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.
Monday, July 22, 2013 - 00:00
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.
Monday, July 15, 2013 - 00:00
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.
Sunday, July 14, 2013 - 00:00
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.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 00:00
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.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - 00:00
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.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - 00:00
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.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - 00:00
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.
Monday, May 6, 2013 - 00:00
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?
Monday, April 29, 2013 - 00:00
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.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 00:00
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.
Monday, April 8, 2013 - 00:00
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.
Monday, April 1, 2013 - 00:00
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.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - 00:00
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.
Monday, March 25, 2013 - 00:00
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.
Monday, March 11, 2013 - 00:00
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.
Monday, March 4, 2013 - 23:00
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.
Sunday, March 3, 2013 - 23:00
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.
Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 23:00
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.
Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 23:00
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.
Monday, February 25, 2013 - 23:00