Connecting with Geoscience Systems: Earth Science Week 2014

Earth Science Week 2014 helps teachers and students interactively learn about Earth systems.

Whether it’s the succession of a wetland community after beaver leave or changes in aquatic pH due to weathering of rocks, change forms a fundamental characteristic of the natural world. When any component of our Earth systems shifts, it triggers a network of consequences. Recognizing this, the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) has selected “Earth’s Connected Systems” as the theme for Earth Science Week 2014.

The first place winner in the 2013 Earth Science Week Photo Contest: Mapping My Community. Image Credit: Libby Hinchliff.

The first place winner in the 2013 Earth Science Week Photo Contest: Mapping My Community. Image Credit: Libby Hinchliff.

2014 will be the 17th annual Earth Science Week, an international event designed to encourage geoscientists to share their passion for their work while promoting ecological stewardship through student and public engagement with the Earth sciences.

Each year, a theme is designated for the event. For Earth Science Week 2014 students and teachers are encouraged to explore the interplay between Earth’s various systems. The geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere may all be grouped separately as fields of study, but they interact with one another in a multitude of ways.

“The interactions of Earth systems are at the heart of our most critical issues, from energy and the environment to climate change and emerging economic realities,” said Geoff Camphire, outreach manager for AGI. “No matter where we come from or where we’re going, we all need to understand Earth’s connected systems.”

In addition to its guiding theme, activities for Earth Science Week 2014 have been categorized into Focus Days, including:

•International EarthCache Day, a day of geocaching
Earth Science Literacy Day
No Child Left Inside Day
•National Fossil Day
Geoscience for Everyone Day, focusing on science careers for women and other underrepresented groups
Geologic Map Day.

As in previous years, schools can become involved through recommended classroom activities, by participating in contests, or by joining events at participating parks, museums, or nature centers. The Earth Science Week website offers activities, contests and other opportunities for students ranging from a kindergarten to university level.

Additionally, this year’s Earth Science Week will mark the launch of a new citizen science initiative, which will facilitate student collection and sharing of relevant Earth science observations and data. Toolkits and instructions for participation can be ordered through the Earth Science Week website.

Questions or requests for further information can be directed to Geoff Camphire.