Because petroleum figures so prominently in our lives today, petroleum geologists play a vital role in raising public awareness of the relationship between Earth science and sustainability. That’s why you are invited to bring your education, experience and expertise to the 25th annual Earth Science Week, which celebrates the theme of “Earth Science for a Sustainable World.”
This year’s theme explores the many ways the geosciences can inform decisions to help maintain and improve Earth’s capacity to support thriving life. The program engages people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities to understand how the entire planet is challenged to provide for human health, safety and prosperity, while protecting environmental integrity.
Earth Science Week 2022 is Oct. 10-16. It is organized by the American Geosciences Institute in partnership with dozens of organizations, provides materials, activities and opportunities for science professionals, young people and the wider public to learn about sustainability and other geoscience topics. As a geoscience professional, you can make a difference by visiting a classroom, giving a science talk, organizing an event, hosting a field trip or distributing materials and sharing information – all of which can be done virtually or in person.
Goals for Positive Change
Earth Science Week 2022 uses the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals to illustrate how geoscience relates to many of our planet’s most pressing challenges. The SDGs are practical, actionable goals that zero-in on significant issues humans face in areas such as energy, climate change, hunger, natural hazards, industrial production and economic opportunity for all.
The Earth Science Week 2022 Toolkit features many materials that not only build geoscience understanding but also connect directly to the SDGs. Making these connections can help people understand how the Earth sciences can be used to help achieve these goals as well as to provide inspiration to get involved in a global network of people working toward a sustainable future.
Petroleum geologists and other science professionals are invited to help their communities explore the SDGs in ways that spark curiosity and passion about science, as well as about using science to take action and make positive changes in the world. Discussing the SDGs allows you to call attention to global issues in the context of actions that can be taken to improve the standard of living for all people while maintaining environmental integrity. If you speak with local students, for example, you can easily connect your work and the SDGs to what teachers already are teaching.
Use the resources that AGI and our partners have created and compiled as a guide for connections between the SDGs and what students are learning in Earth science classrooms:
● The Earth Science Week 2022 Poster features a world map showing specific places around the globe where initiatives address SDGs focused on issues like hunger, climate and access to affordable and clean energy. On the back of the poster are several activities that enable readers to learn more about those initiatives through ArcGIS StoryMaps, explore how geoscientists’ work applies to SDGs and understand how SDGs apply to their communities. The highlighted initiatives can call attention to work being done around the world to let community members know that local geoscience-based actions can have regional and global effects.
● The Earth Science Activity Calendar features educational investigations, authored or recommended by program partners, that help students and others understand ways the geosciences relate to specific SDGs. The U.S. Geological Survey’s “Wetland in a Water Bottle” activity, for instance, helps people to learn about life in water (SDG 14) and on land (SDG 15). And AAPG’s “Solar Updraft Tower” activity sheds light on energy technologies (SDG 7) as well as industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9). These activities can help you foster discussions about the SDGs and how even small steps toward sustainability can be beneficial.
● The Geologic Map Day Poster paints a detailed picture of how “Soils Sustain the World.” A colorful geologic map shows the global distribution of the 12 soil orders, as classified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. The poster’s learning activities explore soil classifications, profiles and textures, as well as soil’s role in carbon sequestration and related SDGs. One activity, for example, encourages readers to consult online resources to learn about the type and uses of soil in their area. Many scientists believe that maintaining and improving soil health is key to a sustainable future, since soil is the basis for food production and environmental health and stability.
Centering on Sustainability
You can engage community members in a school, university, science center, museum, park or your own workplace. No matter the setting, you can tap into the resources featured in the Earth Science Week Toolkit. The Toolkit once again offers dozens of posters, activity pages and additional materials that use a range of teaching and learning strategies.
Using the toolkit, you can help students, science enthusiasts, and community members explore resources from NASA, Geoscientists Without Borders, the National Park Service, the Soil Science Society of America and many others. The Minerals Education Coalition provides informative material on metals and sustainability. The kit also contains a community resilience activity booklet and much more dealing with subjects such as seismology, climate, energy, gems, caves, karst, groundwater-dependent ecosystems and Earth’s critical zone.
The Earth Science Week Webinar Series covers an array of thought-provoking, timely issues relating to the science of sustainability. Aimed at the general public and the education community, the series features presentations hosted by scholars and experts from many fields. Selected on-demand webinars during Earth Science Week have a live question-and-answer period with presenters.
Earth Science Week has grown over the past quarter-century to become one of the premier outreach efforts in the geosciences in the United States and worldwide, thanks to the many partners and sponsors – including AAPG – who have collaborated to support the program’s success.
Some partners provide financial support, and some contribute materials for the Toolkit. Still others lend their expertise to the media AGI develops, such as the USGS and USDA NRCS adapting maps for the Geologic Map Day poster and accompanying online media. Specific partners are acknowledged on the media, and a complete list of partners and sponsors can be found on the Earth Science Week website at www.EarthSciWeek.org. AGI is grateful to all the sponsors and partners as well as the Earth science professionals in the United States and internationally who use Earth Science Week as a force for building geoscience awareness.