.C. working as a staff member in the office of a member of Congress or on a congressional committee. Every year, the AGI fellow joins more than two dozen other scientists and engineers for an intensive orientation program on the legislative and executive branches, organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which also guides the placement process and provides educational and collegial programs for the fellows throughout the year.

Posted 04/23/2013

EARTH: Widely Used Index May Have Overestimated Drought
For decades, scientists have used sophisticated instruments and computer models to predict the nature of droughts. With the threat of climate change looming large, the majority of these models have steadily predicted an increasingly frequent and severe global drought cycle. But a recent study from a team of researchers at Princeton University and the Australian National University suggests that one of these widely used tools — the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) — may be incorrect.

Posted 04/08/2013

EARTH: Community College at Sea – Research Experiences for Community College Students Build the STEM Pipeline
It's 3 a.m., and students from two Oregon community colleges are struggling to keep their sea legs as they work on the deck of a research vessel that is pitching and rolling in rough seas. Their objective is to recover an ocean-bottom seismometer that has been lying 160 meters underwater off the west coast of Vancouver Island, where it has been steadily recording seismic signals and long-period pressure trends for the past year. These students are experiencing what earth scientists do for a living, as a part of the Cascadia Initiative's CC@Sea program.

Posted 04/01/2013

The 48th Edition of the Directory of Geoscience Departments is Now Available in Print or eBook
The newest edition of the Directory of Geoscience Departments is now available for purchase in print and as an eBook. As the cornerstone reference publication of the American Geosciences Institute, the 48th edition of the Directory of Geoscience Departments is an invaluable resource for those working in the geosciences, those who must identify experts with specialties in various geoscience fields, or students investigating potential programs to apply to.

Posted 03/27/2013

EARTH: Scientists Reopen a Lunar Cold Case
When Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on Dec. 19, 1972, it ended an era of manned spaceflight to the moon. The science, however, continues. Armed with analytical techniques not available in the 1970s, researchers around the country have been re-examining the more than 380 kilograms of lunar rocks collected four decades ago during the Apollo missions.

Posted 03/25/2013

EARTH: Well-healed Faults Produce High-Frequency Earthquake Waves
Much like our voices create sound waves with a variety of low and high pitches, or frequencies, earthquakes produce seismic waves over a broad spectrum. The seismic waves' frequencies determine, in part, how far they travel and how damaging they are to human-made structures. However, the inaccessibility of fault zones means that very little is known about why and how earthquakes produce different frequencies. With the help of a new tabletop model, scientists have now identified how a process known as fault healing can shape seismic waves and potentially alter their frequencies.

Posted 03/11/2013

EARTH: Releasing a Flood of Controversy on the Colorado River
As the Colorado River winds through the Colorado Plateau's soft sedimentary strata, it picks up a tremendous amount of sediment. This sediment – which once left the river's waters so muddy that Spanish explorers christened it El Rio Colorado "the reddish river" – is a vital component to the unique ecosystems of the river. However, with the construction of the Hoover and Glen Canyon dams, which trap the sediment, the once-turbid waters have become a dazzling blue-green, signaling major changes with serious implications for the health of the river's native ecosystems.

Posted 03/05/2013

AGI Supports National Groundwater Awareness Week
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is proud to support National Groundwater Awareness Week, March 10-16, 2013. 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 03/04/2013

Videocast on Legal Issues Related to Field Trips and Field Courses Released on YouTube
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and American Geophysical Union (AGU) have released a recording of the latest AGU/AGI Heads and Chairs webinar. This month's session focuses on legal issues related to field trips and field courses. The webinar, led by panelists David Mogk from Montana State University and Steven Whitmeyer from James Madison University, serves as a guide for reducing risk and liability for geoscience departments, and reviews tips for properly planning a safe and enjoyable field trip.

Posted 03/01/2013

Impact Assessment: How the Sequester Is Affecting the Geosciences
Beginning March 1, 2013, the Federal Government's discretionary spending accounts will be cut by $85 billion through the rest of the fiscal year. These across-the-board spending reductions, known as the sequester, were first proposed in 2011 as a penalty so severe they would force Congress to work together to solve the nation's deficit woes. Unfortunately, no agreement on a package of replacement cuts or additional revenue in time to avoid the sequester has been made. We now face substantial cuts to critical programs, and want to know how the sequester is affecting geoscientists.

Posted 03/01/2013

EARTH: Setting Sail on Unknown Seas – The Past, Present and Future of Species Rafting
On June 5, 2012, a massive dock made landfall on Oregon's Agate Beach, just north of Newport. The dock carried with it a host of castaways, including as many as a hundred species of mollusks, anemones, sponges, oysters, crabs, barnacles, worms, sea stars, mussels and sea urchins. A placard on the side written in Japanese revealed that the dock had been unmoored from the Japanese coastal city of Misawa during the catastrophic tsunami on March 11, 2011, bringing with it an essentially intact subtidal community of Asian species to the Pacific Northwest. Although natural rafts have likely been ferrying organisms around the planet since the very beginning of life of Earth, the geologically recent advent of human settlement, culture and infrastructure is fundamentally changing the rafting game, as EARTH explores in our March issue.

Posted 02/26/2013

AGI Announces First Recipient of the Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship for Women in Geoscience
Congratulations to Kelly M. Deuerling, the first recipient of AGI's new Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship for women in geoscience. Given annually in honor of Harriet Evelyn Wallace, a founding member of the Geoscience Information Society (GSIS), a national organization and AGI member society that facilitates the exchange of information in the geosciences, the new Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship is awarded to a female student pursuing a thesis-based Master's or Doctoral degree in the Earth sciences.

