Press Release By Date

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."
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - 16:05
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.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 16:05
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.
Saturday, May 26, 2012 - 16:05
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.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 16:05
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.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 16:04
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.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 16:05
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.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 16:05
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.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012 - 16:05
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.
Monday, May 7, 2012 - 16:05
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?
Thursday, May 3, 2012 - 16:05
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.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012 - 16:05
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.
Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 16:05
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.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - 16:05
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.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 16:05
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.
Monday, April 16, 2012 - 16:05

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."

Thursday, April 12, 2012 - 16:05
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.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012 - 16:05
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.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 16:05
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 Nina conditions and outbreaks of the flu that could help governments and public health officials determine when the next pandemic will strike.
Monday, March 26, 2012 - 16:05
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.
Friday, March 23, 2012 - 16:05