GeoSpectrum is the free electronic newsletter of the geosciences. Originally launched as a newsletter for the American Geosciences Institute in 1995, GeoSpectrum has been reborn as the go-to source of information on AGI's 51 Member Societies. The American Geosciences Institute coordinates and edits the publication, but it is the result of contributed materials from societies, geoscience organizations and others in the community.

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AEG Extends Abstract Deadline

AEG NASL Meeting Flyer which will occur June 2017 in Roanoke, VA
AEG has extended the abstract deadline for the North American Symposium on Landslides to July 31st, 2016. The third symposium will happen June 4-8, 2017 in Roanake, VA. AGI presented at the 2015 AEG Professional Forum on Landslides on how Congress can help Amercican develop a comprehensive landslide policy. In March 2016, Representative DelBene (D-WA) introduced legislation to reduce losses from landslide hazards. 


Antibiotics and Geoscience

An artistic picture of pills

Two interesting documents mentioning antibiotics in the natural system came up this week. SSSA published an article about the implications of antibiotics in manure "which may then get into the natural environment." Shout out to the writer for the amazing puns they worked into the article!  Additionally, the NGWA mentioned the growing public concern over occurrence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in water on their Protect Your Groundwater Day website (which will be celebrated September 6, 2016!). A quick search on the AGI Critical Issues Database reveals a multitude of resources that mention "antibiotics" in their text. 


AESE Abstract Deadline: July 31st


The Association of Earth Science Editors is reminding geoscientists that the abstract deadline for their 50th Annual Meeting is quickly approaching. We have attached their call for abstracts to this post. The meeting follows GSA's annual meeting so the commute shouldn't be too difficult. Shout out to Sara Pratt, who is serving as the meeting host-chair and also doubles as a science writer for EARTH Magazine


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Pokémon Go, Geocaching and Geoscience

Screenshot of Christine McEntee's tweet announcing an AGU Pokestop

On Monday AGU Executive Director and CEO, Christine McEntee tweeted that AGU Headquarters was a Pokémon Go Hot Spot (PokeStop), and shared an article that listed other science pokestops. Even the National Park Service is onboard with this social phenomenon. Others argue that Pokémon Go is simply glorified geochaching.  GSA has been involved with the geoscience-themed EarthCache since its membership suggested it in 2003, and it even has its own focus-day during Earth Science Week. The fifth International EarthCache Event will be hosted at the GSA Annual Meeting in September. This isn't the first time a game has been utilized to communicate geoscience concepts to the masses, recently professor and Weather Geeks Host, Marshall Shepherd, started exploring if Minecraft could be used to help teach basic weather and climate concepts to the masses. We'll see you at the International EarthCache Event, but don't judge us if we bring some pokeballs too! (7/21/2016 - Updated) Infrastructure Report Card shared that many of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Historical Civil Engineering Landmarks also serve as Pokestops. AGI Member Organization the GeoInstitute is a part of ASCE. 


June Geoscience Policy Monthly Review Published

Image of the U.S. Capitol Dome in Summer

The AGI Geoscience Policy Program has published the June 2016 review of federal-level policy news. In it news related to: the federal budget, Congress, energy, environment, federal agencies and administration, natural hazards, natural resources, water and important dates for geoscientists from the Federal Register. Of interest is the update on the Federal budget for FY2017 (fiscal year), a summary of the Capitol Hill Ocean Week panel on offshore energy portfolios, a hearing on the status of new and recent energy technologies and hearing addressing tribal water rights both in Montana and Arizona. Additionally, the Geoscience Policy Program reported on the Senate's passage of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, to which the American Geophysical Union responded recognizing this bill's commitment to science in an official statement

NAGT's Earth Educators Rendezvous in Madison

Tables set up to receive participants at NAGT's Earth Educator's Rendezvous in Madison, WI.

The National Association of Geoscience Teachers is currently hosting their second Earth Educators Rendezvous in Madison, WI. NAGT set up the rendevous as a way to "bring together researchers and practitioners working in all aspects of undergraduate Earth education." They have been doing a fantastic job of updating their Facebook page, and the participants have been diligently using the official hashtag #eerendevous16! We love seeing the hands-on activities, tours and focused discussion that is being facilitated by this event. 

Can you ID This Mystery Location?

Image of an outcrop in an oil painting dated from 1770-1800, location is unknown.
The Geological Society of London recently posted an image of a mystery location that the painting's owner would like to identify. Hopefully, zeroing in on the location depicted in this painting will help identify a possible artist. Their blog notes, "The painting dates from c. 1775-1800, and may represent a location in Wales or the Alps." If you want to see more geoscience-related historical images, this month's EARTH Magazine features some of the great images that shaped the field of geology.

NSS Celebrates 75 Years!

AGI's Greeting Card Congratulating NSS on its 75th anniversary. It has a picture of a cave in the background.

This weekend AGI Member Organization, the National Speleological Society celebrates its 75th Anniversary in Ely, Nevada at their Annual Meeting. NSS is a leader in promoting: safe and responsible caving practices, effective cave and karst management, the study of speleology and cave conservation.  Their website for the meeting covers how Ely, an arid desert, is home to an extensive cave network.  They even made a video that covers the history of the organization (it's also a fun watch!). We look forward to catching up with NSS representatives at the Joint Member Society Council Meeting that will take place at GSA, in Denver.

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NEW MAP: NOAA Earth Magnetic Anomaly Grid (EMAG2), Version 3

Rotating map of the magnetic anomalies as they would appear in three dimensions
The NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information have announced the release of the third version of EMAG2. This version does not rely on local geology to interpolate anomalies; rather, it relies solely on the available data. NOAA notes that "Global magnetic anomaly grids are used for resource exploration, navigation where GPS is unavailable (submarine, directional drilling, etc.), and for studying the evolution of the lithosphere."  These data are available for download online.