Posted 02/19/2013

AGI Releases Faces of Earth Series in HD on YouTube
The American Geosciences Institute is pleased to announce that it has released its award-winning Faces of Earth series on YouTube in full High Definition. Delve into the Faces of Earth and rediscover the wonders behind our dynamic planet. From the resounding cacophony that bore Earth 4.6 billion years ago, to the steady and resolute changes that affect our surroundings even today, the Faces of Earth series explores the vibrant, forceful, and ever-changing facets of planet Earth.

Posted 02/19/2013

Nathan Shotwell to Receive the Edward C. Roy, Jr. Award for Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching
Nathan Shotwell, a teacher at Holman Middle School in Glen Allen, Virginia, has been named the 2013 recipient of the Edward C. Roy, Jr. Award for Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching. Shotwell, who earned his Master's degree in Education from Virginia Commonwealth University, has spent his career challenging middle- and junior-high school students with what he calls "authentic problems" and inquiry-based learning in the Earth sciences.

Posted 02/12/2013

Geoscience Currents #69: U.S. Female Geoscience Enrollment and Degree Rate is Mixed in 2011-2012
Geoscience Currents #69 explores how female geoscience enrollments and degrees changed in the 2011-2012 academic year. New data collected shows that female geoscience enrollments and degrees in the U.S. dropped sharply at both the Bachelor's and Master's levels, but increased slightly at the Doctoral level.

Posted 02/11/2013

EARTH: Moon Could Have Formed From Earth After All — Revising and Revisiting the Giant Impact Theory
The idea of a moon-forming collision is not new: The Giant Impact Theory put forth in the 1970s suggested that the moon resulted from a collision with a protoplanet approximately half the size of ancient Earth. But the physics underlying such a collision implied that the moon should be made up of debris mostly from the protoplanet. Since then we've discovered the moon is instead very chemically similar to Earth. Now, scientists have come up with two new models that explain how an impact could have resulted in a moon formed from Earth material.

Posted 02/05/2013

EARTH: Drinking Toilet Water – The Science (and Psychology) of Wastewater Recycling
Would you drink water from a toilet? What if that water, once treated, was cleaner than what comes out of the faucet? Although the imagery isn't appealing, as climate change and population growth strain freshwater resources, such strategies are becoming more common around the world — and in the United States.

Posted 01/28/2013

EARTH: The Dangers of Solar Storms
Throughout history, humanity has steadily increased its dependence upon technology. Although technology has vastly improved the quality of life for billions of people, it has also opened us up to new risks and vulnerabilities. Terrorism and natural disasters might be at the forefront of the minds of policymakers and the U.S. population, but a significant threat lurks over our heads: the sun. A massive solar storm, the size last seen a century and a half ago, could easily leave hundreds of millions of people in the dark for days, weeks or even months.

Posted 01/22/2013

Earth Science Week 2013 Theme Announced: "Mapping Our World"
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is pleased to announce that the theme of Earth Science Week 2013 will be "Mapping Our World." This year's event will promote awareness of the many exciting uses of maps and mapping technologies in the geosciences.

Posted 01/15/2013

AGI Past-President Completes Successful Tour for STIEP Speaker Series
Dr. Wayne D. Pennington, AGI Past-President, recently concluded a successful tour for the new Science, Technology and Innovation Expert Partnership (STIEP) speaker series. Part of the U.S. Department of State's Targets of Opportunity Program, the STIEP speaker series promotes science diplomacy abroad by connecting traveling scientists with local embassies and other community networks in the region. Participants have the opportunity to exponentially increase the reach of their research while simultaneously promoting key issues for science diplomacy, including the importance of innovation, the scientific peer review process, and promoting women in STEM fields. Pennington was one of the first speakers to participate in the series.

Posted 01/14/2013

EARTH: Superquakes, Supercycles, and Global Earthquake Clustering
The size and type of earthquakes a given fault system may produce remain poorly understood for most major fault systems. Recent superquakes, such as the March 2011 magnitude-9 off Japan and the December 2004 magnitude-9-plus off Sumatra, have been far larger than what most scientists expected those faults to produce. The problem is that current models rely on short historical records, and even shorter instrumental records. Today, scientists are working to rewrite these models based on new paleoseismic and paleotsunami data to create a more comprehensive picture of earthquake activity through time. What they're finding might alarm you.

Posted 01/08/2013

AGI Announces Appointment of Dr. Maeve Boland as Director of Geoscience Policy
The American Geosciences Institute is pleased to announce Dr. Maeve Boland as AGI's new Director of Geoscience Policy. AGI's Geoscience Policy program serves as a link between the geosciences community and policymakers by sustaining communication, ensuring quality information flow, and representing the voices of AGI Member Societies.

Posted 01/08/2013

EARTH: Famous Fossils and Spectacular Scenery at British Columbia's Burgess Shale
The Burgess Shale provides us with a rare glimpse into the softer side of paleontology. Most fossils are preserved hard parts – bones, teeth and shells – but one of the most famous fossil locales in the world, the Burgess Shale, reveals subtle soft body structures like gills and eyes delicately preserved between the layers of dark rock. For more than 100 years, the Burgess Shale has been giving us a unique perspective on what life was like in the Cambrian seas. This month, EARTH Magazine contributor Mary Caperton Morton reminds us that no matter how well we think we know a fossil locality, it can still surprise us.

Posted 01/02/2013



Posted 01/01/2013

EARTH Magazine: The Lizard King Rises
Newly discovered giant lizard fossil named after classic rocker.

Posted 01/01/2013


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