press release

Burning Grass Releases More Nitrogen Pollution Than Burning Wood

Where there's smoke, there's fire - but what's in the smoke? A recent air quality study from the University of Colorado Boulder has confirmed earlier laboratory experiments that show that grass and crop fire smoke carries greater amounts of nitrogen-containing volatile organic compounds (NVOCs) than wood fire smoke. Read the full story in EARTH Magazine.

New Geoscience Student Exit Survey Reflects Evolving Opportunities for Recent Graduates

Alexandria, VA - The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) Workforce Program announces the release of its annual Status of Recent Geoscience Graduates report. The report details the results of the 2016 Geoscience Student Exit Survey, documenting trends trends in geoscience coursework, enrollment, student experiences, as well as a recent shift in hiring patterns for new graduates.

An App That Brings Home Your Seismic Hazard

Do you know the earthquake risk in your neighborhood? If not, that information is now available in the palm of your hand. Founded by two former U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) employees, Temblor is a free app that allows people to view interactive seismic hazard maps on their smartphones, tablets or computers. It also teaches U.S. homeowners to factor earthquake and landslide risk into their financial decisions, like where to live and what insurance to buy. The February issue of EARTH Magazine takes a closer a look at Temblor, highlighting the app's recent successes and goals for the future.

Downgrading the Great Dying

It makes for a dramatic narrative: Roughly 252 million years ago, a mass extinction event killed up to 96 percent of marine life, earning an infamous name in the geologic record, "the Great Dying." However, a new study suggests that this cataclysmic event has been overestimated. In the February issue of EARTH Magazine, read how a University of Hawaii paleontologist is improving our understanding of mass extinction events by exploring the effects of natural variability on background extinction levels, revealing a clearer signal in the noise.

Harmful Algal Blooms Find New Habitats in Changing Oceans

In April and May 2015, a bloom of toxic algae spanned more than a thousand miles of Pacific coastline, from Santa Barbara, Calif., to British Columbia. Marine organisms were poisoned throughout the food web, disrupting coastal ecosystems and economies for months. Similar events are expected to become more frequent as the oceans and atmosphere adjust to a warming climate. In the February issue of EARTH Magazine, read how scientists are working to better understand the 2015 Pacific bloom, hoping to apply lessons learned in responding to future events.

The First Americans: How and When Were the Americas Populated?

The latest research suggests humans first arrived in the Americas as early as 16,000 years ago, but using which path - along the Pacific coast, through an inland ice-free corridor, or from the East along the Atlantic coast - remains controversial. Archaeologists and geologists are working to try to answer the question of how and when the first Americans arrived. In the January issue of EARTH Magazine, their work is showcased, reexamining the origins of our shared geoheritage in light of new evidence.

Earth Science Week 2017 Theme Announced: 'Earth and Human Activity'

The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is pleased to announce that the theme of Earth Science Week 2017 is "Earth and Human Activity." This year's event, the 20th annual Earth Science Week celebration, promotes awareness of what geoscience tells us about human interaction with the planet's natural systems and processes.

Slow-moving slides may be triggered by cold temperatures

Slow-moving landslides, while not as dramatic as their faster-moving counterparts, can damage infrastructure and cause headaches for the communities they affect. Slow-moving slides are generally associated with rainfall or snowmelt, but a new study in Japan has shown that some of these slides may occur when a certain kind of clay is exposed to cold temperatures. In the January issue of EARTH Magazine, the link between ground temperature and slow slides is explored, including implications for the science of predicting similar landslides around the world.

Life-saving Diplomacy: The Volcano Disaster Assistance Program at Thirty

On Nov. 13, 1985, the eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Colombia killed more than 23,000 people. Geoscientists at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, Wash., moved to action. Having studied the warning signs and responded to the eruption of Mount St. Helens five years earlier, they knew from experience that the Nevado del Ruiz disaster could have been prevented. Their advocacy paved the way for the formation of the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP) in 1986. VDAP is the world’s first and only international volcano response team. In the January issue of EARTH Magazine, VDAP’s growth and evolution over 30 years are chronicled, highlighting the team’s past successes and goals for the future.

'Citywide Celebrations' Give Earth Science Week a Local Focus

The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is pleased to announce city-specific celebrations of its annual geoscience awareness campaign, Earth Science Week, which took place October 9-15, 2016. Major American cities such as Houston, Denver, Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia, served as major centers of public awareness activities.

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